HP discovers the sound of music

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A few times a year I try to join some tech conferences from vendors we work with. So that’s especially DELL, HP, Microsoft and VMware. The only downside on being an EMEA citizen is that we get the smaller version of those conferences half a year later. Nevertheless #HPdiscover Vienna was on my schedule from the moment I heard about it. For the first time HP joins all its conferences into one big event where they show everything you can imagine.

At a certain point in time I had to reclaim my request to join the conference at my managers office. I got invited by the HP Social Media team as an “independent blogger”. I must admit that the first time such an invitation comes in, you go home pretty proud about it. In fact, I finally got a decent explanation for my wife why I sit behind my laptop, iPAD or just smartphone for hours after she goes to sleep 🙂
Just one year ago, I was at an HP Technical Conference in Istanbul after which I ranted a bit about their lack of Social Media awareness at this blog post. I certainly hoped this time to see something different.

So what was different being at Discover as a blogger instead of a reseller. EVERYTHING. Lets start of with the travel, hotel, transportation, … OK, lets not. We’re not here to brag. But HP did a hell of a job keeping the “independent” happy. The nicest thing was our winter jacket goodie (picture above). But if you know which bloggers were at the venue, you know keeping them happy will not buy them out. Bloggers like @nigelpoulton (Infosmack Podcasts& TechnicalDeepDive), @knieriemen (NekkidTech Podcasts), @chris_mellor (The Register), etc … are just not that easy to bribe. I even don’t know if all of them were there at HP’s request or at their own initiative.

Nevermind all above mentioned things. Here are some moments of a blogger at HP Discover. Definitly worth doing over! You want to know who else was there with us? Most of them are mentioned in this blog by Calvin Zito (@HPstorageGuy).

The bloggers lounge (aka Bloggers Penthouse). In the front you see @GeeksRoom our “Mexican Racist”, who is for starters not Mexican at all 🙂 

Besides an awesome espresso machine we also had an Espresso bar with a “Barista” (Italian for Bartender)
The serious stuff happened over here: our very own coffee room for private (sometimes NDA) sessions with the HP speakers and loads of time for Q&A. Every morning on our arrival at the venue we received a schedule for the day with the most interesting sessions already picked out for us.
Here 2 HP employees at our Coffe Room Chats: Rafal Los (@Wh1t3Rabbit) with a session on Enterprise Security and Paul Muller (@facne) talking about Software Development (DevOps) at HP.
Dinner with the bloggers in one of the oldest restaurants in town. It is here that we learned some really interesting differences in culture. One example was that the US guys had noticed I had a beer during lunch and told me that would result in losing my job if I were in the US. Out of curiosity I asked what they drink at lunch. The answer was “soda”. To summarize: they drown their food in sugar, I use alcohol. Now make your own choice 😉
The days were long, we did work a decent schedule so sometimes some people get that tired that they fall asleep on their fork and have their hair lying in the whipcream.
The next day some of us got smart and stepped by the VMware relaxation booth. From the left to the right we see Michael Letschin (@MLetschin), Greg Knieriemen (@Knieriemen) and Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl) taking five in a massage chair.
And last but not least: Calvin Zito playing “the Piano Man” 

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