Share this post: Are you heading out to Microsoft Ignite? Cherokee Boose is here. I’m excited to be back at Ignite in Orlando this year with Mike Rodrick and his ITProTV team. I have had a blast at this conference every year, but I made some mistakes that I could have avoided if someone had warned before I went. This guide is designed to help you avoid common pitfalls and get the most out of Ignite.
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If you prefer vlogs, this video will go over everything I mentioned here. Otherwise, continue reading!
Unfortunately, you missed the registration deadline for this year’s Orlando event. But mark your calendar for next years as tickets sell quickly. Tickets for this year were sold out two months prior to the event. For the most current information, keep an eye on the Microsoft Ignite registration website.
This conference is not cheap. Tickets start at the low 2000s. This conference offers a great opportunity to network with other Microsoft professionals and trainers and to ask questions of the engineers, devs, and other product team members. You can also find out the latest news about their projects. If you are an IT leader in a Microsoft shop, the conference fee is well worth it. You can also get discounted exam vouchers and training camps (some even free).
Microsoft Ignite, like many major conferences, has reserved conference hotels. Some of these hotels are attached to the Orange County Convention Center, where the conference takes place. You should try to find a conference hotel that you can afford to stay in. Conference hotels often offer discounted rates when compared to other hotels in the region. Many hotels are sold out for large events like this. Even Airbnb’s can be difficult to find.
Conference hotels offer shuttle service to and from the conference, which can save you a lot of hassle and parking costs. If you decide to park your car and drive, it may be difficult to find a spot. You also don’t want miss the Monday morning keynote and any other conference events.
Your badge is your key to accessing breakout sessions and getting around the conference center. Make sure you always have it with you. It’s also how you get lunch. You can pick up your badge Monday morning. However, lines can get long so get there early to avoid missing anything.
The number one rule at the Microsoft Ignite conference is to wear comfortable shoes. This is not a drill. The convention center is large and you will be walking a lot every day. Most attendees will be wearing casual and formal attire. I have seen both a person in a suit and a D&D shirt. You can just do what you want, but bring comfortable shoes and a jacket in case it gets cold.
Things to do at Microsoft Ignite
The official conference will be held from Monday through Friday, November 4-8. However, there are some events on Sunday, November 3rd. The Microsoft Ignite Agenda lists the events by day. If you are attending the Sunday sessions, you can pick up your badge on Sunday and skip the lines on Monday. You can also pick your badges up at the Orlando International Airport on Sunday or Saturday. If you are not attending the Sunday sessions, you can still pick up your badge at the Orlando International Airport on Saturday or Sunday.
Monday morning kick-off begins with the “Vision Keynote”, where Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and other industry leaders present the vision for Microsoft as well as the events to come. There are many featured speakers on different technologies. I will be sure to check out some of the Azure ones.
To avoid missing sessions, make sure you download the MS Events App and use the new session scheduling tool. You can view the session catalog to see a list of all sessions and RSVP to them by signing into MyIgnite. I know that some sessions are available live streaming to those who are able to attend. You can also access recorded sessions online, usually the next day.
Session codes are a little confusing. A few things are represented by the code next to a session in the catalog. The session type is indicated by the first three letters (e.g. “PRK”) in this case. The number indicates the technical difficulty of the session. 1000-something is the easiest, while 4000-something is the most difficult.
Have you heard about the Microsoft Ignite Learning Paths (Microsoft Ignite Learning Paths)? Microsoft’s suggestions