Best. Conference bag. Ever. I think we hit a home run on this one. It’s your typical nerdy backpack, but with two important differences:

  • It’s actually big enough to hold all your conference swag plus your laptop — very important for that first day before you can do some swag triage in your hotel room.
  • Pull out a telescoping handle and it’s a wheelie bag. Anyone who’s been to a big conference knows that there’s a lot of walking involved, and a lot of long days. I don’t care how svelte your laptop is, by the end of those days you’ll be tired of lugging it around. All conference bags should be wheelie bags!

Swag. Mmmmm, swag. There’s the usual pads and pens and water bottles, but the big item in the standard swag is a beta for System Center Data Protection Manager, and I mean big — there are no fewer than four CDs in that box. And then there’s the super-duper swag which you only get if you signed up for the Crisscross pre-event for system integrators and ISVs. I’ll list that swag in the order I think you should check it out, but I understand that other people may have different preferences :-)

  1. “Indy” community tech preview. Yes, I know it doesn’t actually say “Indy” on the CD. And I know we didn’t call it Indy in the session where you learnt more about it. But shhhh, we’re only telling the rest of the world the real name tomorrow…
  2. MOM 2005 and ISA 2004. Feel the love!
  3. XBox games. I’m not sure what the overlap is between ISVs and XBox players, but based on the shark-like feeding frenzy around the XBox game table, I’m guessing there’s at least some!
  4. Three golf-balls and what I believe is a score-card holder. Can anyone confirm this? None of the Indy guys here at the conference play golf, so we’re basically guessing here…