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Microsoft in the theatres
On 26, 27 & 28 April TechDays took place. TechDays is the largest IT exhibition organized by Microsoft in Belgium. For this edition, the Metropolis complex in Antwerp was used as location.
The sessions took place in the theatre rooms, while the exhibitors were gathered in the business & communication centre.
As a sponsor, we were situated in the exhibition hall. Along with many other influential parties, we informed the audience about the different applications of Microsoft technologies.
The event has two focus groups: developers and system managers (also called IT professionals).
This segmentation was also noticeable among the exhibitors, each of them communicating an opinion about Microsoft from their own perspective. Among the visitors, there were also several segments: self-employed and freelancers, as well as employees of large consulting firms and integrators. They even focused on students.
Worthwhile the effort!
TechDays is an appealing event and its success is especially due to the interesting speaker line-up. Microsoft has a lot of interesting speakers in their ranks, flown over from various locations for this event. Following this event, DevDays will take place as the Dutch alternative. The fact that DevDays is a follow-up to the event and held in the same vicinities, it's worth the flight.
Besides the many big international names, there is also a focus on renowned local speakers. The local speakers are famous and accessible, which can be useful to get specific information.
To encourage approachability, there was also an "ask the expert" stand. In this spot, a lot of well-known people were scheduled to explain the common problems as a user. It was the perfect opportunity to get free advice.
No spam please!
Organizer Katrien De Graeve told us that there is a very strict selection process when it comes to speakers. Since the focus is on content, it is hard for sponsors to send a speaker as part of the package. Each speaker comes invited, and the presentation content has a very strong technical focus. Marketing talks are not very welcome. Sponsors with speakers scheduled for the event, had to subdue to a content selection.
Obviously content is a priority during the event. Another visible focus was the community feel: there were many User Groups present as well as all MVPs (Most Valuable Professional) and RDs (Regional Director) . Combell has a strong interest in community. It was particularly interesting to exchange ideas with these people. Soon there's Community Day and these people will set up a similar event, independent of Microsoft.
The overall message is clear: TechDays 2011 was a great success and with great enthusiasm, we look to its next edition and similar events in the community.
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