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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
Crossposted from my O'Reilly blog

The official launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and Biztalk 2006 was today. We know this because King Steve, the Ballmerian, gave a rather dry 90 minute presentation on the subject.

That's not what this post is about, although it is on a related topic. You see, my local user group... excuse me, I mean my local .NET user group, volunteered to host a community launch event.

Microsoft & INETA (that's the International .NET Association) sent out a letter to all the UGs (that's a hip abbreviation for User Group) asking if we wanted to be a part of this momentous occasion. In return for participating, we would get a boatload of free swag to give away, and lots of support (wink wink) from Microsoft to make it a big success.

We were all asked to submit our community launch dates months ago, and most of us dutifully complied. I say most of us, because I really rather doubt that we ALL complied, but I did, so hey...

We were then assured (assured, I say) that we would receive oodles of training, and materials to make this a big success. We were to nominate a launch event presenter to take this training and in return, we would receive 6 copies of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and Biztalk 2006 (1 for the presenter and 5 to give away). We would also receive 6 exam vouchers (again 1 for the presenter and 5 to give away.)

Now, let me just pause and ask if you really think I would be writing all of this if things were going smoothly?

Needless to say (and yet I say it anyway), things are not going as advertised. Our Communiy Launch Event is in 3 days, and we just received our "kit" today. The kit consisted of a really cool looking box, some balloons, a tshirt that is two sizes too small for ANYONE in my UG and a pretty flashy banner.

There were also 4 DVDs which we are expected to burn copies of (at UG expense) for each attendee. (I feel compelled to mention at this point that we have 46 people signed up to attend.)

Last of all, and most importantly, there was a letter stating that all the other stuff that was supposed to be in the box was not, in fact, in the box. That's right, no swag. No NFR (Not For Resale) products, no exam vouchers, NADA, ZIP, Zero, Zilch...

It was approximately 4:45 this afternoon when I uttered a string of expletives so long and profane that the nearby Naval Station decided to take the rest of the day off.

So... with less than 3 days remaining, I have to make 46 copies of these attendee DVDs and come up with a fairly compelling reason not to drive to Redmond and scream at someone until blood vessels start bursting.

I also have to come up with some nifty vouchers for the free swag we promised our attendees that some of them would go home with... and nifty excuses like "I'm sorry, Mr. This is my first AND LAST UG meeting, we'll be sure to mail your swag to you. No we didn't lie, Microsoft screwed us over."

You see the problem here is that MS (that's a hip abbreviation for Microsoft) already has a black eye the size of Montana in most circles. Most people don't have a clue who INETA is, and this isn't their fault anyway. BUT... it's the UG leaders who really end up looking like jerks.

So thanks guys... and gals... If I ever needed a reason to dislike or distrust the almighty marketing machine, I've got one now.

Oh and no offense meant to the great state of Montana. I'm sure it's a lovely place to live. Please excuse me while I change the DVD in my burner, only 42 more to go. Posted on Monday, November 7, 2005 4:35 PM General Interest | Back to top



Comments on this post: How many Marketing pukes does it take...

# re: How many Marketing pukes does it take...
Requesting Gravatar...
Chris,

Dawg! I think that's what you get for being a "Beta" UG!

Seriously, let the B-Dogg know if you need any help!

B
Left by Codesailor on Nov 07, 2005 8:13 PM

# re: How many Marketing pukes does it take...
Requesting Gravatar...
Ah, man...that's just wrong, boss. <pats you on the shoulder>. Makes me wonder what our version of the launch event here is going to be like.....oy. If you like, I'll see if I can make some inquiries and find out if it's just you. 'Course, I think MS itself is hosting ours. Could be wrong about that, though.
Left by Theo Moore on Nov 08, 2005 4:20 AM

# re: How many Marketing pukes does it take...
Requesting Gravatar...
pretty sure it's not just me, but thanks all the same. :)
Left by Chris Williams on Nov 08, 2005 4:36 AM

# re: How many Marketing pukes does it take...
Requesting Gravatar...
I feel your pain. Luckily, when the warning got sent out that the materials would be late, I pushed our launch back towards the end of the month. And, since I haven't mailed out anything to the members yet, I can push it back even more. You are right, though. This is what we get for being nice guys trying to do the right thing.
Left by Jason Bentley on Nov 08, 2005 9:13 AM

# re: How many Marketing pukes does it take...
Requesting Gravatar...
I've sent out numerous emails to INETA and Microsoft and so far all I've gotten back was "we'll get back to you..."

I'm curious when exactly that will occur. My bet say it will happen AFTER my launch meeting...

54 hours to go.
Left by Chris Williams on Nov 08, 2005 9:17 AM

# re: How many Marketing pukes does it take...
Requesting Gravatar...
Maybe its different up here, but here's what Canada is getting: MSDN Canada is doing their own marketing blitz, and hosting tech-net/msdn events in major cities. Everyone at those events gets free software, swag, etc.

Then there's our user group "launch" event. We got our training materials a while back already, but not sure what the swag is. But since theyr'e giving away all the free software, its not like free copies are even a big deal, so I guess we'll give out old .NET 1.1 Java Interop books or something.

Moral of this story: Move to Canada...our marketing guys seem to be on the ball up here.
;)

D
Left by D'Arcy From Canada on Nov 08, 2005 9:36 AM

# re: How many Marketing pukes does it take...
Requesting Gravatar...
Correction: apparantly we just got our UG launch materials the other day as well. Our guy had some access to webcasts or something a while back, but that was it. Luckily, our city launch event isn't until December and our UG launch event isn't until January, so we have a bit more time.

D
Left by D'Arcy From Canada on Nov 08, 2005 1:34 PM

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