I spent the day yesterday at the inaugural IndyTechFest. More that 370 people showed up to see 25 .NET and SQL Server sessions. One of the most entertaining parts of the day was the opening session slides by motivational speaker Buck Foley. Done in the style of Chris Farley of Saturday Night Live fame, it was unlike any conference opening I've seen. Among Buck's many accomplishments, he is the author of books such as Take this Spec and Burn It, and How to Deny Change Requirements with a Smile.
I attended sessions on Visual Studio 2008, WPF, C# and AJAX tips and tricks, and Business Intelligence. There was an entire track on SQL server and several other SQL session outside of that track; I attended only the BI presentation, favoring the development sessions. The sessions were good, but it seemed like there was a lot of repeated information from one to the next; how many times do I need an introduction to LINQ? I would like to have seen a little more variety.
I was surprised to see only a couple faces that I recognized from Cincinnati-Dayton (including Bill Steele from Microsoft). Seems like a different world from ours here in Ohio. In a quick scan, I don't see anyone speaking at Indianapolis that will be speaking at next week's Day of .NET in Ann Arbor, which is interesting since I know several Ohio speakers are heading up to Ann Arbor.
The swag was good. They gave away two Xboxes (one from a vendor), Infragistics controls, flash drives, and about a million books; I picked up a 1GB flash drive (always useful) and a WPF book I didn't have: Applications = Code + Markup: A Guide to the Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (Pro - Developer)by Charles Petzold.
Overall, it was a very successful conference and I'd recommend next years event.