Countdown To Microsoft Ignite: The One with PreDay Sessions and Drinks

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In Episode 2 of the Countdown Show, Rick and Joey talk Pre-Day Sessions and share more of their favorite places for refreshment (read: coffee, beer, steaks, and cocktails) in Chicago!

First up: Pre-Day Sessions, presented Sunday, May 3, 9:00am – 5:00pm.

There are 17 Pre-Day Sessions to choose from, all presented by leading industry experts. They focus on hot topics relevant for today's IT Professionals and Enterprise Developers and content is designed to provide you with a deep knowledge base and skills that you can apply as soon as you're back in the office. 

Adding a Pre-Day Session to your registration is an investment of $500— which gets you a full day of focused discussion and learning. Pre-Day speakers have now been added to the Content Catalog, so you can find the topic and presenter you're most interested in.

Already registered? It's easy to add a Pre-Day to your agenda. Just sign into your registration record, click on Pre-Day Sessions, Edit, and select the session you would like to attend.

Explore the full Pre-Day lineup, and be sure to read the speaker bios and visit their blogs.

  • PRE01: Administrator's Mandatory Check List: The Ultimate Guide to Securing Your InfrastructurePaula Januszkiewicz
  • PRE02: Advanced Analytics with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning, Microsoft SQL Server, and R - Rafal Lukawiecki
  • PRE03: Project Siena: Create Custom Mobile Business Apps, No Code RequiredBen Hodes
  • PRE04: Building a Hybrid Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 Environment - Michael Van Horenbeeck
  • PRE05: DevOps HackathonDamien Caro; David Tesar; Vinicius Apolinario
  • PRE06: End-to-End OneDrive for Business Planning, Deployment and Best PracticesJeremy Mazner
  • PRE07: Enterprise Management in 2015 and BeyondJohan Arwidmark; Kent Agerlund
  • PRE08: Get Ready to Deploy Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 – To be announced
  • PRE09: Hands-on Windows 10 Enterprise DeploymentMikael Nystrom; Mike Niehaus
  • PRE10: Hybrid Cloud Management and Automation with Microsoft System CenterAlex Frankel; Daniele Muscetta; Joe Levy; John Ballard; Laura Cruz; Ravi Kiran Chintalapudi
  • PRE11: Microsoft Office 365 Development On-RampAndrew Connell; Scot Hillier
  • PRE12: Microsoft Office 365 Network Performance OptimizationPaul Collinge
  • PRE14: Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365 Hybrid TrainingBill Baer; Steve Peschka
  • PRE15: The Microsoft Azure Cloud for IT ProsJohn Craddock
  • PRE16: Troubleshoot SQL Server Performance Like a Microsoft Engineer - Bob Ward
  • PRE17: Windows 10: Enterprise Mobility WorkshopRoel Schellens

And now for some refreshment.

Rick and Joey took us to their favorite hot-spots for coffee, hand-crafted beer, steaks, seafood, and cocktails. Watch the video, check out their websites, and add them to your dinning agenda.

La Colombe Coffee
These guys take coffee to a whole new level, with a roast for every taste—and then some. Open daily, 7:00am – 7:00pm, this is the perfect place to grab a cup on the way to the convention center, or to keep you going into the evening. Check out their cold pressed black coffee by the bottle. You may want to pick some up to bring home!


Goose Island Beer Co.
Now that you're awake, you may want to try some beer tasting... and this is the place to do it. Goose Island offers a mind-boggling array of craft brews, all made on-premises. New infusions are tapped every Monday, made with fresh fruit selected by the brewer from the local farmers' market. They offer bourbon-aged beer, a process they pioneered, aging beer in whiskey barrels to bring the barrels' character to their brew. Grab a bite to eat and a beer sampler. Warning: There are so many brews, you'll have to visit more than once. Public tours offered Saturday and Sunday, with private tours by appointment.


Tavern On Rush
If steaks and seafood are on your agenda, Tavern On Rush is your destination. The chef's Louisiana roots show through in the great Cajun flavors you'll find on their menu, but they are most famous for their prime aged steaks and chops and some of the freshest seafood in Chicago. They offer white jacket/white cloth dining upstairs, the bustling and casual Tavern downstairs, as well as outdoor patio dining. For groups, two semi-private reception rooms and a private dining space can be reserved.


Roof on the WIT
Travel 27 floors up to the panoramic views of downtown Chicago from Roof on the WIT. "Dress to impress" is the dress code for this intimate, modern bar and nightclub. It has a max capacity of 250, so we highly recommend a table reservation. Cozy up by the fire and enjoy a craft cocktail, wine, and something delicious from their eclectic small plates menu.


Keep watching for more tips on making the most of your experience at Ignite, and more ways to enjoy Chicago!

Have you registered? Microsoft Ignite is May 4–8 in Chicago at McCormick Place. Register today.





The Discussion

  • User profile image

    How about a video on transit options please. How to get from the airports to our hotel. How to get from our hotel to the convention center. How to get around for site seeing. Thanks!

  • User profile image

    Hi, I wante to ask is the cost of dining and breakfast included in the package of full conference pass?

  • User profile image

    "read the speaker bios and visit their blogs" - you've really made it easy to do.

  • User profile image

    Where are the good cigar lounges?

  • User profile image

    @Scott: Awesome Call Scott... We the transportation topic planned closer to the event. Thanks for bringing it up!

  • User profile image

    @Sean: I have not personally tried any of these as of yet - but a good source for cigar lounges worldwide (including Chicago) is ...

  • User profile image
    Stephen Rose


    There is a subway transit stop in O'Hare Airport that will take you right to the downtown loop area, walking distance from most of the Ignite hotels.

  • User profile image

    @Harry: Breakfast and Lunch is provided each day of the conference. Menu varies on a per day basis. We're going to continue to showcase some sample restaurants and eateries you can visit in the evenings as part of the "colour" during this Countdown series.  

  • User profile image

    @Stephen Rose:Thanks Stephen; great tip!

  • User profile image

    Hey Guys


    what should be really nice is a list of these places that could be imported in maps. (layers?)

    Same thing for the extra hours activities, hotels, shuttle stops...

    As a stranger in town this way can help to see what i can do



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