As I mentioned yesterday, Channel 9 is asking the community whether they should bump up Wired writer Fred Vogelstein on the Mix07 waitlist so he can get into the sold out conference. The question is whether Fred should go to the top of the list, above let’s say a developer. As of this morning, 60 people have voted. 31 say no, he shouldn’t get in or have special treatment. 29 say, “let him in.”
I voted yes. Fred writes for a major tech-savvy publication and has large audience reach. If Microsoft wants to get the word out far and wide that it’s making a concerted effort to improve online experiences, it would do well to have writers such as Fred attend the conference.
I admire the creativity in trying to get around the sold out problem, but since this is a conference put on by Microsoft to get the word out about Microsoft products, it does seem that there’s more room for creativity. Here’s some other ideas:
* What about an overflow room for the keynote and first-day sessions that are expected to be packed? The first day at a conference is often the most crowded. Isn’t there a way to manage that?
* Jeff Sandquist mentioned that there would be a blogger room at Mix. Is it open to reporters and bloggers that can’t get into Mix?
* There are two customers, myself and Robert Scoble, that are volunteering to be bumped by Fred (although technically I was already bumped off the waitlist, so I don’t really have any skin in the game anymore). What about the Microsoft employees that are willing to give up their pass to let Fred in?
* Microsoft’s Mobile & Embedded Developers Conference overlaps MEDC and is going on in the same hotel. Seems like it should be feasible to balance resources between them.
If none of this works, Fred can do what I’m going to do. Go anyway. Stand in the hallway (or as close as security will let me) and see what happens. Maybe there will be a last minute cancellation. Maybe someone will sleep in after a late night of partying and loan you their pass to get into the keynote. Maybe there will be so many interesting people to meet in the hallway that it’ll make the whole un-event worthwhile in itself. All of these I’ve done in the past at other events. Where there is enough motivation, there’s a way to get it done.