Mike Swanson

August, 2010

  • Mike Swanson's Blog

    PDC10 is Sold Out! Really?

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    As you may have heard, PDC10 is sold out! This year, we decided to hold the event at the Microsoft Conference Center (otherwise known as the MSCC or building 33) on our corporate campus in Redmond, Washington. There are many good reasons behind this decision, and one of them is to provide a more intimate and engaging experience for our in-person attendees. You see, this is the first time in PDC history that we’ve held the event on our own campus.

    Holding the event on campus enables us to do a lot of things that we could never do in a remote location, but it also has its limitations. For example, the Microsoft Conference Center is nowhere near the size of a Los Angeles Convention Center (not even close). That means that we have physical limitations including how many people we can safely accommodate.

    You’ve probably noticed signs at restaurants and other public places that state maximum occupancies/capacities, and perhaps you’ve even wondered where these limits come from. Well, they come directly from the fire marshal. There are many factors that go into determining the maximum capacity of a public space, including the size of the space, the height of the ceiling, placement of permanent columns, furniture, built-in cabinets, etc. All of these factors are considered to ensure that getting out of the room in an emergency situation is as fast and as safe as possible. Egress is the word they like to use.

    Here’s a diagram of the keynote room for PDC10. The front of the room is at the top, where you’ll notice a representative keynote stage and two large projection screens. The blue areas are for attendees. As you can see, there is no physical space remaining to add more seats. That is, unless you want to sit on the keynote stage or in the aisles. :-) We’re actually required to submit our floor plans to the fire marshal’s office, and it has to be approved before we can hold the event.

    This is what we mean when we say “sold out.”

    You’d be surprised how many e-mails we receive—both internally and externally—stating that company X or person Y absolutely must be physically present at PDC10. While we understand the frustration of our response, unfortunately, this is a limitation of physical space.

    But all is not lost.

    This year more than ever, we’re amplifying what we provide online. PDC, MIX, and Tech·Ed attendees have become accustomed to full-screen, high-definition broadcasts of our keynotes and 24-hour-or-less, free downloads of all session content. Yes, we’ll do the same for PDC10 (with some new enhancements), but we’ll also stream all of our sessions live…for free…for anyone. Including your mom. This is how you get back at her for making you watch all of those Hallmark Hall of Fame originals. :-)

    We’re also partnering with our global Microsoft offices, academic institutions, and some third parties who want to hold local PDC10-related events. While the list of events is currently being assembled, I highly encourage you to sign-up for the PDC10 mailing list. This, our @PDCEvent Twitter account, and the official PDC10 web site are the best ways to keep up-to-date on the latest developments.

    Last, but certainly not least, you can always sit comfortably at home or in your office and watch all of the content streamed to you online.

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