TechEd US 2008 IT Professionals, Day One
Tuesday kicked off TechEd 2008 North America IT Professionals week. Attendance is fantastic, with nearly 10,000 people attending from all around the world (that’s an unofficial estimate; I’m sure Microsoft will publish official numbers after the event). We’re exhibiting in the SharePoint Partner Zone, talking to everyone we can about Sonar. A lot of people are interested in SharePoint performance and we’ve had a great deal of traffic so far. The vendor expo was amazing, which I’m sure is due to the free food and booze, and we barely had a chance to breathe. As seems to be the case lately, the number of vendors offering SharePoint-related products and services far exceeds any other product area. As my friend and fellow MVP Robert Foster says, the SharePoint Nation is alive and well!
As with last year, the Office Technical Learning Center was staffed with Microsoft personnel and plenty of MVP’s are lurking about, including Bob Fox, Todd Klindt, Shane Young, Jason Medero, Adam Buenz, Ben Curry, Andrew Connell, Bill English, Heather Solomon, Ted Pattison, Tony Bierman, and, of course, the ever-present Joel Oleson.
Of course, TechEd would not be complete without some after-hours shenanigans. On Monday night, Andrew Connell and Bob Fox hosted the SharePint by Night event at BB King’s. Attendance was fantastic and we filled the place up with the SharePoint Nation. From there we proceeded to take over Pleasure Island with all of our friends from Avepoint. I took a pass on line dancing to hip-hop music as I would be forced to give up my Redneck membership card for life if I did such a thing. Apparently it was fun for everyone involved. Things devolved from there and I believe at one point Bob Fox, Jason Medero and Chris Regan from B&R Solutions were dirty dancing with each other at the Millenium club. Yikes. Glad I missed that.
On Tuesday, the gang joined Ted Pattison at Taverna Opa near the convention center. This may well become my favorite restaurant on planet Earth. Fantastic Greek food, belly dancers, fabulous waitresses (yes, that’s my hat), rocking Greek dance beats, and everybody dancing on the tables! It just doesn’t get any better than that. Oh, and the Ouzo shots…lots and lots of Ouzo shots. Those things are just pure evil. At one point the entire SharePoint Nation was on the tables getting our groove on. There are pictures floating around somewhere (Sean Skinner has a few on his blog), which should prove embarrassing to many. Just to prove how addicting this place is, even John Holliday got jiggy with it during Developer week and was caught shaking his bon-bon up on the tables.
Naturally, all that dancing and boozing was bound to go bad at some point, and my buddy Bob Fox led the charge. For reasons unknown to rational human beings, some brilliant architect decided it would be a good idea to put a large fountain just outside the restaurant. Fountain + Booze = Bob Fox taking an impromptu bath. He was joined at various times by Joel Oleson, Mike Watson, Mike Fitzmaurice, and Ted Pattison, amongst others. We attempted to toss Shane Young and Todd Klindt in at one point but they put up stiff resistance and our efforts proved futile. Somebody was dancing in the fountain in their underwear at some point but I won’t reveal who it was (no, it wasn’t Bob, he kept all his clothes on). The entire thing was completely out of control.
So TechEd 08 begins. There are more events, more parties, and more shenanigans planned for the rest of the week so stay tuned!
UPDATE: The evidence continues to mount that the SharePoint Nation really knows how to party like rock stars…
I remember this one quite clearly:
This one’s a bit hazy:
I don’t remember this one at all (why in the heck did I let Bob Fox wear my hat?):
And this one, well, it just speaks for itself: