Avaya Engage Dubai 2016

I was surprised to get an email on a Monday, requesting I deliver a keynote at the Avaya Engage event in Dubai the following Thursday and could I bee in Dubai in just 6 days. After clearing it with my family, I got a great rate on Emirates ($830 roundtrip!) and away I went. This event was different in that the attendees would be ~1,400 CxOs and I’d only have 20 minutes to cover my topics in a way that would make sense to this audience.

I got in on Sunday night but the conference did not begin until Monday at 3pm, so lucky for me, this conference was at the Atlantis, The Palm, where they are not only right on the ocean but also have a waterpark. Did I rehearse my new slides for Thursday? No, I hit the water slides:

The best one I rode that afternoon was the Leap of Faith. Here’s someone else’s video of the ride:

Then we had some great speakers with just Avaya and our Authorized Business Partners in the region. I even got to see an Avaya colleague/friend (but I was speaking on Thursday, not Tuesday as he tweeted):

The next day started off with some very lively culture from the Emirates

We had great keynotes like this one from Nidal:

as well as some analysts speaking on the industry

The next morning started off with a beautiful sunrise (notice the sun reflecting off the skyscrapers on the right) and more great sessions

Then next morning was my chance on the big stage. Here is me mic’d up, before they opened the doors.

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I’m happy to say my preparation paid off and the presentation went well. It was a really big screen behind me, 30 meters (100 feet) in 16×9 format with resolution of 6000x 1008.

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A colleague recorded a good deal of the presentation and I’ve stitched the individual clips together here:

With that out of the way, I returned to the waterpark and found my new favorite slide, Poseidon’s Revenge. As the video below (not my video) shows, you start standing straight up and then the floor falls out from under you. You fall for a split second and then land in the tube and whip around, hitting 37mph. I liked it so much, I went ten times!

The aquaconda was pretty cool as well given its sheer size:

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All in all a great trip, but I was, as always, happy to return to my family.

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