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.
All 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.
Barnaby 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.
I 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!
I 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.
I 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.