We started off from the office around 2:30 and made it to Kalahari Resort by around 5pm or so. By the time we got there and got everything in our rooms (clothes, rock band stuff, and my drumset crap) it was about 6pm, so we went down to the booth and hung out for a while. It was great seeing everybody again and we all stood around and "networked" for a few minutes. Once we got our booth setup, we decided to run to WalMart so I could get a watch and we could get Pilgrim some drugs for his cold... Yeah, I had forgotten my watch at home and I felt completely naked, so I bought a $5 analog watch to tide me over til I got back to my digital running watch. By the time we got back to the Kalahari, the evenings events were done as far as CodeMash went, so we went to the room and began drinking beer and played RockBand... That game ROCKS!! James had some cheat codes to get all possible songs and we ended up playing it til about 1:30am.
The next morning, we got down to the booth and the event was in full bloom. Geeks were coming out of the woodwork and I felt right at home. :) We talked to a few people about who we were and met a few of our customers. I quickly found out that the only way to get people to take our books was to jump out in the middle of the mix and force our material into their hands. Once I made eye contact with them, they would ask questions about the company, I would tell them about what we did, showed a couple of demos and told them to download an eval and see for themselves. I was amazed at how many people were from Columbus. It seemed like the most popular place as far as I could tell from all the attendees I talked with.
I saw Scott Hanselman wondering the halls and I approached him with an extended hand. I told him I loved his podcast and we talked about his last show with Rory Blyth / Chris Sells. :) It was hilarious; if you haven't heard it yet, check it out! He actually gave me a "Private Invitation" to his expert panel talk during lunch, but I decided to use that time to iron out my speach for the Vendor Sessions. It payed off too, because I felt very comfortable during my session and people in the audience actually gave me a good review... I know this because they had 'evaluation forms' they had to fill out and I read them. :)
Speaking of RockBand and Scott Hanselman, I got to jam with him and he commended me on my (rather crappy) RockBand drum skills. He played guitar while I played drums, then he sat and watched a couple of songs that I ended up playing with others. It was pretty cool to see him hanging out with all of us and "geeking out" with all of us geeks.
At the end of the day CodeMash had a party and they offered a jam session for all of the musicians that brought their instruments. There were a couple of people that brought guitars and Zach brought his Bass, so we got to jam out for quite a while. It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of cool people that night. Of course the night ended in a drunken haze (long island ice tea is th'shit) and of course it ended with even more RockBand and pizza. We had a blast!
We all woke up and got out stuff packed and loaded into the cars. By the time we got to the booth, we still had some time for the breakfast and it was soooooo good after the night of drinking (I chowed). We saw a couple of cool sessions and talked to a lot of people in the halls about our products. The ending raffle was a blast. So much stuff was given away at this raffle and it was a lot of fun.
Things I learned:
- Corey Haines has some mad musical talent
- Harmonica + Guitar + Vocals
- F# is fun and very powerful. I'll be learning it this year for sure!
- Silverlight is actually fairly easy to use... once you know a few tips.
- Zach is a guitar whiz and James is a damn good singer in RockBand!
- Bring a gaming console to your booth when you exhibit at CodeMash!
Props to all the organizers that put CodeMash on: Jim Holmes, Brian Prince, Jason Gilmore, Jason Follas, Jeff Blankenburg, Josh Holmes, Dianne Marsh, John Hopkins, Brian Sherwin, and Chris Woodruff.
We'll be seeing you next year! :)
It was nice to meet you! - Hanselman
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