I'm Ammar Hasayen
Husband & Father | Microsoft MVP| I do Office 365 and Azure | Speaker and blogger | I Love music and exploring the world.
How to follow up with Microsoft Ignite news and updates so you won’t miss anything?
Do not go without hearing the news
Whether it is your first time to attend such big conference, or you have been before, it makes a lot of difference if you follow the tips in this blog post and know how to discover Microsoft Ignite news and updates.
I have been at Microsoft conferences for more than 10 years, since it was called TechEd back then. Each time I learned new things, and I discover that such big conference need planning a head, so that I won’t miss a lot or end up so tiered halfway and not getting the desired outcome of Ignite.
With a lot of speakers, lots of vendors and partners, and thousands of attendees, organizing such big events needs a lot of effort and planning. Since many factors affect how and when things will happen, there is a big chance for last minute session updates or important announcements happening couple of days before the conference. The trick is to put some effort on following the right people and official event channels to get the latest about Microsoft Ignite news and updates. Early September is where the most updates and news start to surface.
Sometimes, the event organizing teams announce changes about session times or place. This might happen one or two days before the event. It is always a good practice to keep yourself updated with such important updates.
Community gathering and parties
Also, Microsoft Ignite is the perfect place for community gathering, parties and activities. Such things are planned and communicated in social media channels, and it would be great to discover such community stuff.
Ignite sessions and the event itself are half the story. The other half is what is happening at the evening. Each night during the conference, there are a lot of parties, community gatherings and many things to look at.
Link-minded tech people usually gather at night, perhaps kick off a party to connect and have a nice time. Sometimes you can get an invitation for such events, and sometimes it’s a closed event for specific attendees who planned the event with their friends. Either way, go out there and learn when and where such events happen.
Last Ignite, I was with my friends at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, and there was a party for SharePoint guys happening downstairs. We tried to join, but they told us we need to be registered for the party in advance. We end up taking a SharePoint hat, like the one in the photo. It would be nice if we did our homework and register in advance.
It goes without saying that partners parties are awesome, like this one from AvePoint held last Ignite. I have found that there is a party for people who are MCP certified, so you have to show your MCP ID or number to get a pass. I am sure this year there will be a lot parties like those happening last year. Keeping up with Microsoft Ignite news and updates will help you figure out which parties you shall go to.
Updates while you are at the conference
Not only you should follow news and updates before the conference, things get announced or shared during the conference itself. Twitter is your friend to get most updates while you are there. I remember people tweeting last ignite that the food is running out and you better catch your meal. Other tweets showing expo updates like popular drinks are being served in specific times, or a partner announcing about Microsoft surface will be given away if you participate in a small demo.
We were walking at Ignite 2016 in the expo and we saw a tweet about Microsoft Tech Community booth opening for registration and they are giving away a cool swag. We went there, we had nice photos and took couple of swag. We knew about this via a tweet while we were walking at the expo.
You might see people tweeting about a cool session they are going to attend, and you think “well, that is a cool session to attend”, so you walk there and catch the session. Once I was trying to figure out what session shall I attend next, so I was looking for the #msignite hashtag, and I saw people tweeting about Brad Anderson amazing session. I end up attending his session, and it was one of my favorite sessions in Ignite.
Follow the right people and channels
Follow the event host “Julia White”
Julia White is our host for Microsoft Ignite. She will be there in the keynote welcoming us to Microsoft Ignite, and she will be posting videos and news before the event that I recommend you see.
Last Ignite, she did a one hour TweetJam on twitter, where she answered all attendees questions live, and for me, she helped a lot answering couple of my questions.
I remember asking her in her TweetJam if it is fine to wear crocks in Ignite, and I remember her answer was in the below picture 🙂
Follow Patch and Switch [Highly Recommended]
Both Rick Claus and Joey Snow with their Pacth and Switch show, are a very valuable resource when it comes to Microsoft Ignite. Basically, those amazing guys put great effort on helping you navigate your way inside the conference, and they give you behind the scenes look the conference convention center, expo, and the party.
They go further than that with their Channel9 show, where they spent time talking about how to prepare for Ignite, what to expect, and how to get the best out of the event.
Their show helped me put and arrange for this and coming blog posts. I met them last Ignite while I am walking back to my hotel, and I found out that they are so nice gentelmen and so humble. I actually liked them more after I met them at Atlanta back in 2016.
Follow Microsoft Ignite official channels
There is also a twitter account for Microsoft Ignite countdown, if you like to keep track of how many days until Ignite started.
There is an official newsletter for Ignite that you can register for. To do that, go to Microsoft Ignite official site, scroll to the end of the page, and click [Sign up for email updates].
Other accounts to follow
Also, another helpful account to follow when it comes to Microsoft Ignite news and updates, is @TheKrewe.Search hashtag #thekrewe to make your Ignite experience better.
It goes without saying that you should follow your favorite speakers on twitter, to catch up with their news and updates. I usually go to the session catalog or speaker area at Microsoft Ignite official site, and browse through speakers, and follow those I favor.
Here is a look at the main speakers at Ignite. You can find them at Ignite site. I recommend following those main speakers as they are all great tech people to follow.
For example, Paula Januszkiewicz is an extraordinary security expert, and a wonderful person to meet in person. Her sessions are all about showing you how all your security defenses are worthless by showing you new ways hackers can get in 😊
Mark Russinovich, the CTO of Azure, does not need any introduction of course. I did not recognize how tall he is until I met him in TechEd Berlin once. I am 1.88 m tall, and I felt short near him. You do not want to miss his session at Ignite.
Of course, there are a lot of great speakers at Ignite. I am planning to publish a blog post soon about sessions you do not want to miss. So, do not forget to come back later.
It is all about #msignite
Nothing is more important that following #MsIgnite hash tag in twitter when it comes to Microsoft Ignite news and updates. If you want to share something, or post about Ignite, then do not forget to use this hash tag.
Also, if you want to see what is happening while in the conference, just search for this hash tag. Many people are using this hash tag before the conference to share news, updates or even promote for their partner booth.
Follow and Share
If you like this blog post, then please share it so that others can benefit from it. I will be publishing other blog posts about how to prepare for Microsoft Ignite, how to choose your Microsoft Ignite sessions, and other tips.
Follow me at twitter to hear more about Ignite news, and check out my professional blog. I usually post a lot during Microsoft Ignite conference, and I like connecting with new people. I cannot wait for Microsoft Ignite 2017 to start, and meet you all there.
Oh, one final super important tip! WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES.
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