I had a really interesting day yesterday. I'm here in Orlando because I'm on the core team for TechEd in Australia. Two of my missions while I'm here were to meet with the guys from EventPoint (the ones who write our Commnet) and with the TechEd Orlando core team.
Roger and I did both of these yesterday and we learnt a lot. Here in Orlando, the EventPoint guys run the entire network. That's huge! The pipe alone is staggering. They have a 100Mb/s pipe allowing bursts to 150Mb/s, and they're running at about 85% of capacity as a base line and bursting to at least 120Mb/s! Another interesting stat is that there have been over 9000 unique machines on the WLAN. I'm really excited about this and as I sit in sessions I see at least 20% of the attendees taking notes on laptops. At lunchtime and in breaks, there are laptops and WiFi-enabled mobile devices. We're hoping to emulate this (the laptop/mobile device usage, not the bandwidth necessarily) on the Gold Coast.
Next, we popped into the daily Core Team meeting. This was another great experience. The core team are responsible for everything at TechEd, and each member reported in on how things were going. As an example, someone in the team had noticed that at lunchtime the recharge bays (a place delegates could sit down and plug laptops into power and connectivity) were completely full and people were waiting for spaces. It was immediately decided to tear down a bunch of the commnet console machines to make more room for user-supplied machines. There were half a dozen more examples of this and some great learnings for next year's show were captured.
The most exciting thing I saw yesterday though was Virtual TechEd. There's a place on the expo hall floor where Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell are hosting a variety of content including expert panel discussions, TechEd Speaker Idol and Iron Architect. Some of these are being recorded as DotNetRocks shows and a bunch of it is up on Virtual TechEd. This is another thing we'd love to bring to Australia and New Zealand.
Ample Recharge bays, and decent bandwidth are two things that make the experience just that much nicer.
Uploading photos, writing blog posts during the day, etc seems to be the popular thing now.
Bandwidth costs here are going to be a lot more than in the US though.