It’s a great feeling when you successfully execute something after months of work. That’s exactly how we feel after BizTalk Summit 2013, London event after 5 months of preparation. I thought I’ll summarise the story of the day when it’s fresh in my mind.
The day began with a warm welcome at Microsoft office, London Victoria, at 7:30 am with Microsoft conference staff ready to help us out in setting up and getting ready for the event. The guests started to arrive at 8am and the registrations started to progress very smoothly. In events like this there are always lot of behind the scene funny stories. Everything progressed normally until we hear the news in BBC about the Helicopter crash in Central London and we received few calls saying they are running late due to train issues. The time passed by and it’s nearly 9’0 clock, we are supposed to kick off the event with keynote and we could find both of our keynote speakers (Guru and Ravi from Microsoft), we couldn’t contact them. So we decided to delay the start by 15 minutes and if we still don’t hear we will swap our first session.
Saravana Kumar kick started the event at 9:15am with his introduction speech welcoming all the guests, introducing all the speakers, the agenda for the day, health and safety information and by the time he finished his speech we saw the keynote speakers in the hall and we decided to bring the event back on track as planned.
Keynote by Guru Venkataraman/Ravi Krishnaswamy
Ravi started the keynote with the funny story, why they are late. Both of them ended up in a completely difference conference that’s held in the same venue. The worst part of this misfortune was, the event also carried guests under same surnames as Venkatraman and Krishnaswamy.
Both Guru and Ravi showcased some of the core features that are added to BizTalk Server 2013, Azure BizTalk Services, and more importantly they demonstrated Microsoft commitment on BizTalk server and openly commented there will be more versions of BizTalk server. They gave an energetic talk, that boosted the morale of the all the BizTalk people in the room who travelled from 15 difference countries to hear about the future of BizTalk Server.
The attendees started to fill up the room quickly and we ran out of seats. We overbooked the event by 5% assuming there will be roughly 10% drop on that day, but against our imagination 128 out of 136 registered people attended the event and made it a huge success. The final summary of the event 128 attendees from 72 companies across 15 countries.
After the keynote 5 technical sessions were presented by our Microsoft Integration MVP speakers
Q & A Panel
The most important session of the day was the Q&A panel consisting of Kent Brown (Microsoft), Ravi Krishnaswamy (Microsoft), Michael Stephenson (MVP), Jon Fancey (MVP), Charles Young (MVP). I personally tried my best to circulate the questions to all panel list, but it’s not a surprise people wanted to hear straight from the horses mouth, so all the questions were mainly targeted towards Ravi and Kent from Microsoft. There were lot of interesting questions, mainly around the product direction and few request to add certain things to the product.
Short Breaks, Lunch, Evening drinks and after event party
In addition to all technical sessions it’s important to provide a good opportunity for people to network and interact. We carefully planned for this while planning for the event with equal number of short breaks, lunch and evening party. This gave attendees the opportunity to speak to Microsoft product group people, speakers and fellow attendees and share their story. We even heard interesting stories like people seeing each other after 10 years. They requested to make this event more often, so that they don’t need to wait for another 10 years . We were initially worried about moving 130+ people in and out of the room during short breaks, but attendees were so professional and made our task easy. After the event lot of people stayed for the drinks at pub nearby and we finished the event around 11:30pm.
What did people say about the event?
We captured few short video clips after the event from the attendees, here is a sample one. We will post the rest shortly. After speaking to lot of attendees the general feeling is the event went extremely well, organised professionally and executed smoothly. They wanted to see this happen again.
Can I watch all the session videos?
We recorded the whole event using a professional video company based in London, they asked for 1 week post production work to edit and publish all the videos. We hope it comes out well. If you wanted to get notified when we post our videos the best place is to subscribe to our facebook or LinkedIn page, that’s where we typically post our media updates.
We sincerely like to thank every one behind the scene who made this event such a huge success
- All Speakers and Microsoft BizTalk Product group members.
- Claire Smith – UK/Ireland MVP Lead
- Shell Ann Russell – Microsoft Event Coordinator
- Mark Atherton – Microsoft Event AV Coordinator
- Monica – Our camera crew
- And the whole BizTalk360 crew members and
- Above all the attendees who made their efforts to come to the event.
Thanks for the lovely weather condition as well, it snowed 2 days before the event and 2 days after the event, PERFECT!!