Sunglasses ... check.
Reading glasses ... check.
Camera ... check.
Notebook ... check.
Netbook ... check.
Backpack .. check.
Mobile ... check.
Charger ... and charger ... and charger ... and charger ... wait, better put in another charger. Check.
Miscellaneous cables. Check.
Party sponsorships. Um. Check?
AntiFail™, road repellent, sense of direction... hmm, better stock up.
While I think of it, better take some clothes and toiletries.
Are you getting ready for TechEd yet? I am, though in my usual style, the real preparation will happen late Saturday night. At the moment, I'm mainly following up on AuTechHeads party details, fixing the odd site bug, answering and sending all manner of odd emails, looking after various family emergencies and, of course, working at my day job.
This will be my third year in a row at AuTechEd, and second time for Gold Coast as the venue. Of course this year I'll be somewhat more involved - in addition to the pre-conference training and conference sessions, I have my party duties, helping out in the user group lounge in some capacity, podcasting, recording video, blogging, tweeting, road avoiding, bacon consuming and more. I'm even involved as a roving reporter - I've yet to clarify whether this means I have to make lame jokes in front of a studio audience every Sunday, but I do know video is involved.
I enjoy Tech.Ed, and I find the more involved and engaged I am the more I get out of it. Last year, 2009, was (for me) lighter on technical content, but in a number of ways it improved over 2008. Particularly in networking and meeting people, which of course we succeeded in carrying through into AuTechHeads as a separate and independent, all-year round group. After the years I've spent in the industry, I find myself more and more enjoying the company of other like-minded people over just the challenges and new technologies. Events like Tech.Ed make it so much easier to connect, and now our group endeavours to make it easy to stay connected!
Naturally, one of the big highlights of the week will be the AuTechHeads party. I'm really excited about being able to meet a lot of new people who've to date only existed "online" for me - as well as catching up with plenty of old friends! Since I'm up at the Gold Coast from Sunday afternoon, I can't say that it'll kick off the week for me - but it'll certainly kick off the conference proper! I'm also proud of it since it's "the event we created" - it's our first time, but it's coming together well (and continuing to give us pleasant and welcome surprises)!
I find Tech.Ed is what you make of it, and though each year has its own signature, it runs on a consistent basis. For me, the main event is an intensive three days of tech, training, and social and professional networking, with some seriously late nights thrown in. Prior to that, the pre-conference training has been comparatively quiet. Well, not this year. I'm expecting to be busy from Monday onward - lots to organise, lots of people to see and lots to do. That's cool - I like being involved and engaged. From Tuesday night onwards, it's going to be crazy!
What about you? What expectations do you have? Are you going in with low or high expectations? First time or veteran?
Is there something you don't - or do - want to see from past years? People you're looking forward to meeting or catching up with?
Are you disappointed Microsoft didn't repeat the netbook giveaway? Or thrilled at the Crumpler bag?
Will you be cruising through the conference or making the most of every second? Early night or late night drinks?
Will it be a welcome change from a supposedly short election that seems like it'll never end? Coming to our party?
Add your comments here, or join up to our AuTechEd 2010 group and start making connections with others who are going!
Edited by Elly Hart, 12.03pm, August 15, 2010.
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