Early birds may have input on Tech Ed content

Early birds may have input on Tech Ed content

TECH heads who sign up early for Microsoft’s Tech Ed conference this year could help shape the content of the event.

Registration for the annual developers training conference, which runs from August 28 to 31 at Auckland’s Skycity Convention Centre, opens on May 2 and Microsoft plans to ask early birds what they expect from the event.

“We survey those who register early to gauge what they would like to learn about and try to work that into the sessions offered,” says Sean McBreen, head of developer and platform strategy at Microsoft New Zealand.

“What drives people to the event is content — they will only come if it is good.”

McBreen heads the team planning the conference and says their aim is to assist customers and partners to understand how to build solutions on the latest Microsoft software in order to either save money or create revenue.

Tech Ed plays a major role in this strategy.

“Many IT professionals view this as the main training event of the year,” says McBreen, who expects 2,000 IT professionals and developers to attend — a 10% increase over 2004.

A line-up of international speakers will present at Tech Ed 2005 and McBreen says by pooling resources with Tech Ed Australia to jointly fund senior speakers, the quality of presenters and content will be higher than in previous years.

Although the event generally focuses on existing Microsoft technologies, a number of local customers will share their experiences as early adopters of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005, slated for release late this year.

“These new products will be a big focus at Tech Ed,” says McBreen.

Tech Ed 2005 will feature over 50 exhibitors, who will be hosted in one large area this year.

“Based on feedback from last year we decided to allocate more space to exhibitors,” says McBreen.

More break-out rooms will also be provided to accommodate lecture-style training sessions.

McBreen estimates customers comprise 70% and partners 30% of the Tech Ed audience. Early bird registration at a reduced price of $1,499, excluding GST, applies until June 30.

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