How very bizarre it is to be watching the events of today unfold surrounded by an international community of several thousand from all over Europe and the USA.
I am on my annual pilgramage to Cannes, France for the Gartner IT Symposium. It is still, IMHO, the best IT conference I have ever attended and this year is proving no different. Except that the weather is just as miserable here as it was when I left dark, grey, cloudy, wet, and cold England and quite frankly I was hoping for a dose of sunshine. The wind is howling, the heavens open up and soak everything below them every couple hours. Do not venture far from your umbrella is something I have learnt the hard way.
Gartner is an American company and nearly all of the presenters (100s of them) are American. Many of the people who support Gartner here are American. I will be having dinner this evening with a couple of Americans and we hope to watch the election returns well into the wee hours of the morning. I don't want to make the same mistake I did in 2000 when I went to bed assured that Gore had won only to awaken and find it had been stolen out from underneath him (as if my watchful eye could have prevented such a travesty of justice).
Nearly everyone else here is from the UK and Europe. I am surrounded by non native English speakers. I respect the commitment it must take to come to a 5 day conference where ALL the presentations are done in English. If I am tired at the end of it, they must be shattered.
There is a lot of buzz on the conference floors and in the presentations about today's election. Everyone is checking out the web for news and trying to catch snipets of newscasts on the 1 television in the Symclub (don't ask). The presenters make references to the candidates and the impact the outcome of today may have on our lives over here an ocean away.
Lots of people have asked me if I have voted and how I think it is going to go. I am not a political analyst. I have voted but I haven't a clue what the result may be. I read the same papers I hope everyone else reads (although I don't think Sarah Palin reads given her ridiculous response to the Katie Couric question). I watch the same news. I get the feeds via telephone, email, twitter.
But I am nervous. There is a flutter of butterflies in my stomach as I wait and hope.
The eyes of the world are upon you. Do Well.