K2 is curretly wrapping up Tech Ed Australia and then having the team ready for Tech Ed New Zealand on Sunday at SKYCITY.
The company will be showcasing the new K2 blackpearl platform (sounds nifty) designed to help organisations build & manage better processes faster and more efficiently. K2 provides the platform for a new generation of users to collaboratively assemble dynamic business applications from reusable items.
Did I say their site is quite attractive visually? And you will find an ebook (pdf format) and a short video explaining the platform.
The Datacom contingent of 75 people will include software architects and developers, IT&T specialists, engineers, and sales people.
Don't expect to see a session run by Datacom during Tech Ed, but look for their guys to exchange some knowledge. However, if you're attending the Microsoft Partner Connectionz conference in September, you can catch this company talking about one of their most visible and successful recent projects: NZ Census Online.
I'm told that Datacom build and run some very big integration projects, so perhaps the shy teams behind these projects might pop out and teach us a thing or two at future user groups and events?
Last year Provoke held a draw for a snowboard, but this year they're giving away three. They also some free popcorn for people who solve a Sudoku puzzle, some candy floss and a showcase with a brand new WPF game they designed for this event.
A "carnival brochure" will be going into all of the delegate bags and you will find the coupons for each game, plus information on Provoke's MOSS experts and projects.
Brendon Ford will be presenting the MOSS intranet developed for the Ministry of Transport in the customer track, while Chan Kulathilake is presenting a couple of sessions about the "ins'n'outs" of MOSS implementations.
Before joining Microsoft he was, like myself, a Microsoft MVP (Mobile Devices). Only a couple of years after we met he joined Microsoft and we still enjoy, every week, a coffee together at Cafe Astoria on my weekly coffee meetings there.
He's also one of the guys behind the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2007, with the interesting title of "Content Owner".
In this blog post we have a quick chat about what is behind working on Tech Ed:
What is the Content Owner figure at Tech Ed? What do you do?
The content owner is responsible for all the tracks, sessions and speakers at Tech Ed. Long before tickets go on sale, its my job to figure out what tracks we will have, how many sessions will be in each track and then assign owners for each track. Along the way I get to ensure that all the track owners have what they need and serve as an escalation point for problems and roadblocks they come across.
Once the speakers are sorted, I get to ensure that when (not if) speakers pull out they are managed appropriately and new ones are recruited. As we organize the Australian and New Zealand Tech Ed events together it’s my job to decide which of the sessions will be in New Zealand and which won’t. In addition to all this, I also owned the Web track this year (i.e. got all the speakers, etc).
How much work was involved in managing your tasks and how long before the Tech Ed 2007 you started doing it?
We started in early February this year. The amount of work starts easy and slowly takes over your (work) life as the event gets closer. This week has been pretty mild, but the last few have been hectic. I’ve had up to 200 or more emails a day managing all the last minute bits and pieces, and this while I’m traveling to the U.S. and around New Zealand. It’s been insanely busy – and this year we were well organized...
How many people are coming to speak at Tech Ed?
This year we have around 115 speakers doing a total of 140 sessions (including lunchtime sessions).
And how many people are coming to attend the Tech Ed?
We have around 2200 delegates and around 300 crew, caterers, exhibitors, and other people at the event – so around 2500 total.
Do you know everyone coming to speak? It must be a great phone book?
No. I’d be impressed if I could remember all their names. I have had some sort of correspondence with around 70% of the speakers. I’ve done all the correspondence with the guys in the Web Track – and I’ve corresponded directly to all the speakers from New Zealand and most of the Aussies – so I know most of them.
How do you select the speakers? Recommendations, previous engagement? What someone needs to do to be considered for a speaking slot in a next Tech Ed?
We start by assigning the sessions we want covered. Then we look for program and product managers in these areas. These guys & gals know the most about their products and are generally keen to get the word out and drive adoption. We also look for speakers from previous events such as Mix and Tech Ed in the U.S. as well. This year we aimed to have 80% of our speakers from the U,S. – we knew we’d never get there (quite) but we aren’t too far off in most tracks. Any gaps we fill with local speakers (local being both Australia and New Zealand).
Do you attend the Tech Ed Party or are you too tired by then?
(Here’s a line lots of people would like to be able to use) – It’s my job to be there! And I’m looking forward to it. I always enjoy meeting people at the Tech Fest party – its always great fun!
How many people are involved in organizing the event?
Hmmm… Lots. There is the team at Avenues, the team at Staging Connections doing the technical work (lighting, PCs, networks, etc), Intergen doing the Hands on Labs, lots of people from SkyCity itself, plus the PR company (Text100), lots of Microsofties manning doors, etc, the track owners (around 15 of them including secondaries) and pretty much everyone in the DPE team doing something (Nigel is in charge of the Keynote, Mike is in charge of HOLs, Mark and Mike did the VOC track, Paul and Ryan in charge of Student day, Dean owns the PR and lots of the messaging, Sean is tossing in all the bits we overlook and Rob covers for all the operational work we need to do. The one person who holds all this together is the absolutely amazing Carol – this event is the well oiled machine that it is because of her.
What causes the most work for you?
Speakers pulling out at the last minute. We had nearly an entire track pull out three weeks before the event.
Is this the only thing happening?
Actually not. There are about 25 events related to Tech Ed happening just before, during or immediately after - including the Tech Ed Party, an Architects event, a VIP dinner, speakers' dinner, Women in Technology dinner, .Net Code Camp and more.
I was just reading the Microsoft Tech Ed New Zealand 2007 Sponsors page and found at the bottom of the page that we will have a coffee stand, sponsored by ACE.