Tech.Ed 2010 lacking the buzz of past years

Attendees report a quiter event, but are happy with how things are proceeding

Despite selling out to a capacity crowd of 2700 people, this year’s Tech.Ed conference on Queensland’s Gold Coast doesn’t quite live up to the events in previous years, according to attendees.

Computerworld Australia interviewed those perusing the expo area of the event, who said Tech.Ed 2010 was lacking the enthusiasm they had seen in the past.

“I’ve been [to Tech.Ed] a few times and it seems like there’s less people here this year, there’s not the same kind of energy,” said delegate Craig Roberts.

According to Richard Angus, this year’s conference is “not too bad”.

“It’s about my sixth [Tech.Ed] I think. It certainly doesn’t appear to be as busy this year, it’s just different I guess,” he said.

(In Pictures: Tech.Ed 2010)

However, attendees did not blame Microsoft for the underwhelming vibe of the convention, instead attributing it to the current national climate.

“I think it’s probably more the environmental climate rather than what MS have done, the vibe in the business community is flat, the election hasn’t yet been resolved, and the GFC,” said Roberts.

“I think they’ve done a fairly good job given the economic situation and so on, I think it’s been alright,” Angus said.

Despite this, delegates were still generally pleased with the proceedings.

“It’s still our best event all year, we come every year and this is our target audience,” Neil McCosh told Computerworld Australia. “We meet a lot of our online postgraduate students that we never meet face-to-face so it’s fantastic to see them in the flesh.”

“By the number of our registrations we’re up to, we’ll be very happy at the end,” he added.

While some delegates thought the pace was noticeably slower at this year’s event, some preferred it that way.

“I like it, it seems a bit more intimate rather than being amongst the masses, you get a lot more quality traffic coming past us, whereas as at other events we’ve been kind of lost among things,” said delegate Jeff Allen.

“I’ve actually really enjoyed the way they’ve done the speeches and all the training sessions, they sort of stepped them... everyone’s not out of the hall at the same time and then everyone doesn’t come in and crowd you heavily, it’s been well spaced, well thought out,” delegate Stuart Geros told Computerworld Australia of his first Tech.Ed experience.

The event has attracted some media attention however, with Microsoft apologising to any attendees at its Tech.Ed conference on the Gold Coast who were scandalised by its use of Meter Maid girls as promotional assistants, explaining that it didn’t know the girls would turn up wearing bikinis.

Read more at the Tech.Ed 2010 news centre.

Chloe Herrick travelled to Tech.Ed as a guest of Microsoft.

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