I've been pondering about the perpetual problem of cost for attendees for TechEd Europe - I've heard from a number of people directly or indirectly that they'd love to go to the conference, but in the current economic climate for contractors etc. etc. it's just too hard to afford it. Sadly there really is very little I can do to give away free passes or anything like that - we might be Microsoft but the conference itself has a target of breaking even, which is harder than you might think. We have extended the Early Bird deadline until next Friday (28th), but that's about the limit.
So - I'm proposing a radical idea. When Microsoft employees attend conferences, we're expected to share twin rooms - proof that we're not as profligate with our expense accounts as some might believe! So I was thinking, perhaps I could maintain a list of kindly folk who would be interested in sharing accommodation in Amsterdam to halve their non-conference costs. Actually it's quite good fun sharing a room at conferences like these - you can have developer conversations until late in the night, play P2P Halo, and just generally stave off the boredom and loneliness that is often a fact of life during conventions. Since the hotel cost is one of the most expensive parts of the overall bill, this might make it possible for some to attend who might otherwise not be able to.
Anyway, I recognise that this is a radical idea and there might be no takers, but if you are interested, drop me a private line, listing your name, smoking preference and an email address. If more than one person expresses an interest, I'll put the details up on a private web page and send a link back to those who have registered. You can contact each other and sort out the details from there - I'm not getting involved in any details beyond that point. If your potential roommate turns out to be a homicidal maniac with a penchant for leaving the bath running with the plug in, don't come back to me! This is an unofficial offer and has nothing to do with the TechEd team.
Also, if you are already booked for TechEd and have a room reserved but would like to offer someone a spare bed who might not otherwise be able to attend, you can also drop me a line.
This idea will probably fall completely flat on its face, but at least I can now honestly say I've tried...