The following image is displayed on the WilliamsF1Conference Centre site - aside from the flash looking venue I've heard from many of you in the last couple of months that it's a great venue. We're actively looking for your recommendations of WHERE (which town / city) we should visit and which VENUE works for you. Please post comments to this post with your suggestions.
Before you get too carried away we need relatively inexpensive venues to enable us to meet more of you in person throughout the year - the aim is to spend less time in the London / Reading / South Eastern area of the UK.
Thanks to James for reminding me about the excellent facilities @ Williams - we'll inquire to see if we can host a TechNet event there.
Personally, anywhere in York would be good. But I do seem to remember you visited the Harrogate Pavillions a couple of years ago and this seemed like a success.
"the aim is to spend less time in the London / Reading / South Eastern area of the UK." That sounds good to me !! How about the North West of England - Manchester, Preston? We get lonely up here. Being an F1 fan The Williams Conference Centre looks good as a last resort :p
I have been to events held at Williams and they are excelent, I would definately recommend the location.
I would recommend the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport City, South Wales, as it will be the home of the Ryder Cup in 2010, which is aparently a big thing.
If you schedule sessions in the summer then you can always have a round of golf in the evening to round off a perfect day.
The venue in Bristol was good yesterday [Wed 21 June 2006], although a bit cramped and warm in the morning, but in the afternoon it was great.
Simon> Thanks for the feedback. We held a conference earlier this year "The Architect Insight Conference" - we too found it to be a great venue and plan to host events there again in the future.
I thought the location in Bristol yesterday (21st June) was good and it is nice to see you guys down in this part of the country so please come back.
Andrew> Thanks - It was great to be in the West Country - Bristol gets better and better.
How about Cambridge for all of us out in the east, I believe you already have a campus there so that should reduce costs.
Mike> Cambridge is good - thanks for the suggestion
Exciting though it sounds, the Williams F1 Centre is out in the sticks and still in the Thames Valley so you might as well save the cash and run 2 events - one in Reading (i.e. at TVP) and another somewhere further afield.
I like the idea of using the Microsoft Research site in Cambridge (and don't you also have sites in Manchester and Edinburgh?) but about 10 years back I worked with Microsoft on the Exchange 4.0 launch tour which (I think) hit ten cities across the UK, mostly using hotel venues. Having said that, back then, the TechNet events were also held in hotel venues, and were, quite frankly, a bit poor.
Whilst regional events are a great idea, I would suggest that you stick to large venues - the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull seems to work well for you (better than the Metropole was), add to that the Microsoft sites in Reading (TVP), Cambridge, Manchester (or I think I went to a Microsoft event at GMEX once), Edinburgh, either the Newport/Cardiff/Bristol and somewhere in Yorkshire/the North East and you should have a fair chunk of the UK covered so that nowhere is more than a couple of hours drive for delegates (except maybe Cornwall, North/West Wales and the North of Scotland).
Of course Olney (just outside Milton Keynes) would be nice and local for me but we don't have any conference facilities - I could probably arrange a barn from a local farmer if that would do. It should help to keep the costs down anyway ;-)
BTW, I know it's year end at Microsoft, but the number of UK TechNet events seems to have dried up recently (I guess the budget was spent on the roadshow). If you go to the website today there are only a handful listed :-(
Once again a combination of Scoble and the BBC have alerted me to rather cool-sounding piece of news....
Hi Steve, Earlier this week I attended an event at Ardencote Manor (www.ardencote.com), just off the M40 at Warwick - seemed like a good location for smaller events in the Midlands (I know I previously said that small events were bad but I get the impression that's the way that you're going with the TechNet events now). (What's happened to the evenings in Reading - there were none at all listed when I looked last week!) Mark
Mark> Thanks for the suggestion. There have been TechNet events for other technology areas and we've only just held the security summit - more security events will follow soon. I suspect that the programme is easing off a little over the holiday period that's all.