I was very fortunate to attend TechMela at Kathmandu, Nepal on 29th and 30th of March 2010. I would like to thank Allen Bailochan Tuladhar from Microsoft MDP Nepal for inviting me. Allen is a person with seemingly infinite energy and unlimited passion for Microsoft Technology. If you get an opportunity to spend just one hour with him, you will surely be more enthusiastic with regards to Microsoft Technology. And, I was lucky enough that I was able to spend about a total of 9 days with him in Kathmandu, working along with him in the Tech Community.
TechMela is considered as one of the biggest events in Nepal, having been organized by Microsoft MDP Nepal. This event was attended by around 500 students and hundreds of Tech professionals. The event was handled very professionally and at very large scale. Every minor detail was properly planned and obviously thought out well. There were around 50+ volunteers from MS MDP who were monitoring this event systematically to make sure the event would run as smooth as planned.
During this event, I was delighted to meet David Lim of Microsoft Singapore. He is very passionate in working for Microsoft Technology, as well as building deep relations with the Community. I was fortunate to spend my entire afternoon with him during the sight-seeing trip. We discussed various MS technologies and their community’s adoption as well as the way how each of us can be a part of the community activity. He also delivered excellent keynotes at the event. I must say that this is one of the most enjoyable keynotes I have ever attended. It was interesting and interactive, and I must say that I had the 70s feelings with all the fonts and graphics. I still remember him saying, “Yeah, I was a student and I know you.”
After the keynote, everybody cheered when Allen came on stage to talk about the event and to introduce the agenda for the next two days. I must say that Allen is one of the most well-known people in Nepal. I was impressed with his popularity, and to prove this, when he got on the stage he had to wait for a long full minute before he was able to greet “Welcome” while the attendees were clapping and cheering.
This event was blessed with the top-of-the-top officials of various IT industries, Nepal ministries and the US Embassy. All the prominent personalities were present for panel discussion on the stage. The talk was done on various subjects. Also, the energy level which was set by Allen really echoed in the audience as they asked certain questions on different global as well local IT-related questions. The panel discussion really was discussion instead of usual monologue of one person.
This was a two-day event and my session was on either of the day. I had a great participation from the audience on both days. The place where the event was organized had a capacity of around 500+ audience. Both of my sessions were heavily attended and volunteers did a fabulous job helping the attendees find empty seats or arrange some additional seats. I was overwhelmed with the interaction I have received in the large hall. Attendees were not so shy to express their thoughts, so both the sessions were followed up by top notch one-on-one conversations for a couple of hours.
There are many questions that I have received during the event, and many of them can be interesting for all of us here so I will write detailed blog posts on these subjects. I also tried to participate in the gaming activities held at the event, but I felt I was kind of lost even if I was only playing for the very first minutes. This made me realize that I am really getting old for video games.
Allen’s session on Digital Photography was very impressive as he demonstrated so many features of the Windows Live Product that at one point I felt he is MVP for Windows Live. In fact, he demonstrated how all the Microsoft products work together to give users an excellent desktop experience; no wonder he is an MVP for Windows Desktop Experience.
Any event has two common dilemmas – food and logistics. However, this event had excellent food and state-of-the-art organization. I was very glad that this two-day event turned out to be one of the most successful events in Nepal. I also noticed that almost all attendees rate their experience as beyond expectation and truly exceptional.
If you ever get invited by Allen in any of his event, I strongly suggest that you drop all your plans and scheduled stuff, and accept his invitation. For sure, the event will be a very memorable one and would be your once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)