It’s hard to believe my team started TechDays 2010 in Vancouver WAY BACK in September! This has been one long run from planning over a year ago to delivery wrapping up next week in Calgary. I thought I would share some interesting thoughts and lessons learned along the way. Our team sits down after every event and goes through every evaluation comment for each day from each attendee that submits their evals. We gather up the info to see if there are any immediate adjustments that have to be made AND if there are changes that can be incorporated into future TechDays events still to come OR for next time around.
One thing that came up a number of times over the last couple of cities was “give us time to network and decompress at breaks and lunches”. So – Instead of trying to hit you over the head with more tech demos or keynote talks about different things at lunch – we’ve lightened it up AND got out of your way so you can network and chat OR visit the Rogers Collaboration Lounge.
Local partners and local speakers matter. We’ve realized that there is great value in connecting you with LOCAL resources both as presenters and partners to turn to for projects. I mean – after TechDays is done and wrapped up in your city – you need to know where you can go locally for hlep or resources, right? We’ve had a number of partners help make TechDays a success – but I have to call out Imaginet here in Winnipeg for pulling out all the stops. They covered speakers for over 10 sessions here in Winnipeg as well as supporting us with speakers on the road. They even took it upon themselves to have an open invitation to all Attendees for an “after-party” at Shanahans across from the venue. Great to see TechDays attendees mixing it up, talking with everyone and trying out the Kinect (Sorry for #clausing it during the Miguel and Bristowe dance off).
Something else that’s new is asking for MORE CONTENT and possibly extending this from a two day affair to longer. hummmmm. Sounds like a good idea, but it will end up increasing the costs. Same goes for the constant request for “Free Internet please” – you wouldn’t believe how much this costs, freakin’ outrageous what venues charge in this day and age. Suggestions like these and others that come up get rolled into planning activities which believe it or not are already underway for next year!
But by far – the Biggest comment that comes back again and again and again… WHERE CAN I GET THE DECKS AND DOWNLOAD VIDEOS? Good news is that Toronto recordings are for the most part all up there (maybe 5 aren’t due to corruption) and Montreal recordings are on the way. You can get them from the TechDays.CA website after you sign in with your LiveID. A new option shows up in the top right corner that says “Techdays 2010 Resources”. click on the link to expand the list and get access to the decks, videos AND any associated hands on virtual labs! For some reason people were still confused on how to get them – in fact an attendee here in Winnipeg decided to put up a Step-by-step blog post on how to get at the goods – go check it out (Thanks Jared!)
I’m heading back home on Friday for a brief visit before packing up one last time this year to head out on Sunday to TechDays Calgary!