Energize IT 2006 – What A Weekend!

It’s now Monday.  The event was struck Saturday evening and packed into cars and trucks on Sunday Morning. All the attendees are back at work, school or home and are now reviewing the post event materials DVDs and checking out the post event webpage. I can now blog a bit about the event itself and how it unfolded. I honestly thought I would have time to blog during the actual event – but I honestly didn’t have time to sit down – there was so much going on, so many people to talk to – it was CRAZY.

IMG_7842All of our setup efforts the day before the event paid off – besides some initial wireless issues due to a redirect page not working, we didn’t have a hick-up on that front.  HP Procurve networking provided network access to all attendees using their wireless infrastructure and at a select few tables – wired hubs. I had setup the Microsoft infrastructure servers running Server 2003 R2 with DNS and DHCP as well as our main firewall running ISA 2004 the day before.

Standing Room onlyBarnaby and I snapped a few pictures of the event, I’ve added a few of them here and the rest can be found up on Flickr in the EnergizeIT Group. Here is one from the back overlooking the standing room only capacity of the opening keynotes from Barry Goffe about Windows Vista. I didn't get the final attendance numbers but I heard it was up in the 1200 range  for the Toronto event. You can clearly see the “organised chaos” of the Social Networking area in the back with the large theatre style seating occupying the front 2/3rds of the room.

ISA 2006 Hands-on LabsI had a chance to drop in a check out some of the breakout sessions in the afternoon as well as checking out the Hands On Labs for ISA 2006.  WOW – quite a turnout – both sessions (100 machines each) were packed!

Standing room only outside a breakoutI also found a lot of people who would check out the external TV monitors to see if the content was interesting and if they wanted to switch sessions – rather neat way to preview the content before committing to the duration of the session or swapping out of the session you were in.

The TeamI wanted to say Thanks to the fellow Microsofties Pierre Roman and Christian Beauclaire who lead the charge and looked after the LiveMeeting attendees who hooked up to the live internet stream. Barnaby snapped a picture of our table o’ laptops and tablets that were open to respond to connectivity issues and product questions as the morning session progressed (I’m there with my signature Green Tiley hat on).

As a side note – I am happy to report that over $2000 was raised for the Childrens Miracle Network with the sale of “Geek” and “Future Geek” t-shirts.  I picked up 3 myself… I believe they sold out their inventory at the event – way to go!

We are going through the evaluations and comments from the events, live streams and satellite events. I understand there were some challenges with the 4+GB Vista virtual machine I created – have no fear – I am working on a solution with a pending blog post to revive that project - stay tuned.

Do you have any comments? Any suggestions on how the event can go better next time around? I am hoping to have some blog posts on the Calgary and Vancouver events soon to hear what the experience was like. Did anyone enjoy the sessions from the comfort of their own home and want to share their thoughts? Post your comments here or hit the Ask A Question button to provide some feedback.  

Comments (12)

  1. fatcat says:

    I bought two Geek T-shirts and I am very happy with it.  By the way, Vista build 5456 was released on the same day, whoever has chance to get it on their hands should try it out, it’s way better than the Beta 2 build 5348. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Kids needed some clean shirts after playing around outside this afternoon, so I pulled out the “Future…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just a quick post to say that the photos I took at EnergizeIT are now

    posted to Flickr :


  4. Anonymous says:

    With the event over, the post event resources are starting to trickle in.

    Canadian IT Pro Blog Wrap Up

    Flickr in the EnergizeIT Group

    EnergizeIT ’06 Post Event Resources

    More coming soon so check back!

  5. Neil Squire Society - Lisa Thompson says:

    The Neil Squire Society was the Charity recipient of the Geek – T-shirt sales in Burnaby, total donations were $640, thank you everyone for your support!  Our display of assistive technology for people with disabilities attracted much attention.  I encourage you all to check out our website.


  6. edward says:

    It was a great event and a good way to get exposure to the newest OS from Microsoft.  I feel I paid the price for heading to one of the sessions rather than joining the crowd to collect my bag with the resources and the Vista beta install media.  There were none left when I returned from the first session 🙁  otherwise I would have joined the install fest with my notebook.  Other than that it was well worth attending.  Thanks to all who helped put the event together.  Your hard work shows very well.

  7. Curt Dawe says:

    Loved the webcast.  Sat here on Saturday morning and chowed down on the Vista information.

    Guys, the support folks for the webcast were excellent.  Really helpful.  I availed of them a few times for questions on Vista more than actual tech assistance, to be honest.

    Would have loved to see this kind of event live, but this was definitely the second best thing.

    Was there a live Q&A session for folks who presented or did they circulate through the respective breakout sessions?


  8. Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS,I.S.P., sibaraki@cips.ca says:

    I really enjoyed my time at EnergizeIT since it is about working with the community and giving time and resources to things that matter.

    As a highlight of my day, I had the special honour and pleasure of introducing Dr. Gary Birch, executive director of the Neil Squire Society (NSS) and a noted researcher in the field. Gary provided an inspiring talk in the morning about NSS followed by a video in the afternoon. Gary noted that Microsoft technologies are integral to some of the technologies they provide. This is what it is all about–supporting community needs too!

    Check out this link for more…

    Stephen Ibaraki

  9. Richard Davis says:

    Hello All…

    I had a wonderful time at Engerize IT… I also bought 3 shirts, Rick.. 1-me, 1-my tech friend, 1-baby…  I loved the breakout seesions and always love the goodie’s… I’m not if anyone’s mentioned this yet but the “Server Longhorn Beta 2” DVD that was got had no PID (Installation Key), so I can’t use it.  Can you direct me to where to get one…?

    Thanks for all the fun, and see you at the next event…

    Richard Davis

  10. DamirB says:

    Rick posted to the blog on how to get the missing Longhorn key.  You can get info on this by reading the post at http://blogs.technet.com/canitpro/archive/2006/06/27/439058.aspx.


  11. edward says:

    I keep checking my mailbox to see if a Vista DVD arrives as promised at the registration desk since they ran out and not everyone received one.  Next time I’ll know to stay in line and hand in my eval form before the good stuff runs out rather than going to a breakout session.

  12. rclaus says:

    Hey Edward

    Did you send me a contact form from this blog asking for a shipped DVD kit? I do know we had some left over from other venues and that we were planning on shipping them out to people who contacted us.  If you DID leave us the contact and shipping info, something will be going out and I will look into shipping dates for you.


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