6 Things You Can Do If You’re Not Attending Microsoft Ignite

If you’re an IT Professional there is a pretty good chance that you have heard that Microsoft’s Ignite event is this week down at Atlanta. Ignite is the consolidation of various other Microsoft conferences such as TechEd, SharePoint Conference, etc. For those of you who are attending, there are plenty of “what to expect” blog posts which give you the usual tips of stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes, bring battery packs, business cards, etc. However, there aren’t too many posts out there for those who aren’t able to attend.

This year I’m not able to attend Ignite but I have a small checklist of things I plan on doing to ensure that I stay up to speed with all the announcements.

Stream the keynote & select sessions – so like most big conferences, Ignite’s keynote is going to be streaming on Channel 9. Last year at Ignite SharePoint/O365 were barely even mentioned, but with the return of Jeff Teper I have a strong feeling that things might be different this year. There are also select sessions each day which will be available for streaming. Be sure to check out http://ignite.microsoft.com & Channel9 for links to those sessions.

Follow the #MSIgnite hashtag on Twitter – there are over 18,000 people heading down to Atlanta to attend Ignite and you can be sure that there are going to be tweets both official from Microsoft & unofficial from the attendees. Following the #MSIgnite has tag is a surefire way to get quick micro updates from attendees and companies.

Watch sessions on Channel 9 – for the past few years Microsoft has been posting session recordings on Channel 9 about 24 hours later which often times spurs the debate of why attend in-person when all the session are uploaded the next day. Of course the direct product team interaction, networking activities, and being able to ask your questions after the session are all some of the common examples. But for those who aren’t able to attend in-person, getting access to session recordings is truly amazing.

Attend Ignite recap at you local User Groups – I run a local user group and each year after the major Microsoft/SharePoint conference we always ask someone that attended to provide a recap of some of the highlights. Many user groups are moving their scheduling to Meetup, so that would definitely be a good place to start if you’re not sure what user groups are in your area.

Be on the lookout for “After Ignite” events – in case your local user group doesn’t host an “Ignite recap” session, oftentimes Microsoft will host these events in a few select cities. Talk to your local Microsoft rep after Ignite to find out if there’s going to be an “After Ignite” nearby.

Follow these folks on Twitter – finally, if you are completely overwhelmed by following the #MSIgnite hashtag there are a few folks attending which often times provide their own amateur journalist recaps of the day/event (in no particular order):

Nik Patel – fellow Slalomite, fastest fingers in the mid-west
Naomi Moneypenny – presenting like 5 sessions at Ignite, absolutely brilliant
Benjamin Niaulin – Mr. ShareGate, Tweets a lot and includes pictures
Jeff Teper – Mr. SharePoint (enough said)

So there you have it – hopefully this is helpful for any fellow “remote attendees” that want to stay up to date on the latest from the Ignite conference but aren’t able to make it this year!

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