Looking Forward To TechEd North America 2013

I have a busy schedule on at the moment.  This week I’m delivering a 2 day VMM course in Dublin, prepping a custom 3-day hands-on ConfigMgr course for next week, recording a “webcast” on Windows 8 in the business.  Next week I deliver the aforementioned ConfigMgr course, and then travel to Copenhagen for the E2EVC conference where I’m doing the Microsoft virtualization/cloud keynote.  And then at sunrise on that Sunday, I fly from Copenhagen to New Orleans for TechEd North America 2013.

I had a choice of conferences this year.  I didn’t fancy MMS 2013 because it was at the wrong point in the lifecycle of System Center.  And to be honest, I found last year’s MMS to be more of a “here’s what you can do” rather than a “here’s how to do it”.  This was valuable to me because I was new to things like Orchestrator, and Service Manager (I still am).  This year, I wanted a more level 300/400 event.  That leaves TechEd North America (New Orleans, LA), and TechEd Europe (Madrid) a few weeks later in June.  I opted for the NA event because:

  • That’s, if it happens before Build as many suspect, where “Blue” will be revealed – bits aren’t being shared until the Build week at the end of June
  • The American speakers usually feature more product group members than the Europe conference – where too many local marketeers get to speak.  I really value what the experts share.  Go listen to folks like Claus Joergensen talk about storage in previous years.
  • Even with the higher flight costs, TechEd NA is much cheaper than TechEd Europe

I’m looking forward to the event a lot.  Folks like Didier Van Hoye have blogged about the value of this event.  This is where we go to learn about possibilities.  In recent years, we’ve seen the return of deep tech sessions – much of what I’ve written or spoken about I’ve learned from TechEd sessions.

It’s been a while since I’ve done TechEd.  In the last 2 years I’ve stayed at home and watched the keynotes live and the sessions 24-36 hours later on the Channel 9 website. That is good, but there’s a value to being there in person:

  • No work distractions
  • You get to meet the experts in the halls or after the sessions
  • You can ask questions – try asking an AVI file a question Smile
  • And the networking opportunities are invaluable too.

This year will be a strange one for me.  The Petri IT Knowledgebase has arranged a press pass for me.  So, I’ll be an attending MVP (not doing a booth) and a member of the media!  Another first for me will be that my publisher is arranging a book signing for one of the lunch breaks.  I feel weird signing a book for just one person (I’m no celebrity) so doing a book signing will be peculiar … I hope no one asks me to sign their boobs … think about who attends tech conferences and you’ll get my meaning Open-mouthed smile

If you see a jetlagged, sweaty, overweight, Irish dude with really bad jetlag, wandering the halls of TechEd in 2 weeks, then that’ll be me.

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