We're working hard on getting the MEDC website and registration up and running. We expect them to go live around the 22nd February at about T-12 weeks from the event. You'll be able to sign up for the conference, register for your room within our room block as well as indicate interest in the Sumobot competition. If you've got any questions in the mean time you can ask them via my blog.
Getting a website and registration site up sounds easy, right? It's time consuming, I spent yesterday afternoon running through the registration process with every single conceivable registration code (simulating the experience of every type of attendee) reviewing every aspect of the site. You can rest assured that when you register whether you're a regular attendee, Microsoft speaker, working the booth for an exhibitor, a member of the press or any one of the other types of attendee that at the very least, I will have run through the reg process already for you. Based on the review, we made some tweaks to the site to improve the flow e.g. on the survey page we grouped the compulsory questions together for ease of completion and removed a few unnecessary screens for some audience types. We also caught a few glitches in the pricing data. For example and sponsor booth attendee was being charged about 5 times what they should have been . I also noticed the room rate for THE Hotel at the Mandalay Bay was listed as $100 too expensive!
Pre-conference sessions moved forward this week. We got 2 of our 3 pre-con speakers signed up (Jim Wilson for Windows Mobile app dev and Sean Liming for Windows XP Embedded ... thanks guys). Pre-cons are a way for you to get up to speed if you aren't already familiar with Windows Mobile or Windows Embedded.
The MEDC 2005 logo came back from our creative company. It's an evolution of last year's MDC logo and reflects the incorporation of MEDC. Anyone want to guess what color we picked?
From a content perpsective, we had a meeting of all our content owners on Monday to run through the content management tool - the thing that allows you the attendee to choose which sessions you want to attend and to build your agenda. The content owners are responsible for entering their sessions, abstracts etc into the tool. This year we've taken the approach of getting an owner for each particular technology. We've got someone looking after tools, .NET Compact Framework, Windows Mobile, SQL Mobile etc etc. To you as an attendee this should be transparent as they'll be bubble up into a variety of activity based tracks e.g. Developing Client Applications, Building Windows Embedded devices etc etc
A few people have asked me about international plans. I'm working on the international dates right now but the MEDC World Tour should happen in June for the most part and will call into Europe, Malaysia, Australia, China and Korea. Our US event is the flagship and contains the greatest depth of content so if you can make the trip to the US for it it's well worth it but if time/money are tight I hope you'll visit our speaking rock stars on the World Tour!