I'm off to MMS 2011 next month so I thought it would be fun to look back over the Microsoft conferences I've attended in the past. I've dug out the old conference bags from on top of the wardrobe - excuse the dust!
TechEd Europe 2004
29 June - 2 July, Amsterdam
Held in the Amsterdam RAI, this was the first major conference I attended. Some of the key topics covered were the additional security features of XP SP2, Windows ACS (which ended up in SCOM) and running Server 2003 on 64-bit hardware.
Sadly, the conference bag was possibly the worst ever conference bag in the history of conference bags. A bright orange courier bag with a special hook to hold your drum(!). I'm assuming the orange was to help you remember you were in the Netherlands, and the drum... believe it or not, the drum was handed out as part of the keynote. It was fun coming back through customs with this.
TechEd Europe 2005
5 - 8 July, Amsterdam
Again held in the Amsterdam RAI, the big topics in 2005 (for me) were WSUS, LTI and ZTI with BDD and security.
Looking at the bag, it would appear that SQL Server 2005 was a big deal this year. The bag seems a bit conservative compared to 2004!
TechEd: IT Forum 2006
14-17 November, Barcelona
The IT Forum and TechEd events merged in 2006 and TechEd: IT Forum was born. The conference center in Barcelona was excellent, but not quite as good as the RAI in Amsterdam.
I went to a lot of talks about Vista. This was sadly a waste of time thanks to the pain that was/is Volume Licensing 2.0. The original Reduced Functionality Mode in Vista made it impossible for us deploy Vista - we weren't prepared to take the risk that someone's workstation may end up a glorified web browser. Security talks were high on my list again this year - they were not only useful, but helped with the CISSP CPE credits!