April 2010

It seems that our web site is not as clear as it could be that registering for C&B does not automatically register you for a room at The Salish.  This is because we expect that some people who participate in C&B will come from the Seattle area and will not stay at the hotel.  The result is that if you’re going to be part of C&B and also stay at The Salish, you’ll need to make a separate hotel reservation. Information about how to do so is at our Hotel Information page.

We apologize for any confusion, and we hope to see you at C&B, at which time you can berate us about this matter personally.  By that time, I’ll have decided whether Andrei or Herb is to blame for it :-)


Registration for C++ & Beyond is now open!  Groups of 3 or more get 10% off, and individual or group registration during the Early Bird period (now until July 24) knocks another 10% off the price.  Attendance is limited to 60, so if you’re interested in being part of C&B, I suggest you register as soon as you can.

Click here to register.

We hope to see you atop Snoqualmie Falls in October!


I’ll start with a summary:

  • The Salish (where C&B will take place) offers very pleasant lodge-like meeting facilities that are conducive to the not-really-a-conference experience we want to foster. (See my previous post for more on that.)
  • It has a wonderful setting, with outdoor recreational opportunities literally steps from the front door.
  • Guest rooms are much nicer than those of typical business hotels; a full set of spa facilities is available; and you can bring your dog (but probably not to the spa).

The Salish isn’t just where C&B will take place, it actually enhances the C&B experience.   That’s why we chose it.

For details, read on.

* * * * *

In my last post, I mentioned that Herb, Andrei, and I were looking to organize something different from a standard technical conference, and one of the things we wanted to be different was where it was held.  Convention centers and traditional business hotels don’t readily kindle the kind of feeling we’d like C&B to have.  I was hoping to find an “outdoorsy” venue that would let us take advantage of the attractive scenery of the Pacific Northwest.  The kind of place I had in mind was Timberline Lodge, but that’s near Portland, Oregon, and we’d already decided to hold the event in the greater Seattle area.

View of lodge and falls

The Salish is perched at the top of Snoqualmie Falls.

Herb suggested The Salish.  Located in Snoqualmie, Washington, The Salish is close enough to Seattle to be convenient, but distant enough to be “away.”  Those looking for a great view can exit The Salish and walk to the viewpoint for adjacent Snoqualmie Falls, which is bigger, louder, and more impressive than you expect.  Those wanting a bit more exertion can walk to the base of the falls (easy) and back (less so).  Runners, hikers, and bikers looking to burn serious calories can make their way to the nearby Snoqualmie Valley Regional Trail, which runs for 29 miles.  All this means that The Salish is a good spot for getting outside, if getting outside is what you want to do.  That’s important, because, as I explained in my last post, time for a mid-day activity is built into the C&B schedule.

Speaking of outside, our evening sessions will be held in the Falls Terrace room, which, as its name suggests, features an outdoor terrace directly above the falls.  (You can’t see the falls from there, but you can certainly hear them!)

The Salish is unusually nice from an indoor perspective, too.  All the guest rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and two-person whirlpool tubs.  Aside from being nice in their own right, this means that  if you come to C&B with a companion who will not be doing the technical geek-out thing, they’ll have a very pleasant place to hang out while you’re ignoring them. Your dog can hang out there, too, because The Salish is so dog friendly, it has room service for them.  (If you’re thinking of bringing your dog, be sure to check out the hotel’s pet policy, and be sure also to note the $50 fee for having a dog with you.)

The Salish’s official name is the Salish Lodge & Spa, and while I can’t offer any insights into the spa based on personal experience, I’m told it’s a very good one (and not just by the hotel’s marketing people). For more information, consult the spa’s page.

From a meeting perspective, The Salish has pretty much what you’d expect, except, assuming you like the lodge look (e.g., lots of wood), it looks better.  Technical sessions will take place in the Ballroom, which, because it’s on a floor by itself, offers more privacy than usual. For meals, we’ll have the Attic to ourselves, and, as I mentioned above, in the evenings we’ll be in the Falls Terrace room. That room, in addition to the terrace, has a wood-burning fireplace, which will be especially nice if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

It should go without saying, but just to reassure you, there’s high-speed wireless Internet access throughout the building.  There’s normally a fee for that, but for C&B attendees,  the fee is being waived.

We think The Salish isn’t just a nice place to stay, it’s a great venue for what we hope will be an outstanding “C&B experience.”

Registration for C&B opens on Saturday (Pacific time).


Herb, Andrei, and I tend to refer to C++ and Beyond (C&B) as an “event” rather than a “conference,” because conferences are generally big, impersonal things organized around the principle that speakers stand and talk and attendees sit and listen.  That’s not what we have in mind for C&B, and the structure of the event reflects that.

First, attendance is limited to 60 people.  We want a group small enough that we can spend time talking with each of you, and we want everybody to have a chance to talk with everybody else.  Truly successful events are built around opportunities for people to make connections and exchange ideas, and we want to set up that kind of success. A smallish group helps us do that.

Second, breakfast and lunch are included each day.  We’re not talking dry rolls and lukewarm coffee here, we’re talking a full-blown sit-at-a-table-and-eat-with-fellow-C&Bers first thing in the morning and again in the middle of the day.  Okay, “full-blown” means you get your food from a buffet, but it’s real food (you know, warm and requiring the use of silverware and everything!), and few things facilitate table conversation like standing in line with an empty plate and a healthy appetite.

Third, C&B runs in the evenings, too.  From 7:30 to 9:30 each evening (or, as they say probably everywhere except the USA, 19:30 to 21:30), we have a room set aside for informal discussions.  No lectures, no preconceived topics, no preordained structure, just a nice place to hang out, enjoy light refreshments, and talk about whatever comes to mind.  If conversation lags, I’ll say something embarrassing about Andrei or Herb and hope they’re too stunned to retaliate.

We believe informal discussion time is so important, we’ve incorporated it into the lunch break, too.  As you’ll see on the general event structure page, two and a half hours is set aside each afternoon for “lunch and mid-day activity.”  The “activity” might be hanging out in the lunch room and talking with people you just discovered face the same kinds of technical challenges you do, it might be going back to your room to catch up on your email (because, let’s face it, your work responsibilities won’t really stop while you’re at C&B), or it might be taking advantage of C&B’s location at the Salish Lodge (about which I’ll have more to say in a separate post), which stands next to Snoqualmie Falls and is a short walk from The Snoqualmie Valley Regional Trail.  That trail is 29 miles long (even longer in metric: 46 kilometers), which should be enough for even the most ardent post-meal walker/runner/biker to get their blood flowing again.

Herb, Andrei, and I hope to take advantage of that blood flow during our technical sessions, which take place in the mornings and afternoons.   The topics we’ll address and the formats our sessions will take will be determined during the course of the next few months, influenced not just by what we think we can contribute, but also by your comments:  we plan to post session ideas to this blog to see what flies and what doesn’t.

Early-bird registration for C&B will begin this Saturday and run until July 24.  During that time, a 10% discount will be in effect.  Based on the limited size of this event, as well as the reception other events of ours have received, we believe there’s a good chance all the spots will be taken during the early-bird period.  If that happens, it means we’re lousy businesspeople (who wants to sell out at the discount rate?), but it also means that if you’re interested in attending C&B (and we hope you are), you should consider registering earlier rather than later.