- myTechEd Mobile Site
- Tech Ed Blog
- The Krewe Party Calendar
- Virtual Blogger Hub
- Tech Ed 2012 Twitter Army
- Certification Discounts
- Plan sessions you want to attend
- Take notes
- Be involved with #TheKrewe
- Network with other attendees
- Pack appropriately
- Be prepared for little sleep
Sure it is easy enough to say I’ll plan where I am going by looking through the catalog I get when I register and go to what sounds interesting. I can tell you now that WILL NOT WORK! The catalog you get is great if you know where you want to go and need to look up room number, but the fine print and short time between sessions makes it impossible to use for all planning. the geniuses at Microsoft have saved use by providing the catalog through myTechEd that you can add sessions to your account and while at Tech Ed use your smart phone and see the room it is in. I spent last night preparing my sessions which takes about an hour; however it saves tons of time in the long run. You can start planning your session through the TechEd Content Catalog.
I took this a step further and wanted to keep track of my Certification times, lunch times and party times. So I went ahead downloaded my content catalog calendar and imported it into my Google Calendar. By doing this it gave me the ability to add other events such as my certifications, and parties on top of the content all being tracked through the Calendar App on my iPhone!
I did not do this my first year at TechEd and I was amazed at how much I completely forgot within an hour simply because you are over loaded with great information. This year I am prepared with a Samsung Series 7 Slate with Windows 8 and OneNote installed! If you are not as lucky as I am the good ‘ol paper and pencil work excellent too! If it is the same as last year you will be lucky and have that given to you in your TechEd back pack.
Joining #TheKrewe and Networking
If you are not part of #TheKrewe you are probably asking what #TheKrewe has to do with TechEd and with Networking. #TheKrewe is a group of IT Professionals and Developers who get together every year, find the best parties, throw the best parties, and are one of the best resources at Tech Ed. There is no membership fee, there is no initiation, there are no expectations of you except that you be a good friend to all of #TheKrewe, which currently our FaceBook page has over 400 members (about 5% of Tech Ed Attendees). If you are interested in joining #TheKrewe… welcome you are already a member! The easiest way to keep in touch with all #IAMKREWE brothers is by joining us on FaceBook, following @TheKrewe on Twitter, or simply yelling #IAMKREWE every time you enter a room at TechEd.
Now aside from being part of #TheKrewe there are many more ways to network. I will admit I am horrible at these but hey maybe you are more outgoing than I am initially! The best way to network is simply talking to everyone at TechEd, do not act like I did last year and sit in the corner with the one other person I knew at all events. Get yourself out and talk, if you see someone sitting alone… join them, if you see people standing in a circle talking, join them! However if you are more of a shy person I have found my favorite tool in the world is twitter, by adding blogging on top of that has helped a tremendous amount. I never used my Twitter account until right before TechEd last year. Now that I’ve actively been using it and actively blogging it I’ve made many connections, and for someone shy like myself is going to help a great deal this year at TechEd.
Packing for TechEd:
Now this is the trickiest part of TechEd, I’ve never been to an extremely hot TechEd like I am expecting this year (Atlanta was cold last year!) However I am already keeping an eye on the weather. From the looks of it there is a chance for rain, and lots of heat. Remember that even though it is going to be hot outside 80-90′s it is going to be arctic cold inside!
On top of being dressed correctly you need to remember the life lines for all of your electronics too; most people do not think of it but this is going to be 10,000+ IT Pro’s/Developers in the same building… Power outlets are in short supply! Bring a power strip and you are instantly a god among common nerds! By having a power strip is going to give you a great chance for networking too, someone ask hey can I use your power strip say “Sure, if you tell me your name and what you do! My name is insert name here.”
The final thing on my list seems a bit out of place, why would you want an empty suite case? Well it is because you are going to get a TON of swag at Tech Ed, I filled a fairly large suite case last year and and thrilled I found this tip in the myTechEd Discussion boards because it is one of the important things to remember. I’ve got a list of my must-bring items below.
- Rain Coat
- Basketball shorts (I am casual this week)
- 1-2 T-shirts (I get plenty of free ones at Tech Ed to dress all week)
- Comfortable shoes
- Fleece Jacket (Gets cold inside)
- Cell phone charger
- Laptop (Slate) charger
- Power strip (Great way to network too)
- Camera (If you don’t use cell phone camera)
- Empty suitcase (Unless you plan on shipping swag home)