The Coronas were flowing and the band was jamming, but not too loudly, so that eBay, PayPal, Skype developers, and eBay Staff and sellers could do some serious networking at the Friday night House of Blues Welcome reception.
"It's been a very exciting event so far," said Jeff Marek of Intel, who sponsored the event. He and his colleague Kasia Hanson were welcoming people to the venue, and handing out funky glowing pens. Hanson confirmed the networking going on was intense, as some attendees "asked the band to quiet down so people could talk." They joked it was probably the one place in Vegas that night where people actually wanted the noise level dialed down.
Much of the talk that night that I heard seemed to revolve around Skype: who was using it, and what you could do with it..and especially, what eBay was going to do with it. Ben Lilienthal of VAPPS was there,
talking about his "voice over IP Apps" software, which allows high-speed conferencing. I bumped into several Skype employees, too, one of whom, Certification Manager Tiit Paananen, came all the way from Estonia. He was chilling out in a booth with Mat Taylor, API Product Manager.
I kept bumping into John Mohan, CEO of Rosebud LMS, Inc., who joked that "it was nice for Intel to give something back; I've been buying their products for years." Intel and eBay are working together on "certain technical initiatives,"said Hanson, and they have a demo of Skype at the conference. I hope to find out more at the Intel booth.
Even eBay Powersellers were there: I met Kevin Binsfield of www.UsedCameraBuyer.com, who refurbishes and sells fine condition used camera equipment. Although many folks seemed excited about the venue of "Sin City" for this year's eBay conferences, Binsfield had run into some snags: "I don't have a room yet," he lamented. When he'd checked into his hotel and gotten to his designated room, "there was a guy in there smoking."
Greg Isaacs, Director of eBay's developers program, was there meeting and greeting many folks. (He was to show his sense of humor the next morning, when he came out after the Keynotes' opening entertainment of highwire (or high-scarf) acrobats, in this case, wiping his brow with a red scarf and saying how hard the gymnastic movements had been for him).
The attendees munched on food including sliced sausage and caesar salad, and lingered until the end of the event shortly after 9 p.m. They flowed out into the Mandalay Bay casino, where some paused to decide what parts of the Vegas nightlife to experience next. There would be plenty of time for more networking the next day.