I was a naïve person, who only had attended Teched once a year. As a mentor, I had the option of going for two Teched’s this year. And I would like to share some experience and the difference I found between the two events.
I’m not sure on which event was the best because they both had some interesting aspects.
I liked the logistics at Vienna most. It was not a long to go between sessions. It was also nice the way the SDN clubhouse and the exhibitor pods were placed in the main room. Going from Denmark to Vienna was just a 1½ hour flight, compared to the 17 hours to Phoenix, that was really nice.
In Phoenix , you could end up walking 10 minutes from one session hall to the other, because of the vast distance between them.
There is no doubt that Vienna, was best from this perspective.
In Vienna, I only tried eating salad and fish, however it was difficult to find a mixed salad. The salads in Phoniex were already mixed and ready to eat. I liked the concept in Vienna where there were 3-4 different kitchens that were nice to have lunch. Vienna seems to have much longer lines to get something to eat during breaks.
Snacks seemed to be better at Phoenix, but then that was probably because I had the chance to eat there.
Phoenix was the winner in this category, but it is not something I would care to consider in selecting the best event.
In Phoenix there were 495 sessions, based on 334 unique sessions. In Vienna there were only 255 and 243 unique sessions. Data based on the downloadble excel program, I’m not sure if they take changes into account, but you get the idea of the data. When I was looking after interesting sessions I had difficulties finding them, but if there are only half of the session it makes sense. I had an idea that there were the same number of sessions in both places, but that was not true.
There was a ½ day more of sessions in Phoenix, but only few people attended the sessions that Friday. So I don’t think the conference was longer for most people.
No doubt that Phoenix was the better. But of course they need to have more rooms and avoid longer waiting time.
Both events has keynotes, demo jam, a party and RIA hackernight/BPXSlam/InsightNight.
At Phoenix, there was an event every night. This was nice that the hacker night was on a different night than demojam, so you had more time for demojam. It is of course a problem if many people are leaving from the USA conference Thursday night and they are not seeing the party.
The party in Phoenix required people to find a place to eat before the event. This made it possible to do some socializing if you were able to find a group to join. Otherwise there was the Enterprise Geeks dinner.
The keynote in Phoenix also had Ray Kurzweil who talked about where the technology was going. In Vienna there was an architect of an oil company who used lots of enterprise services and had a low spending on IT compared to industry average.
The party in Vienna was a better networking event, since you had to go around and find something to eat. However, the Train concert probably did not allow this.
In this category, I don’t have a winner.
The people in Phoenix seemed to be a bit easier to start talking with.
The Vienna people was also friendly, but it was more difficult to start a conversation.
So Phoniex is the Winner in this part.
I’m not sure on which Teched, I will attend next year. I liked both of them but I don’t think I have time for two events next year. Since there will be a lot of new features on the PI, I will probably attend Las Vegas to learn more about the new features.