Experienced conference attendees headed to the Expo Hall early at DevConnections 2012 to check out the swag and the contests.
Prime booth locations were anchored by Rackspace
[Rackspace utilizes minimalism with classic techie red/black theme]
[Mimecast goes high concept modern]
Attendees waited patiently in long lines to shuffle past for the red stamp on their cards and a t-shirt or a chance to spin the wheel of fortune.
Vendors such as Idera
[A jolt of orange energizes]
and Axceler relied more on color to attract attendees.
[Lime green and turquoise for that efficient yet friendly vibe]
BeyondTrust's booth had a lifesized graphic of a guy at a computer.
[No, it's the guy on the right--come on!]
But utilitarian booths such as Quest's
[Does basic blue say "We are the next Microsoft"?]
[Mod lime and white aims for the "We are cool but we're still techie" vibe]
and Knowledge Lake
[A style more aptly called "Don't do anything to distract people from the demos."]
still attracted a heavy stream of IT pros and developers.
And then there was Microsoft.
[Really. Outside the Microsoft booth. The Phantom of the Opera was in town and loaned them the set.]
["Will you, Joe DBA, take SQL Server 2012 to love and to cherish from this day forth?"]
You could learn more about SQL Server 2012 and Visual Studio 2012, as well as get a palm reading session, or a quick wedding ceremony.
And I didn't even get a photo of the guy in top hat and tails and blue and white makeup wandering around the perimeter offering downloads of Visual Studio. But I think it was Steve Ballmer.