I'm Ammar Hasayen

Husband & Father | Microsoft MVP| I do Office 365 and Azure | Speaker and blogger | I Love music and exploring the world.

Microsoft Ignite Safety Tips

Aug 18, 2017 | Microsoft Ignite | 1 comment

I am so excited to share with you Microsoft Ignite Safety tips from my experience of attending this conference for 10 years now. I will add my personal experience and real stories, and I hope you will find the information here helpful.

Whether it is your first time to attend such big conference, or you have been before, it makes a lot of difference know some time management tips and know how to discover Microsoft Ignite news and updates.

Microsoft Ignite is about connecting and sharing knowledge, whether you are in one of those deep dive sessions, or even connecting with other peers in the Expo showcase and connecting with partners. Wearing comfortable shoes makes all the difference, so do not forget that.

Check out 10 things not to do while at Microsoft Ignite also.

Microsoft Ignite Safety Tips

What if you lost your phone while at Ignite?

At Microsoft Ignite 2016 in Atlanta, I was walking around the Expo showcase, speaking to partners, asking Microsoft product groups, taking selfies, and just having a wonderful time.

I stopped at one of the many partner booths, and the guy at the booth asked me to write down my contact information. I put my iPhone on the table, wrote my contact information, and continue walking.

30 minutes later, I was checking my phone and it was not there! I stopped at many booths and talked to many people and I have no idea where I left my phone.

I spent 2 hours trying to walk through the expo hall, asking everyone about my phone. I almost gave up. I start thinking about all the data and pictures I have on my phone, and how bad it is to just accept the fact it was lost.

After two hours of running around, and trying to remember where exactly I have been, I finally found it, and the guy at that booth told me he had no idea how to reach me to give me my phone back.

I learned from that experience that I should always check my phone regularly. Next time, I will put a sticker on the back of my phone, with my name, email, and perhaps my friend’s mobile number, so that if someone found it, he can reach me quickly.

What if you lost your bag?

At Ignite, you will get one of Microsoft cool bags during your event registration. While using that bag can be awesome, remember that everyone is holding the same bag exactly. So, if you lost your bag, it is a nightmare to find it. Chances that you will sit near other people at the same table at lunch, and you can easily pick the wrong bag since they all look exactly the same

I can give you two tips here. You can bring your own bag and use it during the conference, this way you know exactly how your bag looks like. You can also use the bag you get from Microsoft, and put a sticker or label on it with your name and contact information.

Using the bathrooms

It goes without saying that bathrooms at Ignite are the busiest place in the convention center. You can wait in lines just to enter one of them. Make sure that you clean your hands very well after using the bathrooms and especially when you use the bathroom door handle to get out. You can use one of those hand hygiene gel to wash your hands after getting out.

Pack a fleece or light jacket

While the weather could be nice or hot outside, it might be different inside the convention center. I would recommend packing a fleece or light jacket or long-sleeved shirt as the air conditioning units may be on blast inside some rooms.

Drinking water and have snacks between sessions

One of the most important tips at such big conferences is to keep your body hydrated by drinking water along the day. Don’t drink too much alcohol, remember this will not hydrate you. You might forget to drink with your busy schedule, so make sure to fill your water bottle with water at all time. Make sure you have snacks between sessions as they are available always.

Comfortable shoes

You will walk a lot during the conference. The convention center is huge, and you will have to walk a lot between sessions, and at the expo showcase. Check out my “Why wearing comfortable shoes when attending big conferences makes all the difference?” blog post.

Have a look at the convention center map

I usually download the convention center map before attending the conference or during the first day. I always make sure I have an idea about the basic layout and sections of the convention center and all exits in case something bad happened or to learn how to reach my planned sessions rooms.

Wearing the conference badge outside the convention center.

In some cities like when TechEd was in Barcelona, I was doing some research about the city. Although the city is so beautiful, however it’s true to say that there is a pick pocketing and bag snatching problem in Barcelona.

In such case, walking around the city with your conference bag and Microsoft Ignite badge, might be a clear signal to bad people that you are visiting the city for a big conference and you might be considered a target. I usually do not walk with my badge outside the convention center or while walking in the city, just in case.

Review your devices’ security settings.

It is a good practice to install the latest patches on your devices before flying to Ignite. If there is a software update for your iPhone or Android, make sure you install them too. This will help you browse safely and protect you from well-known attacks while you are at the conference. The last thing you want to worry about is infected device. It is a good idea to make sure you enable BitLocker on your Windows device if you have one.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication on all your accounts.

While this might be extreme measure, you never know what would happen out there. You are visiting a new city, and might use open public wireless networks on airport, at the hotel or any public places. Make sure you protect all your accounts with multi-factor authentication just in case, and do not do any kind of payments online unless you are sure you are using safe internet. A good tip is to change all your passwords once you are back to your home. Usually, the bad guys will wait couple of weeks before starting to do bad stuff to your accounts.

What if your wallet gets lost.

You should be aware of all items that exist in your wallet while you are at Ignite. Take a moment and list the things inside your wallet. You should not hold a lot of money during the conference days at least. If you have credit cards and your wallet get lost, make sure you know your bank emergency number so that you can quickly cancel them. Make sure to check your wallet and belongings all times. I usually check my bag, phone and wallet each time I leave one of the conference rooms.

Also, I always leave my contact information inside my wallet, so that If a good guy found it, he can easily reach me.

Last thing, visit the conference information center

Microsoft Ignite Information Center is your place to go to ask about anything. They can help you navigate your way around, and help you if you lost something.

Final Thoughts

I cannot wait to meet you all at Microsoft Ignite. I wish you a safe travel and a fun conference experience. You might also check my travel safety tips for extra information about safety.

If you find the information here worth sharing, then please share it. Also, I would like to connect with you on twitter Here is my twitter account.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Abel

    Thanks so much for the information!! A great checklist to follow!


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