TechEd in New Orleans is a zoo, in more ways than one, and you probably don't want to feed the geeks. They might follow you around, especially if you give them swag or alcohol.
I've been lucky enough to attend a few TechEd conferences, but this is my first one in New Orleans, and it feels a little wilder than the others. Maybe it's because I haven't been to TechEd in a few years, maybe it's the proximity of Bourbon Street, but everything seems to have a little more of a party atmosphere. That's good for some, and I've enjoyed wandering around New Orleans and sharing a few drinks with friend, but it's not really me. I was happy to bail out early from the French Quarter on Sunday night to watch some basketball at the hotel.
I've been blogging about TechEd from the various sessions that I attended, and tweeting like mad. The Tweets (you can follow #teched for a busy stream) are in real time with T-Mobile service from me. The blogs are delayed because the wi-fi is, well, less than optimal performance. The CIO of Microsoft used that quote in the keynote because he said he didn't use the word "crash".
And crash things. The whole convention center lost internet connectivity for a few hours and I was in the press room when it happened. There were a few panicking people in there, trying to get stories submitted for their publications. I'm sure there were some angry calls from Microsoft to the ISP at some point.
Conferences always seem to have so many issues. Internet connections, food, crowded rooms, power that's in short supply, and products that never seem to live up to the demos. However I have to say that I both enjoy the events, and find them valuable. I get the chance to meet new people, and more importantly, catch up with old friends. I network, get inspired from the work others are doing, and find a few nuggets of information that will be useful in the future.
That’s why I come, and why I'd recommend that SQL Server people try to come to an event at some point in you career. Come to a SQL Saturday, or if you can get the funding, the SQL PASS Summit or SQL Connections.