today I want to give you some ideas on how it is to be part of it. It is 4:45 AM and as I’ve got nothing else useful to do (yeah, I’m still kind of jetlagged) it might be a good idea to become productive in the early morning.
Since I had already picked up my attendee badge on Saturday afternoon after arriving at Heartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (and I guess that this might had been a very good idea) I did not lose any time and could concentrate on networking and Pre-Day Sessions. My day started with a shuttle transfer from the hotel to the GWCC where all of it takes place, followed by a walk through GWCC buildings B and C and the Swag Station where we were handed out our backpacks, water bottles and Ignite ninja shirts. Now it was time for warm breakfast. All attendees that had booked a slot in one of the many pre-day sessions were invited to eat, drink – and chat. Breakfast was the first self-managed “community meetup” at the conference – cool thing for sure.
The best session of the day according to Microsoft staff – lunch – started at noon. Lunch was passed in a plastic box which is a really great idea as you can grab your box and go out to the dining terrasse just in front of GWCC building C and enjoy your meal under Georgia’s blue sky and sunshine and where you can connect with other attendees. And I’ve made sure: Lunch will be passed in that form every conference day.
The Pre-Day sessions
There were many pre-day sessions you could already book while signing up for Microsoft Ignite. I did so and reserved a seat in the session about Microsoft Operations Management Suite and System Center. Yeah, it was the only technical content for me on Sunday but it was great to see how it all works together and how it makes infrastructure management easier.
The story about the police officer
In the afternoon I sat in GWCC and had a video conference with my family. We talked about our day and what each other had done and suddenly, one of my sons asked me, if the cars in the USA are looking different from our cars in Germany. So I promised him to take a photo or two and send him so he could decide by himself. Just in front of GWCC building B there was a police officer waiting in his car so I went to him and asked him if I might take a photo of his car for my family. He was so enthusiastic about it that he offered to be part of the photo himself. So now there is a photo with a police officer next to his police car.
People here in Atlanta
Since this is my first stay in the USA I wanted to learn something about land and people here. Midtown Atlanta is like a little neighbourhood in which everybody knows anybody else. People here are very polite, friendly, just like the police officer. You say hello to people on the street, there is a culture of respect for each other. I think Georgia is really worth a holiday trip. And by the way, American beer ain’t as bad as they tell you in Europe 😉
Tips for the conference
Just like I’ve already tried to make clear in my blogpost about how to put your Ignite schedule together: Don’t try to watch every session you are interested in. You won’t be able to do so and you’ll end up in rushing from one session room to the next one. Try to get hands-on experience in the hands-on labs, ask the experts questions about technologies, connect with others and share thoughts, go to the expo, watch the Microsoft showcases. Microsoft Ignite is so much more than only technical sessions.
One important thing at the end: Make sure to bring a vest, cardigan, hoody, sweater or something like this to the venue. Every room is cooled down to absolute zero so make sure you got something warm to wear or you will end up as an icicle by the end of the day.
Now, get ready for Microsoft Ignite day one and stay tuned for the keynote sessions that are streamed live to the internet at http://news.microsoft.com/ignite2016.
I’m getting ready now for my bus shuttle and breakfast and then will start the day with the pre-keynote sessions with Patch and Switch. Sounds like fun 🙂