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Damir Tomicic - INETA Blog INETA Europe

TechEd Developers is really giving us an opportunity to put everybody together – board members, volunteers, the speakers, users who would actually go to meetings, user group leaders – and to relate with Microsoft and vendors as well. Our booth is based next to the MVP and RD booths completing the "TechEd Community Lounge" and allowing us to network with a majority of MVP and RD representatives and program members.

Our booth (aka INETA POD) is the place where attendees can come and meet the current INETA Europe board members and talk to them about their specific development issues and problems. In this year ALL members of the board were attending the TechEd. It is also the place to meet members of INETA speakers bureau and negotiate some dates for a meeting. :-)

One of the things we’re really trying to do now is coming back and emphasize the "I" in INETA which stands for International. So here at TechEd we’ve brought together user group leaders from all over the Europe. We currently serve 286 user groups representing 74968 users in more than 30 countries. Our European Silverlight Challenge and upcoming Community Launch Wave for Windows Server, Visual Studio and SQL Server 2008 will keep us quite busy in the future.

INETA Europe Board Members
Left to right: Jose Louis Millas (VP Sponsorship), Tomislav Bronzin (VP Community Activities), Damir Tomicic aka me (President), André Obelink (VP Speakers Bureau), Sander Gerz (VP Technology). Missing: Andrej Radinger (VP Membership), Miguel Jimenez (VP Marketing), Mathias Raacke (VP Academic)

Many thanks to all INETA volunteers who helped to provide this unforgetable experience. A special thanks to our spanish friends named above who did a great job to serve as a local hosts. Their friendly advices were always welcome. :-)

For me personally it’s a lot of fun, I really enjoy getting the chance to meet people from all European countries and speak about topics of interests to all of us. Traditionally as every year we had a "Community Volunteer Dinner" for INETA volunteers from Spain, Italy, Greece, Romania, Germany and many other countries.

This dinner was sponsored by Microsoft - big thanks to Niklas Jardeby and George Kamarinos. Something between 30 and 40 volunteers joined us in Shoko Restaurant in Barcelona. Some of them missed the restaurant (Barca is too big...) and we were forced to wait for another 45 minutes. But as you may have heard - Barcelona never sleeps!

Speaker Idol contest was again the great success. I was discussing the insights with Debbie McMahon, the first lady of Speaker Idol, while André Obelink was trying to be the nice judge this time. Rich Costall and Dave McMahon did a great job as hosts of this years competition. Great fun indeed. And INETA volunteers everywhere. ;-)

Community Lounge is a quite cool place to meet a number of celebrities as well. Normally I always forget to use my digicam but this year I decided to take some shoots. ;-)

Celebrities: Damir meets Karen Young, MVP Regional Manager EMEA, and Gerd de Bruycker, Senior Event Manager and TechEd Owner.

Celebrities: Damir meets Pierre Couzy, Architect Evangelist, Microsoft France, Kevin Schuler, Manager Regional Director Program, Microsoft Corporation and Clare Parr, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft UK.

Celebrities: Damir meets Peter Monadjemi, Chief Editor, dotnet-Magazin Germany, and Marino Posadas, Journalist, Dotnetmania, Spain.

Sure, there were much more celebrities but I missed to take my digicam with me. Sorry for that ... Next year you'll join my gallery!

What else? I was interviewed by Karen Young in a fishbowl (soon to be published, a very cool experience) and I noticed that even with 4.000 people around you there is no further problem to find a familiar face.

Some personal Trivia about Barcelona...

  • Taxi drivers in Barcelona are crazy in the night - if there is nobody on a crossroad they will ignore red lights and drive you back home much faster than expected.
  • Don't try to speak to drunken scottish fans. And stay at least 10m away.
  • People over age of 25 are going out during the week, the others over the weekend. Justify your expectations.
  • Clubs and pubs are crowdy after 01:00am but not before.
  • There is a urban legend that young spanish people sleep for 2h per night. This is not true. They sleep at least for 3h.

At the end I enjoyed spanish sun for some hours before returning to cold rainy weather in Germany ... brrr ... I need some sleep badly. But ... what a great experience once again!!

As well as being rich in culture, Barcelona is also a very modern city, full of excitement, vitality, sophistication, elegance and romance. You'll find a buzz of activity and a constant stream of visitors enjoying the hundreds of cafés, bars and shopping areas.

If you ever thought about visiting Barcelona - don't wait any more minute, buy a flight ticket and go there! ;-)


Update: And the Speaker Idol 2007 winner is... Jeff Wharton from Australia!

Jeff Wharton

Congratulations to all finalists - Jeff Wharton (Australia); Karl Davies-Barrett (Malta); Maciej Pilecki (Latvia) and Bill Ayers (UK). 

Sincerely yours,

Damir Tomicic

President, INETA Europe


Posted on Sunday, November 11, 2007 11:31 AM | Back to top

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