Tag Archives: Conference


Day 12 – Final Day WPC

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Categories: Canada, Trip 2016-1, Tags: , , ,

Today was the final day of the Microsoft Worldwide conference.  I got up, made breakfast and headed down to the MTCC for the final session of the conference.  The last day, commonly referred to as ‘the graveyard’, lived up to that expectation.  The APAC session was long winded, and didn’t really add a lot of value.  However the main presenter was humorous and informative.  I hung around until lunchtime for a final lunch, before returning to the unit.

Sonic Boom Records

After midday, I took to the streets of downtown Toronto attempting to find a few things to buy.  I went to H&M to try and locate some clothing Toni had found on their website, but they had none of the items in stock.  I found a decent record store, but realised I’d left my LP list back at the unit. Ultimately I ended up back at the unit, then I walked to Union Station and caught the metro out to a shopping centre in a suburb called Dufferin.

Union Station Main Terminal
Dufferin/Kops Records

Here I bought the boys some toys from Toys R Us, and attempted to locate clothes for Toni in the H&M – still no luck.  I returned to the Metro and took it back into downtown.  I wanted to drop off the toys, so looped back through the unit.  At this point I ended up looping back up to opposite the Hotel Rex, and had a look through a different record store.  Ultimately I returned to the unit for a rest, and I was greeted by a complete rainbow adorning the view outside.

Rainbow Sight

After spending some time on Skype talking to home, I finally decided to get off my butt and go eat dinner.  I took a recommendation from my friend Sylvain, and booked a table for one at the nearby Baton Rouge steakhouse, close to the base of the CN Tour.  I ordered a Mexican inspired chicken tenders in Dijonnaise sauce.


Baton Rouge Menu/Dinner

After I’d eaten, I received a text from some fellow Canberrans; they were at another restaurant further north called Michael’s on Simcoe.  I walked up and joined them for a plate of cheese, a bottle of Italian sangiovese and two bottles of red Canadian icewine.  What a great way to wind down the conference!  We called it quits close to midnight, and I waled back to the unit for a well deserved sleep.  The next day I needed to be at the CN Tour, to hopefully be one of the first people to ascend.


Michael’s on Simcoe


Day 10 – Worldwide Partner Conference

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Categories: Canada, North America, Tags: ,

View at the keynote

The second day of the conference kicked off again at the AIr Canada centre.  I was a bit remiss in getting up as early as I had done the previous day, so it wasn’t until close to 8:30am that I left the unit and walked with great determination to arrive at the centre a little bit past the 8:45am scheduled start.

The second Vision Keynote started with a musical number before getting into the detail.  This will be covered in much more detail over at http://sanderstechnology.net

The keynote ran from 8:45am to almost 11am, then it was over to the MTCC for the rest of the day (for me, until 4pm).  I ended up at the conference until about 4pm, then I took an early mark and headed back to the unit to catch an hour’s sleep.  After my little nap, I showered and got changed for the next evening event – the APAC dinner.  I walked back to the MTCC at around 6pm to locate the buses.  It was still reasonably hot, so I was very glad to have refreshed and changed.

Balcony on Day 10/Selfie with the CN Tower

The buses turned out to be running from the south building, and I jumped onto one of the first coaches, which took us west of the city along the harbourside.  Our destination was the Liberty Grand’s courtyard and Governor’s Ballroom.

Directions to the APAC Dinner

As the bus navigated the roads, I took a few snaps and enjoyed watching the city roll by.

Train museum opposite the MTCC

The venue was a historic building, and very impressively laid out.  There were a large mixture of partners from our region as well as a good turnout of Microsoft employees as well.

Liberty Grove/Bar

This was a good networking opportunity, and after a while I managed to navigate between a number of different parties.  The star attraction here was my first Poutine – an eastern Canadian delicacy sort of equivalent to chips and gravy, but so much more.


I ended up at the APAC dinner for several hours before boarding the bus for a return trip and a walk back to the unit.  A bit more Skyping home and I ended up in bed somewhere around midnight.


Day 9 – Worldwide Partner Conference

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Categories: Canada, North America, Trip 2016-1, Tags: ,

The next few days were squarely consumed by the point of the trip in the first place – the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference.  I won’t blog too much about the conference here, as I’m doing more substantial articles on my technology blog, http://sanderstechnology.net

Day 9

Vision Keynote

In any case, with most of the days seeing me occupied with the conference, there’s not too much to report outside those activities.  The first day I started out up early, and out the door before 8am to ensure I reached the Air Canada Centre very early for the first vision keynote, featuring Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.  Afterwards, it was over to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where I spent  time between North and South parts of the centre.

Walking back to MTCC/The Commons

Aside from popping out to get some quality coffee in the afternoon, it was pretty much an all day affair.  Once the day finished, I met up with an old colleague Sean Callanan who is also known by his alter ego, Sports Geek.  We met up at the MTCC and walked back to my unit.  After I got changed, we headed over in my first Uber to a Jazz bar (Rex Hotel) not far from the Sheraton where the Microsoft Australia team (and many partners) were staying.  We had dinner and waited for Tony Winmill (a partner from Canberra) and his colleagues to rock up.

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Sean and I/Jazz Bar

Once we realised Tony and co. were inside, we joined them for beers and to listen to the live music.  We laid back and relaxed and chatted for a few hours before splitting up at around 11pm.  Sean and I started heading west until we found a random bar and headed inside.  We spent a few hours chatting and talking to a guy called Morten from Norway and I was downing glasses of water like there was no tomorrow.

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Random bar

Eventually, sometime after 1am, we called it a night.  I walked the 20 minutes back to the unit and hit the sack, with an aim to make the second vision keynote the following day..