Barring any last minute volcanoes I'll be at MMS 2011 next month, so I thought I'd have a look back over some past conferences I've been to. This is a continuation of the conference bag retrospective I started here.
TechEd: IT Forum 2007
13-16 November, Barcelona
SCCM 2007, Bitlocker and lots of security stuff made this a great conference. Well, that and the weather. And the food. And the architecture. And....
TechEd EMEA IT Professionals 2008
3-7 November, Barcelona
The last TechEd in Barcelona, and finally I get to the Camp Nou. A Champions League tie against FC Basel which ended 1-1. Messi scored for Barca, I can't remember who scored for Basel.
The talks from the conference are available online at msteched.com, here are some I'd recommend
Windows Security Boundaries by Mark Russinovich
Advanced Operating System Deployment Part 2 (Part 1 seems to be missing)
TechEd EMEA 2009
9-13 November, Berlin
The last European TechEd I attended was sadly the worst. I don't know what happened in the organisation of this event, but it was terrible in comparison to (at least) the five previous TechEds.
The scheduling was bad on two fronts. The first day of the conference was the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall. While it was great to be in Berlin for such a historic event it meant hotel rooms were hard to come by and expensive. The scheduling of the talks was poor too - similarly themed talks either clashed or were at different ends of the conference center. Popular talks were put in small rooms and there were a number of hastily arranged repeat talks.
The Messe conference center was nice, but they obviously didn't have enough room. Corridors were packed during transitional periods and some rooms didn't even have four walls. Some of the rooms had a curtain separating the auditorium from the corridor making it difficult to hear the speaker.
Bottled water was no longer available, instead provided by water coolers. Unfortunately there were no cups and they didn't have enough water bottles to supply with the conference bags.
Berlin as a city was great (I'd recommend the currywurst if you're visiting).
It's a pity the conference organisers had a nightmare.