I have just returned from Microsoft Ignite 2019 which was held in Orlando Florida, here is my take on the experience of attending the event.
I was staying at the Best Western Orlando Convention Centre hotel which was pretty handy for the event and meant I could walk to the venue each day (I’d recommend staying close by if you’re planning to attend next year)
I started by arriving on the Friday (which was great) I managed to get used to the location and find my way around where I was staying and figure out where everything was which I would also recommend. I managed to meet up with other people who were attending and we went out for food and drinks that night which meant chatting with a group from Germany who were mostly MVP’s, a great start to the my time in Florida.
I did more of the same on Saturday and spent a good deal of the day around the Hyatt Regency hotel which is a great area to hang out as this is where a number of the Microsoft speakers were staying. We had drinks and food at the hotel bar and again I spent a good deal of time meeting attendee’s from all around the globe.
Sunday allows you to attend a Pre-day which is where you can attend a day of learning the day before the conference starts, this is normally $500 but you get this free as an MVP. This was awesome as I managed to meet a good number of Azure MVP’s from around the world and chat to them during the day.
Mon-Friday was going to some sessions hanging out in the Hub and the Microsoft booth’s where I asked a lot of questions with product team members (which is invaluable).
Thursday night we got to go Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure from 7:30pm until midnight and this is for the Ignite celebration, the parks are open for attendees only and there is free food and drink and all of the rides are free which was incredible.
Overall the experience of attending Ignite was just wow, the size of the venue, the number of attendees and number of sessions was hard to comprehend. I will be going next year without a doubt and highly recommend it to anyone. The networking opportunities are endless, meeting both Microsoft staff and people I know from twitter etc.
Tips for next year: –
- Arrive early and acclimatise
- Don’t over do it, there is a lot of walking and the fear of missing out will always be there.
- The parties at night are amazing so pace yourself throughout each day.
- If your an MVP try and be there on the Sunday.
- Attend sessions if you have questions, otherwise watch them at the HUB or when you get home.
- Be prepared for not a lot of sleep, you can sleep when you get home.
- Enjoy the Microsoft store and endless freebies from the vendors.
- Attend – honestly its off the charts good fun and the opportunities to learn and meet people are endless.
If you can’t afford to attend or don’t fancy travelling to Florida then try to attend an Ignite Tour venue near you (they have already began and more coming soon)