This year's NT conference has closed its doors. And it's a big event, this year around 2.150 attendees came. NTK is the biggest IT conference in Slovenia, hell; it's the biggest conference in Slovenia.
This is not without cause. Gathering 1 in 1000 from the complete country population is not simple - there has to be at least some additional fun present to pull this off.
As Dejan writes, some Microsoft partners went overboard this year. Having said that, one has to acknowledge that there are at least four profiles present at every conference:
- Those who get there to have fun
- Those who get there to have fun and learn a lot
- The speakers
Now, satisfying the first class of people is simple. Since NTK is a technical conference, one's expectation of a non-stop, 24 hour party is diminished by the fact that that is not appropriate for the conference of this caliber. These guys have fun with Nr. 2 and Nr. 3 guys during the conference evening events and make up their own things of interest between session hours.
Satisfying number 2 is harder. Anyone who wants to learn a lot and still have fun has some issues with the current agenda. There are fun things to visit during session hours and if you're a guy who wants to learn a lot, but still have fun, you have to decide what is more important. Now, why would someone want to make you, the paying customer, decision-ambiguous?
Number 3 can be satisfied by a couple of things. Technical readiness should be top-notch, and this year it was even better. The second thing speakers like is that their attendees are present and in good shape to follow the sessions. There should be no, or at least a minimum amount of distraction present during the session hours.
I am not discussing the 'Other' category, since its heterogeneous enough to make any relevant observations.
It is easy to see that a couple of speakers have some issues with the way things worked out. I am one of them.
Overall, NTK is one of the best Microsoft IT events in Europe. This year, it was just stunning - no major issues with the event organization, smooth transitions, and great evening events. If there is a solution to the problems raised, one would get the right quotient between pleasure and work.