Microsoft TechEd 2009: Day 1

12 May 2009

The first day of pretty much every technical conference is tiring, at least from the viewpoint of an exhibitor.

The reason for this is that the organizers of the conference, in order to encourage the flow of attendees past their exhibiting partners, coordinates a reception in the exhibit hall in the evening of the first full day, addition to a session in the afternoon. Attendees can then pick up a drink and a snack and wander around the various booths in an informal manner and see the wares on display (and, it must not be forgotten, get the swag that's being offered).

So for the exhibitors, we get two long sessions (yesterday was two slots of over three hours) and, by the end of the evening, we're bushed. It's a combination of the adrenaline of the first day and the length of the hours and yesterday was no exception. By the time 9pm came round we were, in the British phrase from the 40s and 50s, demob-happy. We 're giving away two brand new Segways in the booth and so we have two rentals to show off, and, needless to say all DXers have now tried them and especially in the last hour. Several crashes and near misses ensued…

Anyway, all in all it was a really good first day for us, from the announcement that we'd won 11 asp.netPRO awards, to the interview with Scott Hanselman and other customers (poor old Jeff not only has to take the footage but also edit it), to the demos, advice, and coding tricks we were giving in our kiosks. I have a bit of a sore throat from talking too much yesterday, especially at volume (the reception can get very loud).

Oh, and another thing: I was wandering around during the break between the afternoon and the evening sessions and I suddenly noticed bottles of hand sanitizers everywhere. In the computer labs: a bottle every 10-15 machines. On the tables with the snacks (of course, being TechEd, all soda, juices and snacks are free), a bottle of sanitizer. At registration, another bottle every few yards. Blimey.

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