This year will be my 3rd presence at TechEd, this time again in Barcelona. Apparently there's almost 80 people coming from Portugal, which is more than last year. My personal focus will be on the "SOA and Business Process" and "Architecture" tracks.
People who didn't yet attend one of these events tend to see almost as a vacation. The reality is that there's in general very little free time, and you get back NEEDING vacation. There are also several side events, including the mandatory networking dinners: monday, the CSD Influencers; tuesday, the MVP's; wednesday, the country dinner. The networking is one of the most valuable aspects of these conferences, as you get to meet the people you know only from blogs or the net.
This year there are no big news expected at TechEd, although I'd bet there will probably be some announcements. Either at Somasegar's keynote, or at the GEN01 General session in the last day, which has a vague description and is the only session at that time slot.
To those using Vista, there's a nice TechEd countdown gadget available here.
The only unfortunate thing is that Microsoft decided to stack up conferences: the SOA & Business Process Conference happens next week in Seattle (just check the speaker list), and TechEd right after that. There will probably be sessions at SOA&BP that will not happen at TechEd because they're back to back, which is unfortunate (and UNFAIR!).
See you in Barcelona.