I blogged about this and thought that I post the article here as well.
TechEd for me is a yearlong experience. The sheer amount of content is actually to much to digest for just one week. If this is your first TechEd conference be prepared to have your brain cooked. I work on the schedule builder weekly before the conference starts to try to find the ones that i really want to attend, and those I might skip and catch online. This makes my schedule quite full with a lot of conflicts. I also try to find sessions on topics that isn't something I do on a day to day basis. I'm a ITPro so I try to do at least one Dev session to broaden my skills a bit.
Also note that each session are rated in 200 – Intermediate, 300 – Advanced and 400 – Expert. The 200 sessions are on a little higher level while the 300 and 400 sessions are more detailed.
In the conference bag amongst a bunch of other stuff, you'll find a pen with a highlight marker on one side and also a pocket conference guide. I use the marker to highlight the first days sessions from the ones I have selected in the schedule builder and circle the ones that i really want to attend on site. That leaves me with alternative sessions if the session fills up so I don't make it or if the session isn't what i expected it to be. At the end of each day I plan the next day by repeating the procedure. A good thing is also to make plans for a session free slot each day to chill your brain a little. I usually plan those slots so that I can call home and talk to the wife and kids.
When it comes to Outlook ICS files i personally don't use them.
Once the conference is over I use my schedule to review sessions I've attended and those i missed.
@FredrikNilsson: That's exactly what I do as well, except I'm a dev and try to fit in a few ITPro sessions. I always use the conference guide, last year had my schedule on the mobile app, but found connectivity was not consistent.
@walterh: The connectivity was pretty bad last year.
LA in 2009 had horrible WI-FI. Last year wasn't bad, I never had my laptop at the conference center though. The hotel was lousy but I had 4G. I used that on my phone to Skype as it worked so much better than the WI-FI.
Since I'm from Sweden I depend on the WiFi quite a lot.
I'm from Canada so also relied on the WIFI, cannot afford the roaming charges they want me to pay so data plan is shut off for the week.
I think the WI-FI was pretty good in New Orleans last time. Hopefully that holds true for you guys this time. I do know AT&T's whole network crashed for at least half a day last time. Pretty cool that you can come from Sweden. Canada is cool but being from Michigan and being a hockey fan I feel at least partially Canadian.
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