Com Tech's annual Forum conference on the Gold Coast just gets bigger and bigger, and this year was no exception.
Around 900 delegates, vendors and Com Tech staff converged on the Hyatt Coolum from the previous Thursday to Monday of last week, eager to soak up what has become one of the most popular events on the IT calendar.
But we all know the big drawcard is not the polished keynotes, breakout sessions or "birds of a feather" industry bitch sessions.
Tabloid is under no illusions - the on-site night club called Frasers is enjoying its healthiest financial year ever after Com Tech decided different vendors should pick up the bar tab each night.
Sponsors such as Microsoft, Nortel Networks and Cisco forked out well over $3000 for their nominated nights at Frasers, which produced a record string of liver-taxing results.
"Alcohol was being hosed away like a crop sprayer," a Tabloid spy reported.
In fact, the free alcohol spree went down so well with the punters that it put the traditionally hard-drinking IT journalist community to shame.
Our spy reports the journalists were actually well behaved by comparison.
At one stage, small shot glasses lined the bar five rows deep for patrons to enjoy while waiting for their other drinks to be prepared.
It got to the point where one source claims a party animal was carried off to hospital suffering from what we could only describe as "too-much-fun syndrome".
Other reports revealed instances of IT types lying passed out on pathways after enjoying the excesses on offer.
Another telling tale to come out of the Com Tech fest was Cisco's now traditional tequila night - 700 people consumed 165 bottles of Mexico's finest liquor.
Now, as usual, Tabloid would never go so far as to condone such excessive, irresponsible behaviour at such a prestigious industry gathering.
And it seems Com Tech, well aware of Tabloid's disdain for the fermented drink, decided not to tempt our scribes with an invitation to the conference again this year.
We feel much better for it too, thank you.
Flying before they left the ground
Even Tabloid spies are getting in for their shameless grab for publicity. But it seems that those publicity shots where you just happen to catch the company logo are best for events other than pub crawls. For the folks at Allied Telesyn and Express Data, because the pub-crawl was by helicopter around the Hunter Valley, the pain of Tabloid exposure was considered worthwhile. According to our spy, "a fabulous day was had by all", and the ATI/ED Helicopter Pub Crawl could become an annual event. In this, the BEFORE shot, the flying pub crawlers are: Jorge Ferreria (Anabelle Bits), Jeff Buchanan (Jigsaw), Maria Giavis (Netstar), Fiona (Timelink), Craig Bartlett (Com Tech), Pam South (Allied Telesyn), Jason Finlayson (Express Data), Molly Baker (Express Data), Brigitte Sousa (Express Data), Shaun (SMA Business Solutions), Mark Jackson (Allied Telesyn's MD) and at the front is Michael Rubinstein (Express Data).
Channel compliance test
There is something of a protocol to catching the attention and interest of ARN journalists (and it's not related to restaurants, beverages or junkets). The story being "pitched" by the various companies HAS to bare some relevance to the Australian IT CHANNEL. Not a difficult concept to grasp, you might think. But spin doctors from companies that should know this STILL seem to overlook the relevance test. In a recent case, an energetic marcoms slugger engaged a senior ARN staffer in a keen offer (request) to interview an exec.
ARN scribe: Can this guy speak about channel issues?
Company spin doctor: He can talk about [several minutes of yaddah, yaddah, yaddah but nothing of channel impact or interest].
ARN: Yes, but can he speak to channel issues?
Spin doctor: That would be [person's name], our channel marketing manager.
ARN: Is he available?
Spin doctor: Well no . . .
ARN: See you later.
Fries with that?
Online reseller Wholesale Direct can expect to have a tidier office and vicinity if marketing director Michael Tregurtha has his way. He joined the company four months ago after 19 years with the Australian subsidiary of that famous Scottish restaurant. When a Tabloid reporter asked him if it was difficult adapting to "post-Maccas life", he said that when he passes an outlet he still tends to pick up any stray wrappers.
Movers & shakers
Another company has appointed a female managing director, this time it's FileNET. And when she's also a revhead, it's sure to attract attention. FileNET has announced the promotion of Robyn Bradbury to the new position of managing director for Australia and New Zealand. Bradbury has been with the company since 1997 and has a marketing and channel sales background. She is also reported to be a keen racing driver in her spare time.
Thought for the week
This was attributed to a marketing executive at Citrix. A quote from the boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."