TechEd Europe trip report

Colin Miller recently spent some time in Europe at TechEd and filed this report:

Good morning from the last day at TechEd in Europe! I brought my camera to document the trip but, as you will see, I only remembered to take one picture. It was that hectic.

The trip started with the first porting training we have held in Europe. A number of companies attended and seemed to be pleased. As always, it’s nice to have these events—arranged from the US—come together without a hitch. We had several boards to give away during this session, which was held the Sunday before TechEd Developers in Barcelona.

TechEd, at least in Europe, has been split into a developer track and an IT track, each five days. We only participated in the developer session. Monday was taken up with press briefings and setting up the booth followed by press and general receptions. The booth was open for the general reception.

We have a new PR contact in Europe, Nick, who was quite pleased by the level of interest in the product by everyone we talked to. It was good to have someone remind me how easy it is to get people excited about the possibilities of the .NET Micro Framework. On the other hand, only about half of the press we talked to have heard about the platform. We still have work to do in getting the word out.

OK, here is my one picture. This is Roger in the booth, all set to go, totally jetlagged but hanging in there, just before the doors opened for the reception. Things were non-stop at the reception, with only two of us there and frequently four or five people to talk to. We quickly learned to be quite succinct in giving an overview. The following days allowed people who were interested to come back for more in-depth discussion. These were mostly developers, and the most common questions were variations on “Which is the most affordable development board, and where do I order it?” People who had never made a commercial embedded device were asking how to find someone who can make the plastics for them. The most unusual application concept came from someone who is going to update the automation of his wife’s hobby of dog racing! It reminded me of the early days of the PC, when anyone could create the applications they imagined without $50 million in venture capital.

There were two .NET Micro Framework talks given by Dave Baker and Rob Miles. They were quite a stand-up team. The first session was during the press reception, so I could not attend that one, but people started coming to the booth immediately, saying that they had been to the session and had been quite excited by it. I did get to attend the second session—and they really were that good! Very engaging and gave a good representation of how to use the platform.

One last day in Germany for some meetings, then home again after two weeks.

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