We just wrapped up our annual sales conference that serves as a kick off for fiscal 2008.  We hosted it in Palm Springs, California and it was superb!

Many people did a great job of putting together a tremendous amount of content and delivering it in creative ways to the sales team.  Everyone was energized by the event.

One of the things that struck me as I presented to the whole group was that the number of people at the sales conference was the same as the number of all F5 employees less than 3 years ago.  Several people asked me how many sales conferences I've been to over the years and I think the number would be 13 or 14 as we had 2 sales conferences per year in the early days.  Our growth has been remarkable and sometimes it takes events like the sales conference to remind me of that fact.

Our first "sales conference" consisted of a handful of us sitting around a table talking about what to do.  Training material consisted of a Dr. Seuss rhyme with the words changed to fit F5.  "I am Dan, Dan is me. Would you like my BIG-IP?..."  You get the picture. Boy have we come a long way.

On the last day of the conference we showed a list of web sites where people could go to make donations to help out families who have displaced by the fires that were raging pretty close by to where we were.  The audience applauded when they saw the slide.  That type of reaction is what makes F5 special.

We capped the conference off with a great show by Cheap Trick at the Palm Springs Air Museum.  It was a superb event at a superb location.  Everyone had a ton of fun and there was even some stage diving done by executives!  I'm guessing that there will be posts by Joe and Jeff covering the guitar inventory along with many other details so I won't go into that.  I heard that the band also played at a Citrix event a couple of days earlier but I don't know for sure.

Next week we have our annual investor conference.  That event gives us a chance to give our investors more details about what we are up to, review what we promised last year, discuss how our market is doing and discuss the acquisition of Acopia in greater detail.  I'm looking forward to it.