I wasn’t kidding about the calm before TechEd – I’ve been slammed for the last 36 hours – hence the lack of posts. Between 11,000+ attendees, our Road Rally and having to fill in for Pat, I’m only just now getting a chance to blog, 36 hours after TechEd started.
I had some free time during the day Sunday, but there wasn’t anything going on yet, so there wasn’t much to post. Then, Sunday night, we had our Architect Road Rally, which I think was a success. There were some issues – registration was a real problem in the beginning. The first three buses brought 50 people each, most of whom we had to register on site so it created a reg backlog. Even though we made some changes on site – primarily not printing event-specific badges for on-site registered attendees – I realize that registration really stunk for about 30-45 minutes after the event started. I think that, once we got past that issue, most people had a good time. Our event staff found a great venue and hired a great company to provide entertainment in the form of RC racing. John introduced me to the Rallisport Challenge 2 people, so we had Xboxes featuring RSC2. The raffles were very popular as were the event shirts – I saw around a dozen people wearing the event shirts today. So, other than the reg issues, I’d say the event worked out as well as I had hoped. TechEd 2004 is our team’s first large scale event to be formally involved in – our events typically run 250 attendees total. To compare, we drew almost 300 for the Road Rally. Marketing an event like this is really tough. The venue could support 300-400 people, but there are 11,000+ TechEd attendees. Even if we only invited architects, there are still somewhere around 1500 attendees who consider themselves architects @ TechEd this year. In the end, while we could have done much better on registration, I really enjoyed the party and think most attendees did too. We certainly had a large number of people on the last couple of busses back to the convention center.
Today started with SteveB’s keynote and the announcements of WSE2 availability, the Information Bridge Framework, and the VS Team System. Becky demoed WSE2 + IBF and Prashant demoed VS Team System. The website was live before the keynote started, a fact I pointed out to Peter who blogged it as Steve was announcing it. Lots of people have been waiting for WSE2 RTM, but I’m really excited to see the response to Team System. I’m working with p&p on some community efforts that will plug into the Architect edition of Team System – watch for that in the coming months.
After the keynote, I delivered ARC300 and 302 – Pat’s sessions. They both went well, though I was pretty nervous during the ARC300 – the Metropolis Overview. Funny, since I’ve delivered that session many times before. Of course, I hadn’t ever delivered it to this large an audience (300 or so – standing room only) or on tape. ARC 302 wasn’t well attended, but those who showed got a preview of Pat’s drilldown on the parallels between the evolution of buildings and applications as well as a good half hour discussion about the metaphor. Maybe since I didn’t have high hopes for that session, I was less nervous. Once Pat finished those new sessions, we’ll tape him presenting them and get them up on the Architecture Strategy Series site as soon as we can.
After the day finished, I ran around getting some track-owner stuff done for tomorrow and then had a HUGE margarita with my team. Now, I need sleep very badly! 😄