Countdown to Ignite: The One about What to Pack and What’s New, Two Weeks Out!

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With just two weeks until Microsoft Ignite, you're probably finessing your session schedule and starting to think about packing. In this week's Countdown Show, Joey and Rick talk about what's new on MyIgnite, last-minute tips to maximizing your Ignite experience, and the all-important question of What to Pack. Watch the show, or read-on, to hear their tips as you count down the days until Microsoft Ignite.

As you fine tune your personal session schedule, consider including a Pre-Day Session in your Sunday agenda—it's not too late to add one to your registration.

Another Sunday option is Ignite 101, held at 9:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. Whether you're new to Microsoft conferences, or a seasoned veteran, you'll pick up some pointers on how to get the most out of your time at Ignite. If you're unable to attend Ignite 101 (or are attending a Pre-Day Session), watch for a special recorded version to come pre-event. Joey and Rick will share plenty of tips for new attendees, as well as best practices and suggestions from Ignite 101.

Get Ready for Ignite
For tips from the community, be sure to follow the conversations on the Microsoft Ignite Forums at There are plenty of great suggestions, including the Getting the Most out of Ignite... post, from community member "Vecna," that Rick and Joey discuss on the show.

What to Pack:
Whether you want to focus on what to pack, or what not to pack, here are some key things to remember:

#1: Shoes. We've said it before... and we hope you've already got your shoes broken in. Don't wear new shoes to the conference. If you don't have your shoes yet, buy them today and wear them 24-7 to get them broken in. Or consider buying a couple of sets of insoles and try them out to be sure they're comfortable. You don't want sore feet holding you back onsite.

#2: Tech. Get your devices and gadgets organized. Plan what you need to take and set aside all of the cords, chargers, etc. Consider extra batteries, maybe a small power strip, whatever you'll need to stay productive during Ignite. Remember, you'll need to carry it with you or lock it in your hotel safe, so don't over pack.

#3: Clothes. Dress code is casual. If you want to make a good impression, business casual is good. If you're into comfort, that's great too. You'll pick up new T-shirts, souvenirs, and gadgets at the conference, so pack lightly and leave room in your suitcase for everything you'll collect at the event.

Get More Out of Your Investment:
Plan ahead and involve your team at the office to get the most out of your company's investment in Microsoft Ignite. If you're looking to solve a particular problem, or working on a project and looking for specific information to help with that, outline your questions head of time to ensure you get what you came for. Share your session schedule with your colleagues at the office, and gather their questions. Joey suggests creating a trip report to record your goals, what you hope to bring back, and then meet over lunch to share your trip report and experience after the event. Read Vecna's post on the Forums for more great tips!

Airport Transportation:
It's been a hot topic on Twitter, Yammer, and the Forums... transportation from the airport. We recommend taking the train to get around Chicago, particularly to/from the airport. You'll get there faster and cheaper on the train. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) offers a 7-day CTA Pass for $28 that will get you to and from the airport, and around the city all week. Check the CTA website for service information.

What's new and noteworthy:

New! Theater Sessions
We're excited to have a new addition to the session catalog—Theater Sessions proposed and presented by members of the community. Hear about real-world problems and solutions, first-hand, in the Expo Hall lounges during breaks and lunch. Check MyIgnite for details.

New! New Session Tag & Attendee Directory on MyIgnite
Looking for sessions that were added after you built your schedule? In the Schedule Builder, under Tags, click on New Sessions to find sessions that are newly added to the catalog. You can add other filters as well, to further narrow your search.

Hot Tip: Session room assignments are still fluctuating as attendees pick their top sessions. Wait to export your schedule until closer to the event, to ensure it is up-to-date.

Use the Attendee Directory on MyIgnite to find colleagues, make new contacts, and schedule meetings! Be sure to opt-in to share your profile so others can find you and schedule meetings. Watch the video to see Rick and Joey demo the meeting scheduler, and get started networking!

Share your tips and tricks, ask questions, and start networking on the Microsoft Ignite Forums and social networks. Join the Yammer network and join the discussion with speakers and other attendees to maximize your Ignite experience!

See you in two weeks at Microsoft Ignite, May 4–8 in Chicago at McCormick Place.





The Discussion

  • User profile image

    Rick and Joey, An idea for the Ignite 101. Can you talk about the experts lounge/bar/middle of the expo floor where all of the Microsoft technologies and experts are located? How are we to engage Microsoft Experts in the Experts Lounge within the Expo center? I know that I would like to talk with experts from Microsoft about my implementation of Azure for my Enterprise, but how do I schedule time and who do I talk to? This would be a great topic to add to the online as well as the in-person 101 - if not also on the Countdown Show. There may be some who don't even know it exists. - just a thought.

  • User profile image

    Great show. I know you've mentioned the sessions will be available on Channel 9 after the conference, but can I freely share those with my coworkers after I return?

  • User profile image

    @Brittfam: Great idea we will discuss this in the next Countdown. We do cover a lot of the "Networking/Meetings" in the 101 sessions.


    @Paul: Yes Paul. The sessions will be available right here on Channel 9 and you can share away.


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