I’m currently a few thousand feet up in the air travelling back from Brisbane to Perth after a intensive week at TechEd Australia 2009. It’s been a great week and I’ve got to meet some amazing individuals in the Microsoft ecosystem for the first time such as Reed Shaffner, Alistair Speirs, Ian Palangio, Gayan Peiris, Christian Longstaff, Andrew Parsons and Sara Ford. I also got to meet some familiar faces again such as Dave Glover, Andrew Coates, Catherine Eibner, Michael Kordahi and the entire SharePoint community that was around (Ben Walters, Elaine Van Bergen, Clayton James, Chris O’Connor, Daniel Brown, Kristian Kalsing…) and all of the 20 odd Readify guys that attended.
I really underestimated how busy I would be during the 3 day event and didn’t go to as many sessions as I wanted to. I got great value out catching up with some guys to talk SharePoint and also to discuss their SharePoint challenges which will hopefully turn into some great client projects.
This was my first ever TechEd and my second ever conference after attending SharePoint Conference 2007 in Sydney. When I go over to Las Vegas for the SharePoint Conference 2009 i will certainly adjust my approach to the conference:
I will spend more time up front looking through all of the available sessions and planning my conference better and stick to it. The TechEd Session planner was a pile of crap and un-useable with stupid scroll bars, hard to read text etc…this should be a full screen Silverlight Application! If TechEd was going to change at all next year, that’d be my main suggestion!
Integrating Social Networking into the session planner would also be great e.g. “You have 3 friends attending this session”. This would then allow you to plan to meet people before and after a session to ensure you get round a have a chat to everyone. i’m making a list of all the people I want to catch up with during the event and will have a checklist to make sure I get through them all.
In Reed Shaffner’s “Introducing Office 2010” session I twittered away as compelling information came out. Obviously at #SPC09 it’s all going to be new and the noise on Twitter is going to be unbelievable. I don’t think micro-bogging is the way to go for people to consume this. I’ve come up with a really cool idea, so watch this space in about 2 weeks. It’s also going to be hard to do full on blogging of each session so there needs to be a happy medium.
After Elaine Van Bergen’s Birds of a Feather talk with Ben Walters and Tatham Oddie, plenty of us all went outside and chatted for a good hour on all things SharePoint covering off workflow, user profiles, 3rd party products, MVP program etc. It had some great debate and I just wish I had recorded the session to publish somewhere. I’m going to invest in Podcasting equipment so I can record these chats for others to gain insight into!
Although the late night parties are a great fun, but going out EVERY night until 4 am is not the best idea and ruins your chances of seeing any of the first few morning sessions! I’m going to set myself a personal curfew of midnight and this is when my carriage will turn into a pumpkin so I can be fresh for the morning sessions. I know, I know…”it’s Vegas” but it’s costing me a lot of money to get over there and spending it hungover is not a good idea ;-) I can do that here!
I arrive in Vegas Saturday arvo and leave the following Saturday arvo. This will allow me to catch up with guys Saturday night, I know that Rob from SharePointPodShow.com is rounding people up and apparently there is one Sunday night too.
Being out of Australia I can’t use my 3G data card as international roaming is ridiculously expensive! I’m hoping that at SPC09 there’ll be wireless like at AuTechEd…if not I’ll need to find an alternative for that week. I’ll also need to make sure I’ve got power converters for my plugs!
So one thing I didn’t do at AuTechEd which I should have done was get some photos taken with the people I meet. My intention at SPC09 is to make sure I get a photo with everyone I meet and talk to and upload them to my Flickr stream ;-)
I was amazed how many in my presentation weren’t aware of the SharePointDevWiki.com. I really appreciated the plugs by the community during the conference, and I am going to take a more planned approach at SPC09. I’ll post my plans on this later.
I am really looking forward to SPC09 and hoping that I can keep to all my goals above! Look forward to meeting you all there and make sure you’ve added yourself to the twibe! It worked great at AuTechEd to see who was there from SharePoint Twitter community!