Overall, this year has been a pretty good TechEd. I’ve always thought ‘05 & ‘08 (both in Orlando) were the best I’ve attended and ‘10 was probably my least favorite (this was more due to the weather than anything.)
This one is right in the middle, maybe leaning towards good rather than bad. There’s a lot of really excellent content on Windows Phone and Azure, plenty of interesting side events (including the WP7 Hackathon – which overall was awesome.)
The facilities are nice and OMG huge. Until I found the super secret shortcut, it was taking me nearly a half hour EACH way to walk from the expo hall to the dining hall. Everything is clean, well stocked, well staffed. Serious no complaints there.
The weather has been magnificent, if not unseasonably cold for Atlanta in May (fine with me… I’m loving it.)
The only complaint, and it’s a big one, are the vendors. They seem way more aggressive this year. Not ALL of the vendors, most are fine, but some of them are completely obnoxious. Accosting people as they walk by, screaming incredibly loud during their presentations and giveaways and just generally being a nuisance. It’s gotten to the point where people are deliberately avoiding eye-contact when they walk past the booths because they don’t want to deal with the nuisance of explaining for the 50th time that they don’t want to take a survey so they can get a stupid blinky ball and they don’t want you to scan their badge so you can email them a million times just so they can get a 1 in 15000 chance of winning a Harley. It’s almost enough to keep me out of the expo hall. If I didn’t have friends and colleagues in there, it probably would.
It seems the hardware vendors and the azure vendors are the worst offenders, by far.
Aside from that, it’s been a good year.