After a 10 hour transatlantic flight followed by just 3 hours of sleep, I find myself walking to Victoria Station in London at 4:45 am local time to catch the 5 am train to the airport to fly to Zurich, Switzerland. I was not so much walking as sleep walking and when I arrived at the platform only to be told the train is delayed because the driver has not arrived, my only thought was one of envy as I visualized that happy train driver all snuggled up in a cozy bed.
I am attending an SAP BusinessObjects Add On conference showcasing the latest and greatest third party add-on solutions for BusinessObjects and I am here to present InfoBurst which has become increasingly popular in Europe where now over 50 customers use it for BI report and Xcelsius dashboard scheduling, bursting and publishing.
The event is held at a unique resort on top of the highest peak in Zurich with spectacular views of both the city and the snow capped Alps in the distance.
The resort itself is quite eclectic in décor with a maze of rooms on many levels. My presentation is scheduled to take place in a room called the Cave, appropriately named as it was situated in the basement.
I head off in search of the Cave about 30 minutes before my presentation and wind my way through a series of dimly lit corridors and find a room with a low ceiling full of tables and chairs with a sign outside identifying it as the Cave. It looks more like a wine bar and is actually decorated with bottles of wine but at one end is a large flat screen TV with a monitor connection hanging from it so I assume this must be the place. I whip out my laptop and get busy setting up for my presentation which involves moving tables due to the short monitor cable and adjusting the projected screen size to fit the monitor properly.
While I am busy beavering away, I am interrupted by a group of hotel staff who walk in carrying their lunches. In their broken English they explain that this is their lunch room but I confidently tell them that I am presenting here and they kindly agree to move to another room.
About 5 minutes before the start of the presentation, nobody has arrived and I start to think that maybe I am in the wrong place. I wander back through the corridors and go through a door that opens to an outside loading ramp. I see a conference sign pointing to a room called the cave in the opposite direction. I follow the sign and walk into a room full of people eagerly waiting for me to start my presentation!
Apart from feeling very stupid, I needed to move at lightning speed to get my laptop moved and ready to go since everything in Switzerland starts on time.
I just made it but I could not help thinking that maybe that train driver at Victoria station had not overslept and that, like me, he was just zoned out and showed up at the wrong train!