On Saturday June 5th, 2010, I spent my Saturday morning at the NYC Silverlight FireStarter. Presenting was Peter Laudati from Microsoft and Jason Beres, Matt Van Horn and Todd Snyder from Infragistics. I watched the Simulcast for the morning sessions as I was tied up with some work, but ended up finally making it to the Microsoft Office and had the opportunity to attend the last hour of the event in person.
For me, the quality of the Simulcast was as good as in-person attendance so far as sound/video quality and the interaction with speakers. In the background was a screen with tweets from remote attendees asking questions or commenting on the presentations. Presenters did periodically stop to answer the tweeted questions as well as questions from attendees. Only thing I missed was getting my hands on some of that swag that was (literally) flying in the air at the event floor.
Upon my arrival at the Microsoft Office Location in NYC, I spoke with Rachel Appel and Peter Laudati asking for permission to take a few photos to record the outstanding effort that took place in putting this event together. Both agreed and I started with putting my photography skills to work.
You can always gauge the quality of an event with the number of its attendees who opt to stay till the last minute as well as the level of interaction of the audience with the speaker. With most of the FireStarter attendees remaining till the very end of the talk, and with the many questions that were asked, one can simply judge the event as a success as per my aforementioned criteria.
Evaluation forms were passed around and Peter strongly encouraged the audience to openly speak their mind as they record their comments. I didn't get to submit my evaluation as I was busy recording the event in photos, so here it goes: I believe that lots of hard work was put into making this event a reality. Quality of speakers, topics and level of Geekiness at the event was outstanding. Overall, aside from a minor issue with Lunch delivery time, this event was of high quality and I am very sure everyone's evaluation will be in line with my analysis of it being a great success.
Below are a few photos of the event.
Site Director - West Palm Beach .Net User Group
NYC Silverlight FireStarter Speakers - From Left to right: Peter Laudati, Todd Snyder, Matt Van Horn & Jason Beres
As jason wasn't quiet visible in the above photo, a closeup was taken (It was Jason's birthday and he had to leave a bit early, so the Infragistics team thought outside the box...)
Full Room - That was at the last hour of the event
Another view of full room
Discussions during the break