Thursday at Tech.Ed was booth day.
I spent the whole day manning the booth out on the exhibition floor. In my opinion, that's where the action is. It is where the rubber hits the road for the delegates. It is where these folks have perhaps their only ever interaction with Microsoft, where they can actually talk to a real person who works for Microsoft, and get to ask the tough/hard/easy/dumb question that may have been bugging them for ages. I reckon there is no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to this stuff, just questions in search of answer. It always amuses me when I strike up a conversation with the question asker, and suddenly they realise who they are talking to - 'ah, you're the guy who writes the newsletter', 'long time reader, first time caller', etc One person actually was surprised I existed (I have never had a existentialist crisis), and actually believed I was a made up character of some marketing department in America somewhere. As I told him, "mate - I am a marketing department's worse nightmare".
So, we dealt with lots and lots of questions during the day. And surprisingly, the majority of them had matching answers too.
Late in the afternoon, I was invited to happy hour with the media in the media room - which is their little santuary to get away from the noise (and customers). I had my team come along as well, because I didn't want to be outnumbered and gang tackled by the awaiting media scrum. I was able to convince the boys from The Podcast Network to come along and interview the interviewers. It was cool seeing Cameron walk into the room with his microphone plugged into his iPod. I had a chat with Dan Warne, congratulated him on his recent certification, and then gave him a rundown on the upcoming Visual Express products. Then I had to run to my cabana session with Betsy.
The cabana session was ok. We were in the most far away corner of the Exhibit Hall. Slow people made their way over and Betsy launched into her talk, which was made up of 3 parts - Microsoft's evolution in using blogging, a drilldown on the Technology used with a bit of a review of the architecture of Community Server, then finally some tips & tricks on blogging, which included many many Scobleisms, including the The Corporate Weblog Manifesto. Betsy had many many urls in her presentation, and when I catch up with her today I will post them to the blog. Oh yeah, Angus Logan was there too
From the cabana, we ran to the front of the Exhibition Center and caught the buses to MovieWorld. My prediction of geeks, rollercoasters and booze came true. Yes, I rode a number of the rides - SCOOBY-DOO SPOOKY COASTER & LETHAL WEAPON - THE RIDE. As they say, fun was had by all.
More booth duty awaits today. Gotta run. See you on the Exhibition floor.
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