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

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Microsoft Ignite Showcase Expo

Aug 10, 2017 | Microsoft Ignite | 0 comments

 

Microsoft Ignite is one of Microsoft biggest conferences, and it is a great opportunity to learn new things and connect with tech peers. It is so important to prepare for this event, and follow the right channels and people, so that you won’t miss anything, and know about all those cool parties and events.

While in the conference, you will quickly realize that wearing comfortable shoes when attending big conferences makes all the difference. There are a lot of tips and preparation before flying to Ignite, and I will help you out be ready and get the most out of this conference

Showcase Expo

The first then you want to do when you step into the expo, is to go to the Information counter and get a map, they are usually double sided.The first then you want to do when you step into the expo, is to go to the Information counter and get a map, they are usually double sided.

The expo hall is a big place that has almost everything. .It is a great place to meet new people, connect, and learn new things. You will find snacks and drinks all around the expo hall. You will also find the following:

 

  • Microsoft solution areas [Ask the experts,…]
  • Partner booths area.• Microsoft books, gadgets, and cloth Store.
  • Microsoft keyboards, mouse and XBOX store.
  • Small theaters for the theater sessions.
  • Snacks and drinks all over.
  • Information Center.

Partners area

In this area, you will find Microsoft partner booths all around. Of course, there are big partners with big booths, and other partners with smaller ones. I recommend you walk around, and see what partners have to offer. I usually implement many partner solutions, just because I learned about them from the partner area in Ignite.

In this area, you will find Microsoft partner booths all around. Of course, there are big partners with big booths, and other partners with smaller ones. I recommend you walk around, and see what partners have to offer. I usually implement many partner solutions, just because I learned about them from the partner area in Ignite.

Almost all partners will give some sort of giveaways and swag. This can vary from T-shirts, USB drives, to almost any small gadget. You will get tons of free T-shirt in the expo hall just by walking into the partner area.

Some of those partners will give you their swag if you listen to their 5 minutes presentation or so. It is fair deal, as they will get the chance to present their solution in 5 minutes while you will get free cool swag.

Big partners usually have laptops or Xbox devices to give away. You must fill your information at their booth, and at the last day or so, they will announce the winner of their big prizes. I highly recommend you bring a lot of business cards with you, as partners might ask you for one, to get a chance to win their prizes.

Microsoft solutions area

If you walk into Microsoft solution area, you will see at the top, very big huge banners. You have one that said Productivity, or Windows platforms. Those are solutions areas.

Inside each solution, you will see sections or solution areas related to that big solution. So, under productivity, you will find a solution area for collaboration. In solution areas, you will find the experts you need to answer your questions about various products.

In last Ignite in 2016, we used to see inside the expo area something called Microsoft theaters. It is an area where theater sessions take place usually. I used to walk into the expo, and see a speaker in one of the five or six Microsoft theaters in the expo, talking about one of Microsoft or partner’s technologies. Usually those sessions are 20 minutes long as far as I remember.

Remember to get the expo map. Take a pen, circle down the areas and places you want to go off and visit, and then check them off as you get there so you do not miss anybody.

Microsoft Stores

Here you can find a lot of technical books about latest Microsoft technologies. I always end up buying couple of them, without obvious reason😊

You can also purchase a lot of Microsoft gadgets in this store, and there are a lot of them here. Finally, you will get the chance to buy one of Microsoft many new cool T-shirts. I recommend you visit the store first thing, and buy your T-shirts, as some t-shirt sizes become harder to find later.

There was a section also for XBOX, where you can purchase the latest model with 20% or 25% discount. I got mine last year from Ignite. Here you can find all sort of XBOX games and some computer accessories from Microsoft like mouse and keyboard

My Tips

The expo hall is huge, and it is difficult to navigate around, so make sure you get the expo hall map first thing.

There are snacks and soft drinks all around the expo hall. I recommend that you get yourself a drink, and walk through the expo hall, and start talking to people. Expo hall is a great place to connect and meet new people.

While you are walking in Microsoft solution area, engage in conversations, or at least, listen to what people are talking about. When I see people gathering around one of Microsoft experts, I just join them and listen to the conversation. It is always good idea hearing what other people are asking about, and how they are using Microsoft technologies from their perspective.

Thursday is the last day for the expo hall, as the expo hall will be closed in Friday, so make sure you ask all your questions before Friday. Also, on Thursday, an in the last expo hall opening hours, things can become exciting. Many partners will give the rest of their swag in the last hour.

Also make sure you check the expo hall opening hours. Expo is not opened all times, so make sure you check this out. Moreover, most Microsoft product group experts will be available in Microsoft solution area at specific times. Usually, they publish their time availability at the expo hall, so make sure to check this out also.

In the first day of the conference (the key note day), there will be a welcome reception at the expo hall. You do not want to miss this reception, as lots of food and drinks will be served there, and it is a great chance to relax, connect with others, and have a nice time.

Allocate time for the Expo

Finally, I have a good piece of advice here. We all know that almost all Ignite sessions are recorded, and you can watch all the sessions when you are back home. There are a lot of sessions, and it gets crazy to pick sessions to attend.

Finally, I have a good piece of advice here. We all know that almost all Ignite sessions are recorded, and you can watch all the sessions when you are back home. There are a lot of sessions, and it gets crazy to pick sessions to attend.

While you are running from session to session, trying to attend most of them, you might miss the expo hall experience. Remember that sessions are recorded, but the expo hall experience is only available during conference days.

Last Ignite, I decided to play it differently. I allocated my time in each day as per the following:

  • Attend two sessions each day: I pick sessions that are hard to miss, or a speaker that I like to attend his sessions.
  • I give myself some time to rest, go outside and get fresh air.
  • I give myself time to have lunch and eat well.
  • The rest of the day, I will be in Expo hall, connecting with others, asking my questions, walking through partner’s booths, or watching one of those 20 minutes theater sessions.

The Expo experience is by far the most interesting part of Ignite for me. Do not spend your time running between sessions. Give yourself a good time to visit the expo. Who knows, you might win a brand-new Laptop like I did once😊

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