With MS TechEd 2011 in Atlanta being my first time at TechEd and first time at a major tech conference, I wanted to reach out and find a good community to be part of. After checking in, I found my way to "TheKrewe Meet & Greet" on the rooftop of a bar/club near the convention center. I got there as they were setting things up and people were starting to mingle both in the bar and up on the roof. I didn't stay long as my travel in was getting the best of me but I knew these were my folks.
Flash forward to through the months in between TechEds and I have become pretty good friends with members of TheKrewe. With Twitter as the primary tool that we use to keep in touch, I have both lists and search filters that keep me up to date on happenings and when folks come into the Seattle area for conferences or meetings there, trying to setup little gatherings when we can. The community still grows and continues in the "off-season" of the year and TheKrewe helps each other where they can.
June rolls around and MS TechEd gets closer. Michael Bender has been planning a bunch of stuff for the annual kick-off party called the Meet and Greet. Excitement builds and we hear of great plans. From what I understand, we are having the Meet and Greet at the origination point of TheKrewe from a prior MSTechEd here in Orlando. I am so excited to see (and even meet in person) some of the people I call good friends but only talk to online.
The party starts and the place is packed, literally packed. Howl at the Moon is a dueling piano bar which adds a fun time to the event. There is food and a good amount of open bar amenities for those that choose to imbibe. Thanks to great sponsors like Microsoft Springboard Series, X-IO Technologies, Axceler, Vision Solutions, New Horizons, Big Bang LLC, and Data Core Software, a good time with friends turned into a fantastic event! I personally can't thank them all enough for helping TheKrewe kick off this week.
While the event was a blast, I personally want to thank my friends in TheKrewe for bringing me into the fold. I have told some folks that MS TechEd is now my annual vacation unless my employer pays for me to go in the future. I come here to learn, to meet folks and to get together with TheKrewe.
- Scott Ladewig and Mike McAtee that pulled me in last year in Atlanta and made me welcome.
- Michael Bender for his evangelizing and organization
- Peter Gray for our chats on Twitter and WLM. Feeling like I found my brother.
- Tracy McElroy for helping setup our core team SharePoint and for your new gig. Congrats again man!
- Tiffany, Tia, Claudia, Brandy, Veronica, and LoriJo for being the lovely ladies that I know of TheKrewe
- Simon Davis, Fredrik Nilsson and Bjarne Duelund for connecting TheKrewe outside of the US.
- Meeting folks I have had lots of conversations with like Mike Talon, Tom Kupka, Jeff Gerard, and Aubrey (still jealous that you get to see Rush live this September)
- Matt Griffin for stepping up his game and helping coordinate the volunteers last night.
- Henrik Sorensen and his teammates Travis and Nathan from Canada (eh?!)
- New folks I met like John Flores, Nia Angelina, Brian Bell, Nick Pizzalato, Denny (That's Mr Denny to you), and Cliff Chavis (we need more time together to chat)
- Running into the Microsofties like Stephen Rose (So glad your friend is lining up for his liver transplant. Give to him and his family here), Rick Claus, Joey Snow, Brandy Pepper and Veronica Sopher.
- Some great people like Mary Jo Foley and Darryl Taft in the media.
To find out more about TheKrewe, check out @TheKrewe on twitter or do a search for #TheKrewe. You can also see the website at http://www.thekrewe.org/. If you are going to be attending TechEd 2013 (sure to be in New Orleans), keep your eye out for information on TheKrewe Meet and Greet there!