I had booth duty, in the Microsoft Exchange TLC (The Learning Center) area from 10:30 – 12:30PM. The tradeshow floor opened at 10:30 and the attendees came to the TLC area to ask questions. In the two hours I was there I had about ten or so people come by. Most of which had good technical questions, which between my peers and I we were able to answer I believe. About half the people had Exchange 2010 in the lab or were in the migration planning process and wanted to have their designs roughly confirmed. There were others who hadn’t seen 2010 yet and had general questions. Also had multiple questions about virtualization and Exchange.
At 12:30 I left to go find my room for my BoF (Birds of a Feather) session on “Hardware Enhancements for the Microsoft Collaboration Infrastructure.” There were about 10 people who showed up for this “session.” The BoF sessions are free form Q&A and there is no set agenda or presentation. Most of the questions were about Exchange or SharePoint 2010. I spoke multiple times how network acceleration devices can help, like Riverbed, where virtualization does and doesn’t make sense, the database and high availability changes. Also talked about SharePoint data management and governance. I had to work the crowd a bit to keep things going, there were a few that just wanted to listen but after a few questions they participated a bit. There were four main people who were interacting well.
After this session was over I bumped into Chris Scharff, a fellow Exchange MVP, and we hung out for a bit before I left to go lunch. Jumped on the bike and went to Pies, Pizza, & Pasta, which is pretty close to the convention center. I was the only one there and ended up talking to the bartender about NOLA, she grew up in the area and left for ~3 years after Hurricane Katrina. Talked about BP\oil spill for a bit and changes to the area post Katrina.
Went back to the trade show to attend a session on Upgrading from Exchange 2003/2007 to 2010: Tips, Tricks, and Lessons Learned by Rand Morimoto & Jeff Guilet. After this I had had booth duty again after lunch and went back to the trade show floor. It was much more crowded this time since this was the evening reception, where Microsoft provides free food and beer and that brings out the geeks J
After the floor closed at 9PM I went to Coops for dinner, again, and hung out for a bit in the area listening to a couple of bands. Since I had an 8AM meeting with some fellow Exchange MVPs I went back to the hotel and was in bed around midnight. Another good day in New Orleans.
Looking for places to eat and things to do in NOLA check out: http://izzy.org/NOLA