On October 24th, Brian Seitz announced on the Windows Phone Blog that an event called the Windows Phone Inner Circle would be coming to multiple cities in the United States. I was happy to see many smaller markets including places like St. Louis and Nashville.
MWGEEK is based in St. Louis, so there was no question we would attend. The event was held at the Malt House Cellar in St. Louis on 11/10/2011. It was a nice relaxing venue. I had expected these events to be like a typical tech conference with rows of chairs and PowerPoint presentations. Instead it was much more relaxed and personable. The only presentations were some videos of the new features of Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) running on the TV’s around the venue. The only presentation is when one of the Microsoft folks would take the microphone and announce winners and thank us for coming. It wasn’t a sales pitch, the phones sold themselves, and that was evident by the reaction of those there who didn’t have Windows Phones already.
There were also members of the Windows Phone team available who would talk to you about the phones, your current experiences, and perhaps most important of all feature suggestions. I had some really interesting conversations with a few of those guys.
Many 7.5 phones such as the HTC Titan, HTC Radar and Samsung Focus S were on display also. There were international only devices such as the very cool Fujitsu Toshiba waterproof phone with a 13 MP camera, I really believe this phone would do great in the states. Unofficially there were a few Nokia Lumia 800 devices that were well hidden in pockets, but they came out from time to time. That really is a sharp device.
Giveaways consisted of phones (the HTC Titan and Samsung Focus S), XBOX live games and skateboard decks.
Overall it was a great event style at a great place with great people. I really hope to see more Microsoft events in the St. Louis area. The turnout surprised me honestly, and I hope it did the Microsoft folks as well. Check out the pictures below and go get in line for one of the new Windows Phones!
Source: Windows Phone Blog