I have some time on the airport to write down some final thoughts of what this Convergence meant to me (actually, I had to wait for 8 hours for my connecting flight from Washington to Brussels - luckily I decided to pay Washington a (very very) quick visit. Washington Dulles Airport has been named "Dulles" for a reason - but anyway).
This was my 4th Convergence. Previously, I went to Munchen, San Diego and Copenhagen. This was by far the most interesting one - as well as personally as professionally.
Location: Orlando Orange County Conference Center
This time, Microsoft used the Orange County Conference Center in Orlando. Personally, Orlando isn't really my favorite destination. Everything seems so fake down there. Disney World, Universal Studio's and some other attractions have a lot to do with, but also ... Orlando doesn't feel like a city. It's more like a huge theme park without a theme or townhall . People call it "Toon Town" or "Plastic City" for a reason . I liked Denver (WWPC) and San Diego a lot better for that matter. Anyway, I had some spare time to visit the Kennedy Space Center (Cape Canaveral) - which was interesting.
What about the Green Initiative
In one of my previous blogs, I announced that Microsoft made a huge effort to keep the conference as "green" as possible. The waterbottle-instead-of-a-humongous-amount-of-plastics-cups was a remarkable initiative for that matter. More then 9500 attendents got a nice blue reusable waterbottle ... Too bad that still, the plastic cups remained available to use, and still, people kept on using them, causing for, still, a big pile of wasted plastic. I was surprised to see that.
As you might have read, I had a lot to do at the conference. I worked about 10 hours in the Community and Learning Center and about 5 hours in the Expo, spread over 4 days. Now, do not be mistaken ... This was my own choice. I first put together my agenda with all the sessions I wanted to attend. The spare time I suggested to Microsoft to fill it up with Expo and C&L center. Both are a very good way to not only help, but also meet people with different kinds of interests and problems - which was one of my primary goals this conference.
I am grateful to Microsoft that they trusted me on this. I suppose they know their own people's knowledge, but I guess they don't know mine ... . I'm glad they wanted to take the risk and I hope their experience (with me) was as positive as mine (with them) .
Well, not much more to say about that. Besides of one session (hardware session) I've written everything down in my previous blogs. Overall, the content was good and the sessions were brought in an interesting way. Only two things disappointed me. The in summer to be released SQL Tool and the small new features in 5.0SP1, which are not 100% worked out. Also the Michael Devoe's statement about index hinting bothers me a bit.
Because of the full schedule, there wasn't much free time. I won't go into it too deeply. Just wanted to say that mainly Olga accompanied me. I really appreciated that . Thanks, Olga, I really had a blast! I also got to know Philippe and Gary better. Those guys are hillarious!
Last day, I visited the Kennedy Space Center. If you're sick of fake Orlando I, Kennedy Space Center is a good way to get out of it .
Good conference, bad location, nice opportunities, mainly good content, very amusing free time, nice Space Center!
And to you guys (and girls), thanks for reading my blog. Your comments keep me going.
Thanks for all the info Eric