This is part of my “Down The Memory Lane” series where I am blogging about my old engagements as a speaker, my travel, my assignments and many other things that I have done in the past. I was not blogging then and I couldn’t share my experience with all of you. I am blogging now so here is an opportunity for me to share my experiences with you – it’s never too late.

In this post, I want to talk about my first International Conference – Microsoft TechEd North America 2007 in Orlando, Florida!

I completed my MCT certification in 2002, the first in India. In 2007, I get a mail from Microsoft that they need MCT proctors in Hands-On-Labs section of TechEd NA 2007. I was not even an MVP then. I was virtually unknown in the SQL world!

I applied and luckily, I got selected.

TechEd North America 2007 was happening in Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, world’s largest convention center. So if a conference is happening in world’s largest convention center, you can imagine the size of it – it’s larger than life, truly!

Huge exhibition space, huge conference rooms, huge halls for keynote, huge Hands-on-labs area – everything about that place and TechEd was HUGE! I felt like an ant, seriously! And it was my first time and I was enjoying every moment of it. I was running around like a kid, seriously!

And look at this, my pic on HOL TV :) – man I look so young :)

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While I did what I was supposed to do at the conference and what I was called for, I also watched many SQL stalwarts presenting at the event, for example, watching Kimberly Tripp presenting was a learning experience in itself!

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I also met Dandy Weyn and his frog. The only Dandy I know!

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And meet me, the future SQL MVP & SQL MCM & TechEd Speaker – this was my first US trip, I was so shy to ask people to take pictures for me; that I took my own pictures :)

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But the shyness is temporary. Isn’t it? At least for me, it was. And I loved this one with my nation’s flag :)

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While I was meeting so many SQL stalwarts, I had a wonderful opportunity to meet up with then SQL Marketing Director, Francois Ajenstat – I had tough time pronouncing his name. He was so humble: “Amit, call me Franc”!

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TechEd NA 2007 ended with a wonderful attendee party at Universal Studios theme park!

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And guess what, right in my first US trip, I get to watch NASA space shuttle launch.

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Well, I enjoyed thoroughly at TechEd NA 2007 including the attendee party at Universal Studios – what a conference!. Met many SQL geniuses, learnt a lot, dreamt a lot :) – packed my bags and my dreams, came back to India. I didn’t know then, I will be at TechEd many more times, but now as a speaker :) – that’s for another day!

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Also see my TechEd 2007 Album on Facebook!

 

Amit Bansal
SQL MCM, SQL MVP
Director – eDominer Systems, Peopleware India, SQLMaestros

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