Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Nestor Portillo, director of Community & Online Support at Microsoft. Nestor recently participated at Tech*Days Taiwan 2010. He writes about his experience there.
This fall I participated in Tech*Days Taiwan 2010, and it was a great reminder of the vitality and commitment of the MVP community. The event attracted more than 3,000 attendees, offering formal presentations, Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions, rotating Live Stage speakers, and hands-on tutorials—and MVPs provided more than half of the content delivered including explorations of IE9, Azure, Windows Phone 7, and cloud computing.
Tech*Days Taiwan 2010 drew 3,000 participants
Those of us who have the privilege to work with the MVP community are not surprised by that statistic. But Tech*Days Taiwan was a great reminder for me that numbers only tell a small part of the story. What was even more impressive was how MVPs’ participation increased the energy and excitement at the event.
Jeff Chu displays his book on Azure
Because of their respected place in the technical community, MVPs drew huge crowds in the community area and BOF sessions. People told me over and over again, “Wow, this was my first opportunity to meet him!” “It was so great to be able to ask him questions face-to-face!”
Hands-on community learning
How they gained their reputations as technical experts was clear throughout the event. MVPs served as speakers, delivering nearly 40% of the sessions, and they hosted all 10 of the more informal BOF sessions. They jumped on the community stage to provide tips and tricks and answer questions, sharing topical ideas about robotics, Data Core virtual storage, and Pilot Information Thin Client solutions.
But, just as importantly, it was the ways in which they serve as leaders in the community that resonated throughout Tech*Days Taiwan. For instance, several major user groups were provided free MSDN subscriptions. Rather than giving them away to friends or colleagues, two MVPs decided to create their own visibility event, raffling the subscriptions to attendees in order to drive awareness of the value of user groups.
This guy was a huge hit!
When MVPs gather at events like these, they can’t wait to share ideas and experiences. But it’s not all technology all the time. At the Tech*Days Taiwan attendee party, it was great to see the MVPs asked to join each other on stage, singing and truly just enjoying being with each other.
I’m very much looking forward to seeing many of them together again this winter at the 2011 MVP Global Summit!