So there we were... As all great war stories start, so does this one. There we were, Brian and I, standing in an open auditorium drinking a free wiesen beer and watching a really bad opening video/welcome speech. And so began the Microsoft MVP Summit 2004.
I should start at the beginning: After riding on the way oversized bus and arriving at the Seattle convention center we signed into the summit to receive our summit packages (shirt, agenda etc etc..). Instantly we noticed we were given two free drink tickets each. Drink tickets? “You mean drinks aren’t free?” is all I could think. Anyway we started out with two drink tickets apiece and immediately decided that we needed more. Our night started out in search of Microsoft employees that we could charm out of more free drink tickets. We (almost instantly) found several MVP team leads that were more than happy to part with drink tickets and keep us in a slight stupor.
Anyway, as we walked the crowd (a few hundred MVPs at least) we noticed something interesting. Much like the animal kingdom it seems that the MVPs separated into groups of related animals. Windows Server MVPs in one pod, Visual Studio MVPs in another, and the Office MVPs cowering in the corner like gazelles waiting for the lion coming to pounce.
The opening night was pretty uneventful. Mostly it was a quick rah-rah video for MVPs and some networking among some of the MVP staff. MVPs were able to walk around try to find other like MVPs and talk a little shop over drinks.
Really, I think both Brian and I are waiting to see what tomorrow brings. Tonight was really a getting started night and hopefully tomorrow will bring some time with the product teams. I mean the real reason most people are here (besides the free room and trip) is to try to establish a relationship with their respective product teams. My hope is that we will come up with some solid contacts inside Microsoft that can provide insight into their products and will eventually give us some real insight into the problems we see on a daily basis (can anyone say printing!).