I attended TechEd for the first time in 2004. It was a last second freebie from Microsoft. We had just signed a decent sized Enterprise Agreement, we were bullish on Microsoft software, and they were keen to get us to deploy MOM and SMS. There was a last minute, no-refunds, cancellation and I was offered the ticket. I went and I took copious notes, much of which I started testing in the lab and implementing. In fact, there was more than I could learn by myself. We really needed SharePoint, SQL, developers, networking, and more people there.
After that first trip, I told my boss (and he agreed) that traditional MSFT courses were useless to me. I learned lots from TechEd. And that’s how I wanted to use my annual training allowance.
Oh – I did my first pass on the TechEd North America schedule builder today. One time slot had 9 sessions that I want to attend!!!!
How would I tackle a conference like MMS or TechEd now as an IT manager with a decent sized team?
- Firstly, I’d send several people.
- Each person would be given an assignment: e.g. you learn Active Directory, you learn Office365, you learn ConfigMgr, etc.
- I’d set up a single OneNote document for the conference and share it to each attendee
- Each person would record their session notes on their tablets (Windows 8 Enterprise, of course) in their own section in the OneNote document. They can open new pages for each session.
This way everyone records their notes. I as a boss have visibility that people aren’t out in the bars when they should be in sessions And I’d also ensure that the entire team has read rights to the document so they can learn, even if they aren’t at the conference. That can be supplemented with downloading the sessions to a nice depduped WS2012 file share when they are released on Channel 9