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I'm considering going to Tech.Ed on the Gold Coast (Australia). I was very jealous at many of the teched US SQL Server speakers & presentations.

What well-known SQL personalities will be there (even speculation will do) ?

How similar are TechEd's from country to country? is it a 'word-wide roadshow' with the same people presenting in different countries or is it mostly local Microsofties & MVP's that present?

UPDATE: Good to see that now teched presentations are online and free to download! Lots of awesome content on here:

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

If you focus on SQL Server work, consider going to the Professional Association for SQL Server Summit instead. It's 100% SQL, all the time.

Here's a few articles about it from my blog when I went last year:

There's a ton of great presenters like Paul Randal, Kimberly Tripp, Kevin Kline, and, uh, hopefully me.

TechEd's pretty good - Quest sends people there too - but SQL Server stuff is a small minority percentage of what goes on.

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I don't think i can justify the cost + the flights + the accommodation against the business at the moment. I live in Sydney. Will have to start collecting those frequent flyer points! – Nick Kavadias Jun 1 '09 at 15:25

Who do you want to meet? Events are not about the presentations. You can find most info pretty soon afterward on the web anyway. Events are about networking.

If you have a goal that involves meeting people likely to frequent Tech.Ed and interacting with them, then by all means go there.

Have a plan before you hop on the plane of how you will reach that networking goal and execute it, or before you know it you will be sitting aimlessly through presentations.

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I agree with Peter in that networking is a huge reason to attend conferences in person.

If you are only interested in the sessions, a much cheaper option would be to buy the conference DVDs in the case of PASS, or buy a year subscription to TechEd Online.

You can get a 1 year subscription to all of the sessions online for $250 which is a fraction of the cost of going to the conference.

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yes, i see.. 'networking' i'll have to make sure i pack my wifi accesspoint – Nick Kavadias Jun 2 '09 at 3:00
That might help, the conference wifi networks always seem to be overloaded. :) – Rob Boek Jun 2 '09 at 3:13

I have to agree with Brent and Gail (and to some extent Rob.) PASS over Tech Ed. I've found the DBA Track to be suffering the past couple years at Tech Ed. Furthermore, PASS is specific to SQL, this year it incorporates the MS BI Summit, and the atmosphere is much more conducive to asking questions and interactions with the speaker talent. Networking is an important part of conferences and PASS is no exception. However the talent and session list specifically this year compared to Tech Ed is vastly superior IMHO. Compare the session listings and speaker talent and then make the decision based upon your findings if the cost is not an issue.

If cost is an issue then go with the PASS Summit CDs as Rob mentioned.

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I blogged a bit from TechEd South Africa last year. Yours will probably be a bit bigger than ours was. Often it's mostly local speakers with a few international ones

I'll second the recommendation to go to the PASS conference in Seattle. I'm saving up for it at the moment. From Sydney you've got a shorter distance to go than I have. ;-)

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