After taking a week to do the Tech Ed 2007 conference in Orlando, I rejoined my team on the MEDC 2007 World Tour in Beijing. Luckily, it was just a short 10 hour flight from the West Coast. Before starting the confernce, our team had the pleasure of visiting the Great Wall of China. It was truly an amazing time and since we climbed to the highest point on the wall, we're all now official "Heroes of China." As many as one hundred million people worked to create a protective barrier that once stretched for thousands of miles.
After lunch, we visited Ming's Tomb which is actually a large area that holds the tombs of many past emperors. The architecture was beautiful and hopefully none of the sleeping emperors were disturbed by our merry band of Window Mobile-carrying hooligans.
The Beijing event lasted for 2 days and was held at the Landmark Hotel which turned out to be a great venue. Ma Qi did a great job of putting this together. There were 3 floors to accomodate a large keynote room, breakout sessions, hands-on and instructure-led labs, and exhibition areas.
This year, MEDC was combined with WinHEC which increased our audience by bringing in attendees that didn't know much about Windows Mobile or how to develop applications for it. Many of the best sessions from Las Vegas were presented in English and Chinese. I was excited to deliver my session on the Mobile Line of Business Acclerator since there were so many beginners in the audience that needed a jump start. It was also nice to spend time with friends from the MVP program that I don't get to see very often.
We really enjoyed our time out-and-about town in Beijing. It's clear that the city is working hard to complete thousands of different projects in order to be ready for the 2008 Summer Olympics. The people were very friendly and I was surprised at how many people spoke at least a little English. Coupled with signs that combined Chinese with English, the giant city of Beijing is an easy town to navigate for visitors like us from America. In addition to places like McDonalds, we even saw American restaurants like the Outback, Sizzler and Baskin Robbins. The local Chinese restaurants were the best though.
Some of the most fun we had was shopping at the Silk Market where everything under the sun was on sale and the prices were all negotiable. You really have to bring your haggling skills in order to be a successful bargain hunter. Beijing was a blast and we all look forward to returning in the future. Now it's off to Berlin!