Yesterday was an awesome day for me. It was an incredible sight to see about 3000 IT professionals and developers in the ICC at Birmingham. This was the most ambitious launch we have ever tried to pull off, including: 4 tracks, hands-on-labs, sponsor area, ask the expert area, TechNet VIP lounge, Community stage complete with Master Chief, Xboxes galore,TechNet & MSDN stands, HPC stand and executive briefings.
I could not even begin to estimate the number of man hours that have gone into making yesterday happen, but I can tell you that I know you love your swag. I gave away 1000 stress balls, 500 mugs, 500 keyrings, 250 baseball caps and 1000 TechNet rock sweets.
The other area that I didn't mention was the living room that was in the middle of the exhibition area. This wasn't just for a few of you to have a rest and play Xbox, but rather to make those aware of the launch that this year for the first time ever we also have a "Virtual Launch Experience" (VLE).
The team & I finally managed to get this live at about 10.08pm on Tuesday night which was a relief as Gordon Frazer announced it in his keynote at about 9.30am the morning after
One of the most interesting points about the VLE was that it was designed and built with Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio, hosted on Windows Server 2008 accessing SQL Server 2008, and presented in Microsoft Silverlight.
I have spoken about the VLE a lot but here is a reminder of what you can do:
- watch the Steve Ballmer keynote
- view 20 breakout sessions (the pod feature is my favourite)
- go to all the sponsor stands to read PPTs, documents, watch videos or see their offers
- visit the 9 community stands
- take a look at the Microsoft product stands
There are also a number of cool event features:
- an event guide
- a backpack where you can collect collateral from all the stands
- a bookmark
To get to the Virtual Launch Experience go to www.microsoft.com/virtualevents/uk