The first Ignite conference was not what I expected - at least my experience was unexpected.
Ignite is a a new conference that replaces Tech Ed North America and a few other national technical conferences. In its inaugural year, it was scheduled at the McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, which was lucky for me because I recently moved to Chicago.
I wanted to attend and I tried everything I could think of to get a ticket to Ignite (short of actually buying one, of course); but I had resigned myself to watching from the sidelines. However, the evening before Ignite began, I received an email asking if I could work the Office 365 booth at Ignite. I accepted and was excited to attend. I spent Sunday night learning all I could about Office 365,
I was overwhelmed by the interest in Office 365. The steady stream of attendees did not trail off until Wednesday afternoon. Serving 5 hours a day on booth duty made it difficult to attend any sessions before Friday morning; but I did get a chance to explore the Expo area, where dozens of companies and organizations showed off their products and services.
The Expo ended Thursday, so I was able to attend a few sessions on Friday. I saw presentations on Windows 10 management, ASP.NET 5, and Automated Testing.
By one measure, I missed much of the conference because I wasn't able to attend any sessions Monday through Thursday. But I spoke with a number of smart people in the Expo Area and exchanged quite a few ideas, which was a big success. And I was forced to ramp up quickly on Office 365 development in order to perform my role as a booth babe. They even let me wear a shirt with the word "Expert" on the back.
Overall, I learned a lot this week, which is the primary reason I attend these concerts. Oh, and also Fall Out Boy. The Fall Out Boy concert Thursday night was pretty good.