Build 2012 Initial Impressions

Yes, the tent is very large. And they’ve already started taking it down. Day one and two keynotes are over and gave Build 2012 attendees a familiar experience similar to other Microsoft conferences held in giant convention centers. All thanks to a giant tent. Overall it’s a similar and comfortable experience set inside Microsoft’s Redmond campus. Here are some pros and cons about Build 2012 as it compares to similar conferences held in the past.


  • Larger drink selection. The coolers with drinks are large and stocked with a huge variety. Excellent.
  • Better snacks. The snacks here are what we used to get at the bigger venues 10 years ago. Full candy bars, chips, classic horrible food for developers.
  • Simplified badge. The badge is just a simple piece of plastic with my name, twitter handle, and company. It’s effective and doesn’t try to hang a full conference guide and pen from it.
  • No Badge Scanning. Badge scanning prior to entrance into a session really mucks up the process of getting in the room. They’re not scanning our badges here and I applaud that.
  • Some great rooms. There are two rooms in Building 33 that are lecture halls complete with wall-to-wall desks and extremely comfortable seating. I’ve been most productive in these rooms as I can bring out my laptop and my notebook and easily take notes and learn without the distraction of physical discomfort
  • Lines. There are lines everywhere. More lines than I’ve experienced at other conferences. Most of the lines appear to be because of physical bottlenecks.
  • Tight spaces. The spaces we do have are smaller because the buildings are just smaller than a conference center. So we attendees are closer together.
  • Not a lot of room for work. There doesn’t seem to be many places to sit down and get some solid work done. There are well equipped tables here and there, just not many.
  • Shuttle buses. I’m going to put the shuttles between the buildings in the cons section. The amount of effort needed to go to another building will at times keep me from going to a preferred session only so that I don’t have to travel.

Are you at Build? What do you think of the conference so far?

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