SharePoint Connections 2007 Day One

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SharePoint Connections 2007 Day One

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It’s the first day of the SharePoint Connections 2007 conference and so far I’m feeling a bit underwhelmed. Registration was easy enough and – naturally – they loaded me down with yet another backpack I have absolutely no use for. I scanned the schedule only to discover that Monday is considered a "pre-conference" day – no sessions except Ben Curry’s Installation and Deployment presentation. Say what? Okay, I figured I could hang in the expo hall and field questions at the SharePoint Server booth or drop in on Ted Pattison or the Mindsharp guys. Oh nay, nay – the expo hall doesn’t open until 8PM. About now I’m feeling like I’ve dropped into some bizarre Twilight Zone episode – who in their right mind expects attendees to visit exhibitors from 8 – 10PM with the first keynote speech not happening until 7PM?

Right, I figure all can be overcome if I jump on the wireless network and put out a few fires back at the office then go through some backlogged blog reading. Denied again. The wireless is so poor that even if you can connect you can’t get to anything – a 28.8 modem would faster. I’m getting really sick and tired of conference organizers who can’t figure out how to provide free wireless internet access (free being a relative term as we’re paying a hefty price to be here in the first place). Five years ago this kind of thing might be expected but these days it’s inexcusable. From now on before I book for a conference I’m going to be grilling somebody about internet connectivity, you can bet on that.

So I sat in on the end of Ben’s presentation who did a great job with an able assist from Bob Fox. We then met up with some of the other MVP’s, including Andrew Connell, Ishai Sagi, Asif Rehmani, Dustin Miller, Todd Baginski, Dan Attis, and, of course, April Spence – our humble ringleader – at JPop/Sushi in the Mandalay Bay. Bob and a business associate (didn’t get her permission to post here name so she shall remain anonymous) joined my wife and I for dinner at Rum Jungle in Mandalay Bay – one of the best kept secrets in Las Vegas – and we then retired to Nine Fine Irishmen to investigate the quality of their beer selection. At one point April, Todd and his fiancée, and Asif dropped by but were quickly off to get their thrills on the roller-coaster atop New York New York. We decided that the ground was already moving quite well under our own inebriated feet so we stayed put. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Irish Car Bombs quaffed in a single sitting – and that was just the girls! We wrapped up the night without ever finding out what happened to the rest of the B&R crew who were strangely absent for the entire evening.

Tomorrow is a full slate of sessions and time in the Expo hall so I should be quite busy. Don’t forget AC’s meet-up at the former Coral Reef Lounge (it’s now called Sushi and/or JPop depending on who you ask but it’s in the same place) at 6PM. See you there!