How are you feeling? Have you had time to think about MSIgnite since you purchased your ticket, travel and accommodation?
Preparation is more than what you pack in your bag. It starts now. Or rather, a few weeks back. Your goal as an IT Pro is to be as free from work worries as possible. You want to have enough brain-cycles spare so you can focus on learning and start thinking about how you will apply what you have learned. You don't want to be so distracted that you miss opportunities for conversations with your peers, conversations that could inspire you or make you see a valuable point of view you hadn't considered.
You will see some people at MSIgnite who just haven't managed to get completely free from work during the event. They get drawn back into a project, or are sitting in some remote area of the event where there's good wireless but less foot traffic, as they connect into systems and solve a problem for a customer or for their org.
These are a few things that IT Pros should do to prepare for attending MSIgnite.
- Get your existing workload in order, so that you don't have to worry during Ignite. Complete major tasks beforehand. Plan to continue with tasks afterwards, or hand-over to someone else in your team if the tasks need to be completed during MSIgnite.
- If there are some tasks that you simply can't hand over or meetings you must still attend, plan them around the sessions and networking events that are most important to you.
- If you have any inclination to get new shoes, you're approaching that point where you have just enough time to wear them in. You don't want to be wearing shoes bought the week before. They need to be worn in now or you're going to wear out your feet faster.
- Set up a OneNote notebook to share with the team. Take notes during sessions and they'll sync back to your team members copy of the notebook. Research new products, make notes of conversations that have given you new ideas. Take a photo of business cards, and make a note about the new contact. Consider using the notebook in Microsoft Teams or Yammer, so you can have conversation with your team about your notes, while at conference. I talk about that in my previous post "Using Microsoft Teams or Yammer with team members during conference."
- Leave room for SWAG from exhibitor booths, to bring back for your team members. Find out their tshirt sizes. It's the least you can do.
We know that there's plenty more you can do to prepare and hopefully you're well down the path to reducing or reallocating your workload for the week.
I hope to have some good talks with people at MSIgnite. But I also hope to see less people trying to get urgent work done while at conference too.
See you there?