The venue (Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre) is quite good. It’s a pleasant walk from Town Hall Train Station, so it is quite convenient, and the location is very pretty at Darling Harbour.
Food - In a word, “Below Average”. Well that’s two words, but you get the idea. I’ve been to quite a few Tech-Ed conferences now (missed the first one in Sydney, and the Canberra one), so I’ve seen how a number of different venues perform. At least they are generous in putting out a lot of the stuff, but I’m getting tired of little meat pies (served for morning teas and for lunch). Haven’t they heard of cakes and slices?
Audio/Video - The Keynote was let down by the video of the presenter being really out of synch with the audio. It isn’t rocket science, and it can’t be the first time they’ve done this. I also noticed that one of the breakout rooms also had very echo-ey sound - a bit like a bathroom, which just detracts from the whole experience.
Keynote - This was by Anne Kirah - a Cultural Anthropologist who works for Microsoft MSN. She had some interesting stories to tell about how “real” users (eg. regular people) use software and how Microsoft is trying to become more “people focused”, rather than “technology focused”.
Apart from that, the speakers were good, and there was some interesting stuff.