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SPC11 social events survival guide from one binge drinker to another

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​Before you judge's the definition of 'binge drinker'

"Binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking is the modern epithet for drinking alcoholic beverages with the primary intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. It is a kind of purposeful drinking style that is popular in several countries worldwide, and overlaps somewhat with social drinking since it is often done in groups. The exact degree of intoxication, however, varies between and within various cultures that engage in this practice. " WIkiPedia

Yes that's anyone drinking more than 4 alcohol drinks is a binge drinker! ;-) Which is probably going to be most of the people at any of the social events with FREE drinks in two weeks in Anaheim!

There are plenty of events going on over the week and our very own SharePoint Community Calendar has a list to them all with registration links if required.

I have just got back from the BUILD conference at the same venue, where I was a little alienated surrounded by Windows, Web, Azure and Windows Phone Developers! The SharePoint community is unique in having not only Developers, but End Users, IT Pros and all sorts of other walks of life! Usually a lot more social a mob than developers.

I actually was relatively well behaved and was even asleep in bed by 10pm one night, albeit I was in Las Vegas the weekend before the event with my wife. This actually showed me that going to a conference and not going out on the sauce every night is actually a good thing and means that you feel fresh every morning and can eat breakfast and attend sessions with 100% concentration!

I'll be honest with you, this is unlikely to happen for most of you next week as much as it is about the learning it's also about the social aspects of a conference and catching up with old friends and ones you've stalked on Twitter for years! and heck...there's free booze and you have a week long 'pink slip' from your partner to go out every night.

As a well seasoned conference speaker/attendee and party goer, I figured I'd share some pearls of wisdom based on some good life lessons at these events.

Survival Rules

  • PICK YOUR BATTLES - don't think you're gonna survive being out Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs night until 2am drinking without missing the entire days sessions.
    Strategically pick a few nights to go home early, just not Monday or Tuesday. Remember, you're not at college anymore!
    Not many can stay out and not drink and be bubbly the next morning...Joel Oleson doesn't drink so don't be fooled by his hyperactive stone cold sober antics and spritely morning appearance ;-)
  • EAT - we've all been there...straight from work benders...not a good idea. Conference food tends not to be the best food to try and fill yourself up with either. I'd recommend a good feed before starting out for the night. Late night kebabs afterwards may save you from a fate worse than death though!
  • WATER - It isn't 'cheating'...drink water between each of those FREE alcohol drinks.
  • SAY HELLO - if you're there on your own, don't be afraid to come say hello. You probably recognize faces from blogs, videos and status updates...we may be busy catching up with old friends, but we'll certainly introduce you to people to make you part of it all.
  • MORNING KIT - after you've slapped on the aftershave and just about to walk out the door of your hotel room...make sure you have a bottle of water by your bed, some aspirin and a breakfast cereal bar.
  • SOCIAL NETWORKS - remember pretty much everyone there will have smart phones with cameras on them...fortunately some won't have ROAMING data...but they'll be lots being pushed online. Just saying. ;-)
    Announce on social networks which events you're going to the afternoon of the event. The amount of times after the fact I've gone "<such and such> was there? no way, I still haven't met him".
  • AVOID TROUBLEMAKERS - defined by anyone lining shots up at the bar...usually these people are invincible and know just isn't worth being friends with the porcelain office for the morning when you could be at sessions if you can't handle shots! JUST SAY 'NO'!
  • LEARN THE 'HOUDINI' - the houdini is well worth learning for those people you know just aren't going to let you leave the bar without a bundle of abuse ;-)
  • UPDATE YOUR PHOTO - Putting a photo of yourself you took 10 years ago on your Twitter account really doesn't help anyone identify you at conferences! Update your photo the week before you come to SPC11 on social networks so people can start to recognise you at the event!
  • GET YOURSELF A FREE T-SHIRT - Yes that's right's not too late to get yourself a free personalized t-shirt with your name on the back. Makes identifying people so much easier at these events.

I'm hoping some people will be thanking me for such diamond advice by the end of SPC11...everyone enjoy and stay safe people!

If you have other advice...feel free to add it in the comments...keep it friendly people!

Categories: SPC


Mark Miller

Morning? Really?

Curious... when have you ever seen Joel Oleson in the morning? Just sayin'.

Posted 20-Sep-2011 by Mark Miller
Veronique Palmer


Absolutely priceless!! And all so very true! :) Great advice Jeremy - any newbies out there - listen well! "You're not in college anymore" ... hahahahaha!

Posted 20-Sep-2011 by Veronique Palmer

"Avoid Troublemakers" - LOL

who's that leave then?

Posted 20-Sep-2011 by Kevin Dostalek

Round drinking...

I would also say: stay away from 'round drinking' where you get each other rounds, trying to keep up with a seasoned European drinking veteran will only end in tears for some.

Posted 20-Sep-2011 by

Wise... very wise

All very good points. Will definitely be following these tips.

Posted 20-Sep-2011 by Euan Gamble

AVOID TROUBLEMAKERS - Especially the MSFT variety

I find most of them hanging around a certain Mr. Christian Finn. He seems to be leading the group.

Great recommendations from a PRO.

Jeremy you are one of the pros. Glad to see you dispersing this great advice. I know a few Ninja's I've had to walk back to their room. It's amazing what people will do to themselves. This is a marathon, so definitely your advice comes into play. Yes, it is not Vegas and it will all come out on the web. Nothing stays in vegas on this trip. I really like the Pick your battles, and choose which nights you are in for the long haul. I don't know how you're going to pick any nights where it won't be mayhem though. If you're going to have an early night start with Sunday, cause the Red Party will set the bar high for the rest of the week. Joel Oleson

Posted 21-Sep-2011 by Joel Oleson


Also, remember to wear comfortable shoes (cough ladies) and eat fruits and vegetables or take a multi-vitamin. I'm a huge fan of these insoles when I'm running around for days at a time. Ladies: Men:

Posted 21-Sep-2011 by Erica Toelle

More and More Events

Every day I keep learning of more and more events going on *outside* of the conference. Hard to keep track.

Posted 27-Sep-2011 by David Leveille

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