The last three years I have been extraordinarily lucky that I have been able to attend Microsoft TechEd. Every year I have participated in a group known as #TheKrewe and I have striven to force myself into social situations more and more every year.
What is #TheKrewe?
#TheKrewe 2013 Group Photo
“The Krewe is a community organized professional networking group. Our mission is to build a dynamic networking community through various activities and gatherings. The Krewe primarily meets at Microsoft TechEd North America every year where we have The Krewe Meet ‘N Greet the day prior to the opening of the conference. Our group takes Networking to a whole new level, we are all close friends and are open to helping each other in any way possible be it through charitable works or by helping solve a question that has you stumped in your professional life. We are IT people from every level of the career, you may find someone totally new to IT who is just starting off or meet someone who has 20 years’ experience and is an MVP, MCT, MCP and any other abbreviation you can think of.”
Year 1 Experience
My first year at Microsoft TechEd was in 2011 and I was still a student in college. I had no idea what I was doing attending this conference, I just knew I was excited and I was ready to learn. As the conference approached I realized I wanted to find evening parties as much as possible… after all I was 21 and who doesn’t love free drinks? Read more »
Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to be sent to Microsoft TechEd by the company I work at. It was such a busy week and another week of catching up with real life I am just now getting around to blogging about TechEd.
Warning: Long blog post!
This summarization of TechEd does not do a justice to how fantastic the experience is and how much you learn while there. Read more »
What is #TheKrewe
“The Krewe is a group of hard working/fun-loving IT Pros and Developers. We gather every year at Microsoft TechEd North America, the largest Microsoft technology education conference. Our mission is to build a dynamic networking community through various activities and gatherings.” – TechEdKrewe.com
In the months leading up to TechEd I decided to become much more involved. I vowed that I was going to Network all throughout TechEd. I posted on #TheKrewe Facebook page which I had been involved with the year before; but did not really network much. I asked how I can break the ice with people when by nature I am not the most social until I know people. Many people told me I was already doing a decent job being involved with #60Days2MCSE, and promoting myself on Twitter before TechEd.
After posting that I was approached by Michael Bender asking if I’d be interested in helping with #TheKrewe Meet N Greet party which was a good time last year, and I was planning on attending anyway. I went ahead and offered to help, and then became the person coordinating the volunteers for the event. It wasn’t much work, and I figured it’d be a good way to get to know more people.
All I had to do was create a sign up form, promote the form and coordinate some people, that’s simple! We also had some emails going back and forth about a #TheKrewe T-shirt, my design abilities and the ones that were already provided I felt could use some improvement. I suggested a T-Shirt Design contest which I took on the lead of. I posted the contest and didn’t get too many entries but we got enough good designs for a really sweet looking shirt. Read more »
The drive from Indianapolis to Orlando wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. I arrived within 16 hours (including stops) and the hotel was able to get me checked in early with no problem. Once I settled into the room I went on to the convention center to get registered. It took forever to find registration because I had no idea I were in the wrong building. I have to say the OCCC is so massive it’s amazing.
Once I registered I poked around a bit, took some pictures and discovered The Detroit Project car which is just amazing at how much technology they have crammed into it.
Once I was done in the expo hall I moved into the Alumni lounge with my buddy @IT_JOSH. While we were in the alumni lounge we met up with some fellow #TheKrewe members that I know on twitter and was thrilled to finally meet in person.
Later on that night was #TheKrewe Meet N Greet, this was exciting for me because I was coordinating all of the volunteers. I arrived and already had someone there starting to unpack the boxes of swag for #TheKrewe survival kit. We originally had 13 people scheduled to volunteer and had 22 people show up, we had 350 survival kits to assembly and completed it in 40 minutes. The night was fantastic and it couldn’t have been done without the help of all of our volunteers.
I have to say the Meet N Greet was the best networking opportunity ever, I was able to meet people from around the world, I even met someone who lived 30 minutes away from me and have made great connections I will be certain to maintain.
Day 1 is coming to a close as I write it sitting pool side using the Samsung Series 7 Slate. I have learned a lot of new cool stuff is coming to the Microsoft world in the area of virtualization. However I am disappointed in the lack of technical knowledge that I’ve gained.
It is not that the technical knowledge wasn’t available, it was that I spent my day taking certifications. I started my day early at 7:30am for the Twitter Army, which lead up to going into the TechEd Keynote, I had to leave the keynote early to get to my first certification exam.
Read more »