TNX: TechNet Exchange – Toronto (YYZ)

So here we are, the next day after the event in Toronto and I’m already in the next hotel in the next city writing a blog post. I’m working in my mobile state with Outlook 2003 working in Cached Mode using RPC over HTTPS to connect back to my Exchange server in Redmond at I’m a prime example of working in a mobile world, needing to stay in touch and collaborating with my team in Toronto and across the world.

I just got “beeped” by my colleague Barnaby Jeans to inform me he has posted some pictures from the event to his blog and flickr photo feed.  Have a look – nothing like seeing my Telus provided UT Starcom 6700 smartphone on the 20 foot high display screen behind me as I talk about Mobile 5 devices in Canada. Good thing we had the big display – with over 600 of your friends in an auditorium of that size, you need a large viewing area.

I was talking with the team about the day and how it went in our post event debrief (usually involving a drink or two) and we got to talking about the technologies, the demos and how they can give you some insight into what is possible to achieve in setting up some collaborative solutions in your environment.  We tried some new things with the demos in the last session to make them more “real” with live connections to my corporate Live Communications Server on the Mobile 5 Device (thanks Mitch from MITPro user group In Montreal for the impromptu chat session).  I also “walked on the wild side” by having my live email configured on the device to show look and feel of Pocket Outlook and how it works with the collaborative platform. Based on the reactions from the crowd, you seemed to like this more interactive and “live” type of demos – real world implementations of technologies. It got me to thinking – what can we do as a team to take this to the next Level?

Some thoughts – let me know what you think:

  • Live resources. What if we had an intranet of resources and interactive technologies you could access on the fly at the event via a wireless network or Kiosks?
  • How about live feedback during the sessions with comments and questions taken from the floor and also from the online environment?
  • What about having live streams of the events available to individuals who couldn’t make it or are in remote locations across Canada?
  • How about a photo gallery or live blog site that would allow you to post comments and pictures of the event up for all to see?

These are just a couple of ideas off the top of my head with an obvious “pie in the sky” approach of anything goes. I am interested to hear if you have any other ideas that would make these events more valuable and impactful to your world. Drop me a comment on one of the tour posts to let me know your thoughts!

Comments (4)

  1. Don Spencer says:

    Hi, Rick.

    Your third suggestion is one that would work especially well for me right now. We were fortunate to see your demo the day before at RIM park in Waterloo ( But, I couldn’t be at the Toronto event and will be unable to be at any Toronto-based IT events for the next 6-9 months owing to medical issues. A live feed would make me feel like I’m still connected to the IT mainstream, whether at work, the hospital, or simply at home getting well.

    On another note, we have just put in a request to purchase the UTStarcom 6700 for my IT team members. Hope it flies!

  2. John M says:

    Hi Rick,

    I attended the Montreal show and cam away from it all jazzed up by what I saw.  Initially, I only signed up because I wanted to learn about SharePoint, but I was captivated by everything you were showing and you held my attention all day long.  I had brought a couple of SQL Server books I was hoping to read through while you guys talked about things that didn’t interested me, but that never came to be and now I blame you for slowing down my database progress  ;0)

    I think your idea about the live stream out is a good one.  Not only would it serve the people you mention, but it would make it possible for someone in my office to join in during the parts that I think are most important for them.  For instance, if I knew a colleague was going to benefit from your discussion about how to set up LCS, I could call them just before you begin and they could watch it without leaving their desk.  This would let me spread the info to the people who need it on my team without sending everybody out for the whole day.  It’s a good idea.

    I have a very small question for you.  How did you get all of that machine information up on the Desktops?  Did you use an HTML page as the background and write some script to print logon, IP addresses and machine names dynamically?  It’s a great setup for people who use more than one machine on a network, for instance with Remote Desktop, or the Virtual PCs as you did.

    Thanks for the great show,



  3. Kenton Smith says:

    I attended the excellent Calgary event and really enjoyed it.

    One of the comments I put on the eval sheet was regarding having some kind of wireless access at the venues. I don’t (yet) have all the fancy mobile gadgets and without a broadband connection I have only phone access at those venues. This time that meant going back to the office during the lunch break in order to fix a problem that I could have easily handled remotely with either my iPaq or laptop, both wirelessly enabled. If you added some kind of intranet with live feedback, that would be even better for Q & A.


  4. rclaus says:

    Hey Kenton,

    Your comment is one that we hear a lot at events. It is a lot to ask IT Pros that are busy working and keeping their systems up and running to come out and listen to us at these events without a connection back to their environment. I feel your pain. As you probably saw with the onscreen live Mobile 5 device Damir was using in Calgary – we need to stay in touch as well.

    Your request has not gone unnoticed. As I was asking in this post – send us your requests – we’ll try our best to accommodate them in the future. Thanks for the great feedback!

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