It can be tough to be a contractor or vendor at large company event run by many, many other contractors and vendors. While most professionals know what they’re doing, styles can clash, processes can grind on each other and personalities can plain not work together.
Thankfully, our last event at Madrone Studios with Microsoft and a slew of other hard-working event professionals was not one of too-often-told nightmare scenarios. Sure, giveaways needed to be stuffed, tables had to be rearranged, layout changes were made more than once and there was even an improvised coat check, but save for a few hangnails and a box of red staff shirts that never made it, we’re happy to report Meet Windows Azure on June 6 a resounding success.
Tasked with designing an online registration system and event check-in service, co-founder Scott Cate worked closely with the Microsoft team to develop a solution that allowed them to invite specific guests and provide those guests with codes to share with their friends. The system Cate designed worked so well that we had nearly double capacity RSVPs before the doors opened, but thanks to some great planning by the Microsoft event team, we’d have had room even if they’d all shown up at once.
This Meet Windows Azure event was the biggest host Madrone Studios has produced so far. The small studio space in SOMA had its own quirks (one entrance, kitchen in the far back, scant parking) not unlike every other urban venue, but come event time, it didn’t matter much.
Thanks to some proactive thinking, Microsoft had the street in front of Madrone Studios closed to accommodate overflow guests, lunch served from catering stations, food trucks during dinner time and a huge DJ stage headlined by Steve Aoki of crowd-surfing-in-an-inflatable-raft and sheet-cake-throwing fame. While we saw more than a few hard-core networkers last from doors opening at 11:30am until Aoki’s closing set at 9:30pm, we know there’s no way anyone walked away bored.
But before we go on and on (and on) about the parties, let’s talk about why everyone was there in the first place, Windows Azure.
“Windows Azure enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any operating system, language or tool.”
Azure is currently road tripping around the nation giving live-streamed chats about features, pricing, best practices, technology and a host of other community-minded topics, all in to showcase how powerful Azure really is. By the way, if you’ve watched the NFL or Olympics online, you’ve used Azure (it’s amazing).
We won’t go into the geeky details here, because Scott Guthrie and his group of Microsoft speakers can do a far better job.
We’re happy to have helped them introduce Windows Azure to the rest of the world. See you on the live streams!