May 20, 2009
Microsoft TechEd India 2009 was a great success. Here are some of the photos uploaded.
Reached Hyderabad on the 12th May, 2009 afteroon around 12:00 PM bearing the heat that raised to 43 degrees celsius. Visited the venue for setting up the community pavilion and ensuring the give aways have reached and on place. We have the India Community Guide printed that goes into every attendee kit and ensure the agency does their job of inserting them in the kit. Download the India Community Guide here.
Long queues at the registration desk however, a separate shorter queue for all those registered through the user groups via the 25% discount offer and winners of free entry. In addition, Microsoft had provided a free entry to all the user group leaders those promoted about Tech.Ed in their respective communities which also helped us in conducting a UG Leader summit in association with Culminis, Ineta APAC with free accomodation throughout 3 days (Details on the summit to follow below)
As you enter in, you would find several stalls, however it is not the same case for the communities. We are provided with a large room for conducting all the community buzz to which we call “The Community Pavilion”. We set up the room with all the extra India Community Guides and the Leader Hunt Contest Forms which the attendees passing by may pick one, relax on the couch and interact with the Community leads, attend the un-conferences from afternoon, etc…
We enter the auditorium to see it jam packed with audience waiting for the Key note of Steve B. The event starts with a performance by Agnee singing the Tech.Ed anthem and followed by Steve B entering at the end of the song. Few updates from his speech and discussion with the audience can be found here.
The event starts as per its agenda and we visit the community pavilion. From here, I will now be just putting up the details of the activities that we did with promoting the communities.
We had a contest on User Group Leader Hunt running. The basic objective of this contest was for attendees to know more about the communities and interact with the user group leaders. The attendees also get an opportunity to get in contact with their local user group leader, which most would have not known or interacted with. And at the same time, a recognition to the leader.
The idea of this contest was that the forms containing the user group name and it’s leader’s name mentioned in blocks. All that the contestant needs to do is visit the community pavilion, attend un-conferences, find badges of the leads, etc… and search them, interact, and take their signature. Check the photograph at left. Download the form here.
This contest initiative generated the highest buzz and a good participation from the attendees contesting. The community pavilion was soon getting packed for un-conferences and user group leaders being surrounded outside for interaction and signatures / autographs :-) and get goodies (Caps, T-shirts, Wooden Pens, Stress Balls) in return.
Interviews with Media:-
Some media personnel from few of the best news channels in India entering the pavilion in regular intervals to learn more on the communities and take interviews and shoot videos of the volunteers at work. It was a real great experience interacting with them.
Day 2 starts with the Oscar winner Resul Pookutty’s keynote and in the same format, back to pavilion.
Dart Game Competition:-
The leader hunt contest continues. However, we had a requirement of more space in spite of the community zone for setting the Dart game. Hardik helped setting that on the X-box zone by providing the 25% of its space and the community now conquers another area for its reach We have the contest forms and community guides scattered on the table there for attendees to collect with the Dart board set and people queue up for their chance to hit the dart and win some goodies. Another most attractive zone for public to wander around and stay participating with the community.
UG Leaders Summit:-
As said earlier, we had arranged a UG Leaders summit and that happened in a closed meeting where we discussed about the current happenings around the user groups, user group leaders sharing some best practices. UG Leads affiliated to Culminis, Ineta, PASS discussing about their expectations and requirements with the volunteer leads of the association. Services from Culminis, Ineta, Pass being shared and their plans for FY10, and a major discussion on the post Tech.Ed initiatives. We will now be conducting mini Tech.Ed tagged with name as “Tech.Ed on the Road”. I will blog about this in detail on next post and provide all some better insights.
The attendees of the UG leaders summit were Microsoft DPE team, Culminis Team, Ineta Team, SQL Pass team, India Community Council members, UG Leaders, and some leading MVPs. All of them those associated with the community. This gave a better opportunity for all to have a formal get together and understand each other.
Community Evening (A fun filled party):-
The buzz just happened throughout the day as usual but today was even special. We had a party in the evening. Free beer, soft drinks, fruit juice etc… with munchies were served and a better opportunity to network with the community leads, MVPs, Microsoft, Culminis, Ineta, Pass, and few of the contest winners of the day in UG Leader Hunt who managed getting all the signatures.
The party was sponsored by Microsoft UGSS and partly by Culminis and Ineta.
We had some Culminis jerseys designed as give aways which were distributed for the attendees to wear at the event. Few jerseys were specially customized for the UG leaders and Microsoft DPE team with their name printed at the back. All were simply looking cool and as Culminis team players / supporters all over
Adding to that it was even exciting to watch the IPL T20 Cricket match being telecasted Live on the large screen via http://www.iplt20.com/ that was developed on Silverlight by Microsoft.
On day 3, still as the same above contests continue (today being the last day of the event and also the Leader Hunt contest), we had lots of more work to do before winding up.
Time to wind up:-
Several goodies from Culminis, Ineta, Pass that were being left out in excess were sorted and packed for all the UG leads available to carry back with them for using in the TechEd on the Road event. Cartons for each user group were filled completely and sealed. Excellent coordination and collective efforts seen here by all volunteers in seggregating them. Finally few more those remaining were saved seperate for the on site contests (dart game, Leader Hunt, Ineta True or False contests etc…
Much said about the community activities in whole, this is the first time one would see a lot of community participation at Tech.Ed and we look forward to have the same momentum going. Hope to see more community participation happening from every user group members with their local communities. View the photographs in the above slideshow to know more about the Tech.Ed as an event than the community activities.
After all these active contribution, we should really thank all the User Group leaders who came down and actively volunteered, the India Community Council Members, Sanjay Shetty (Regional Director, and Regional Lead APAC and EMEA for Microsoft UGSS) for his leadership, and DPE team at Microsoft whose invaluable support on providing an access and platform to the communities helped in making the community initiatives succesful, which wouldn’t have been else.
Sanjay has another blog post summarizing here.
Tech.Ed does not stop here… as we say, Tech.Ed Lives Here. Yes, now the Tech.Ed lives in the Communities and all the user groups are now taking the initiatives forward in June 2009 and few of the Tech.Ed sessions will be happening in your local user group. If you have missed the opportunity of attending the TechEd in Hyderabad, here is your sure-shot opportunity to join the heat wave and movetowards your nearest community.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!