Last week I had a great pleasure to be at TechEd Europe, standing at Data Warehousing booth. Although it was my seventh or eighth TechEd, I missed two last ones and was not so sure what to expect this time.
Honestly, my primary concern was about organizational stuff. But the venue and the event itself were really well-prepared. As you can see, at the 10 AM on the first day we also were ready:
Two days passed by, and we started to notice a strange thing — to see what I mean take a look at another picture:
Yes, the booths were full of people interacting with each other, but as you can see, most of them were speakers, Microsoft employees or stuffers. Those discussions were great, but personally I would not mind answering more attendee’s question … as long as they were not like “Please, tell me something about this SQL Server thing…” or “How much does this screen cost?” BTW. This touchscreen actually was impressive:
I also heard that the number of attendees was below organizers” expectations. And indeed, there were free spaces left, at least at SQL sessions.
In summary, this year Microsoft put a lot of efforts to make this conference a great experience and fun, and in my opinion managed to divert the depressing trend. On the other hand, attendees seemed to be less interested then five or so years ago. So, what, if anything, will we see the next year?