BizTalk360 organized the first ever Integration focused event in India on September 10, 2016. Integration Day Bangalore was a one day event at Microsoft GTSC, Bengaluru focusing on integration technologies like Azure, Logic Apps, Service Bus, Event Hubs, BizTalk and lot more. In this blog, I will take you on a ride (yes, it was indeed a ride!) of the preparations, the drama and how we managed to finally pull off the event. Fasten your seat belts; crew – please be seated for take off!
Integration Day Bangalore – Pre-event preparations
In my earlier blog on the Integration Day Bangalore event, I had mentioned the brief history of how we decided to organize this kind of event in India, about our TechMeet360 initiative, the speaker line up for the event, and how we progressed on the ticket registrations. I will directly jump to T-3 days to the event.
T-3 days to the event
Preparations were in full swing for the goodies that were to be given away to participants, making the travel arrangements for BizTalk360 employees, printing and arranging the banners, id badges, certificates and lot more. While everything was moving as planned, we were suddenly jolted to know that there would be a state wide strike in Karnataka on September 9th between 6 AM and 6 PM. Our initial plan was to car pool and drive down from Coimbatore to Bangalore for the Integration Day Bangalore event with all the goodies. Less knowing the intensity of the situation in Bangalore, we still decided to stick to our travel plans.
T-2 days to the event
All the goodies, swags, ID cards, certificates reached the BizTalk360 office. Our team got on their toes to sort out the goodies company wise, and pack the things we had to carry for the event. Kudos to our new batch of fresher recruits who helped us with all the event activities beyond their call of duty. Finally, at around 07:30 PM, we had packed up stuffs worth 95 kilograms for the Integration Day Bengaluru event. Here’s some pictures from the pre-event preparations.
In parallel, we were constantly monitoring the news channels to get updates on the situation in Bangalore, and to our agony, things became even worse! We were advised by families, friends, and relatives not to take the risk of driving down to Bangalore as the situation was tense across the state border. We had very less time to think and re plan the whole agenda. We re-planned the whole itinerary which meant that few of us would reach Bengaluru before 7 AM on September 9 (Friday) with some packages related to the event, and few of us would reach later during the day (which was a massive risk that we took). But, not a moment through this crisis did the BizTalk360 team lose their confidence of hosting the event. A huge round of cheers to the event management team for keeping their calm.
T-1 day to Integration Day Bangalore event (September 9) – The drama
The first BizTalk360 team reached Bangalore by 8 AM (amidst all the tension that prevailed in the IT capital city in India). The next team reached Bengaluru airport by 08:30 AM with the remaining set of packages for the event. We almost paid an excess baggage allowance for about 50 kilogram of stuff we were carrying. When we landed at Bengaluru, we felt we had eased out 50% of the tension that was building on us over the last couple of days.
To our horror, all we could see was a deserted look — no airport cabs, no airport shuttle services, no radio taxis! Absolutely nothing! We somehow managed to get a private taxi vehicle by paying a whopping 3x fare to our hotel. We had no other choice. We hopped on to the cab and made our way through a deserted Bengaluru city towards the hotel. We almost crossed half the distance and now we felt that we had eased out 75% of the tension from us.
While everything was going smooth, panic and trouble started coming our way. At one point, we were almost mobbed by the protesters (as we were taking a ride on a tourist vehicle which was not supposed to operate on the day of the strike). A few more seconds and it would have been a different story altogether. Our cabbie almost did a F1 style of driving through narrow roads to get away from the mob. My heart definitely skipped few beats there! After navigating ways back to the highway and multiple failure attempts, the cabbie gave up and said we can’t move any further. He advised us to pull over to some friends/relatives place close by, stay indoors till 6 PM, and then head to the hotel when things become normal. Finally, that’s exactly what we had to do and by God’s grace, we had a friend’s place in the close vicinity. We hopped off and stayed indoors till 6 PM.
While all this happened, our CTO/Founder Saravana Kumar landed in Bengaluru. Check out his narration of the experience at Bengaluru –
Hours passed by at the speed of a minute, and finally, we crossed the 6 PM time. All of a sudden, you could start to hear the hustle and bustle, sounds of vehicles on the road, and Bengaluru was back to normal as if nothing had happened in the last 12 hours. We started our final journey towards the hotel, picked up Saravana, and reached the hotel at 07:45 PM. Finally! A sigh of relief as we reached the destination with all the packages for our Integration Day Bangalore event. Again, the point to mention here is about the enthusiasm level of the team – absolutely on the high and fully determined to make the event a successful one.
Don’t miss to read out the Event Recap blog here. The download links to all the presentations are made available in this blog.