Advice for First Time Attendees. We are only 3 days away from the biggest Microsoft event dedicated to the Tech Community and if you are attending - this article is for you.

With so many things going on, it can be overwhelming especially for first time attendees. This will be my 4th Ignite and based on my experience from previous years, I’ll share with you a few tips and tricks to make it a smooth ride.

Before Heading to Orlando

  • US AC adapter – If you are not from US don’t forget to bring an AC adapter, there is nothing worse than a cellphone or laptop without juice in a tech conference
  • Get comfortable shoes – The Orange County Convention Center is huge you will easily walk more than 10,000 steps every day
  • Save some space in your luggage – When packing make sure you save some space for the swag you will get during the show
  • Prepare your schedule – All sessions are already available, pick the one you would like to see and build your schedule online. Bring it with you on your phone using the Microsoft Events App
  • Schedule demos with vendors – Make sure you get vendor demos scheduled ahead of time. If you want to see BindTuning products in action during the show, schedule your demo here: Schedule a demo with us
  • Business cards – Bring your business cards, all your information will be stored in your badge but there is nothing like a business card to share your contacts

Upon Arrival

  • Check In – Avoid the queues and get your badge upon arrival at the airport, if it’s not available at the airport on your arrival check the schedule to get it on the OCCC
  • Grab your swag – Microsoft will give you some goodies, you can count at least with a new backpack and water bottle, the backpack was revealed already, and you can watch it in the video below

During Microsoft Ignite

  • Arrive a couple minutes before the start of sessions – If you want to make sure you get a seat to watch a session don’t be late, full rooms are very common
  • Save time to visit the expo hall – Show some love to the sponsors, visit the expo hall and you might find new solutions for your business; check the complete list of sponsors
  • Dress in layers – Orlando is hot during this time of the year, but you should be prepared for the cold environment while inside buildings
  • Drink water – Keep hydrated, no need to bring a water bottle it’s included in the event swag
  • Be social – Help other while in the conference, share your experiences on social networks using the proper hashtags #MSIgnite
  • Expect Wi-Fi failures – You will experience Wi-Fi failures specially on crowded areas, being disconnected for a couple minutes will not be harmful
  • Party hard – (not to hard, you have a conference to attend) There are a lot of parties during Microsoft Ignite, they are good places to do networking. Keep an eye on social networks to find them. Tip:There is a twitter account for the SharePoint Community parties @SPCPartyPatrol

After Microsoft Ignite

  • Follow up with your new contacts – Stay in touch with your new friends
  • Watch the sessions you missed – Most sessions will be available online, make sure you watch the ones you missed
  • Share your experience – Probably not all your co-workers had a change to attend the event, be prepared to share your experience and the news you saw in first hand

Hope this guide helps you to get a better Microsoft Ignite, if you are attending stop by BindTuning booth #2131 and say hi.