Planning for the annual CES 2008 Tablet PC & UMPC Gathering

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It’s my favorite time of year! Planning is underway for the 2008 CES Tablet PC & UMPC community gathering.

Are you available to help pull the event together?

  • Contact OEMs, ODMs, ISVs, etc.
  • Help spread the word throughout the community
  • Will you broadcast the event? (power is an issue at the restaurant, but possible!)
  • Sponsor part event
  • Offer giveaways for a drawing (past items have included: Tablet PC guys, pens, Splotch, t-shirts, carry cases, Tablet PC or UMPC, and lots of software)
  • Share your new or retro hardware, software, or accessory at the event
  • Attend!

We’ll handle much of it the same way as we have in previous years. If you’re a Tablet PC or UMPC company, user, enthusiast, or interested in learning more about them you are welcome to attend. It’ll be a casual atmosphere, which usually encourages a good deal more talking than other events. Get ready to listen, learn and share!

We’ve held the event at the Venetian V-bar, Hilton private conference room, buffett at Paris, and for the last couple of years at a burger joint. My personal favorite location — because the staff has been so courteous in letting us move furniture, use power, has not kicked us out right as we hit the 4 hour mark, has a variety of food for everyone — is the Cheeseburger Las Vegas in the Miracle Mile Shops (formerly Aladdin). It’s also fairly easy to get to from the monorail station.

Date & time — I am leaning toward the afternoon of Tuesday, January 8, 2008. In the past we’ve met just after the BillG keynote. I don’t think we’ll do that again because people really do spread the word during CES. The first full day is too crazy for everyone. The second day has worked well as has the third day, something mid-afternoon just as you’d take a break from the exhibit area anyhow and can still make your evening events.

Another thought is to connect it with blog haus. Thoughts on this?

If you’re planning to attend, please email me at ljheiny at hotmail dot com and include how you can help (even if it’s what type of Tablet PC or UMPC you use). Once we have the exact date and time set, I’ll send out an email and post to make sure everyone is set.

FAQs

Can I bring a friend or spouse?
Yes!

Do I have to be registered for CES to attend?
If you’re a Tablet PC or UMPC enthusiast and would like to attend, you’re welcome to join us. We have the event off the CES show so that the event is open.

Can we demonstrate our new Tablet PC or UMPC?
Yes. People love to see the new products from the show floor, so be sure to bring them with you. There isn’t a formal demo or exhibit area. People generally pass around the unit and have in-depth conversations with the crowd of people that will inevitably form to "oooh and ahhh" around it.

We usually set up a table for brochures and drawing box for the giveaways. You’re welcome to set items out here too.

Can our company come if it’s not a "Microsoft" Tablet PC or UMPC?
Yes! If your company considers your product a tablet or umpc, please come and share. Also, if your company is considering adding a digitizer to your product for touch or pen support definitely come because this enthusiastic group is exactly who you need to get to know. I can think of a few companies and organizations that I’d love to see attend. 🙂

Security
It is your responsibility to watch personal items.

Who attends?
Well, the 2003 gathering was shoving room only in the V-bar. The highlight was that several members of the original Microsoft Tablet PC development team came, and gave us early copies of Lonestar (codename for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005). There was a rumor that Bill Gates would come, but it was only a rumor and one that has somehow continued each year. Sorry, folks, I’m not sure how to actually pull that one off.

We have been honored by many, including: the CEO of Electrovaya, CEO of Motion Computing, CEO of TabletKiosk, representatives from FIC, ASUS, Gateway, Acer, Toshiba, OQO, VIA, Intel, Samsung, and Otterbox. Last year the Microsoft Origami Experience team attended and shared copies of the newly released OX. People from software companies attend, which is tribute since CES is primarily a hardware conference 🙂

Plus, friends whose names you know from blogs, review sites, podcasts, videocasts, and ink shows have attended, including: Marc Orchant, James Kendrick, Linda A. Epstein, Terri Stratton, Chris Hassler, Kevin Tofel, Chris Pirillo, Robert Scoble, Buzz Bruggeman, Chris de Herrera, Rob Bushway, Warner Crocker, Dennis Rice, Matt Faulkner, Sierra Modro, Jake Ludington, and many, many more.

Oh, yes and the Heiny family — Loren, Layne, Sarah, Bob, Joan, Kim and I plan to attend this year. Elizabeth is in Panama for her senior year of high school, so won’t be with us.

Is there a cost?
In the past we’ve been extremely lucky in that companies have sponsored the event. We can’t count on this, so please plan to pay for your own food and drinks. The restaurant has a good selection of healthy and heart-attack food if you prefer, at reasonable prices.