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Microsoft Ignite: Top Tips and Tricks for the Week

23 Oct 2019 by Becci Velzian

We’re nearing that time of year again, where 25,000 keen IT Pros, Microsoft Partners, MVPs, Office 365 enthusiasts and more congregate for the biggest technical event of the year, Microsoft Ignite.

You may be attending to accelerate your skills in AI, Teams or Exchange. Or maybe you’re there because you want to hear the monumental announcements of the year that everyone’s been waiting for, straight from the Product Owners themselves in a setting not dissimilar a live show (actual footage sometime circa 1995).

With over 1000 sessions available to attend, it’s safe to say Ignite has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a deep-dive into the event, our top tips and tricks, and what to keep your eyes peeled for whilst your there.

Quadrotech is no stranger to Microsoft Ignite, and many of our Office 365 experts are seasoned veterans of the collaborative event. Some have been going for too many years to count, others since the event has been held in the OCCC in Orlando, Florida – Ignite’s home for the past 2 years. With that experience, comes a lot of lessons on how to get the most out of your trip.

How to work Microsoft Ignite like a pro

…like Greg

Greg Jones, Director of Global Presales at Quadrotech, has attended Ignite somewhere between five and ten times. Yep, he’s actually lost count of how many times he’s been.

Greg looks forward to meeting his customers because a predominant part of his role is ensuring they get the solution they need. Here, he gets to listen to their feedback, so he can continuously build upon the performance of the organization.

Another key reason Greg keeps returning to this event is the takeaways from sessions. Unsurprisingly at Ignite 2018, there was a huge focus on Microsoft Teams. So, in light of that information, he and his team implemented this into our own product strategy to ensure we’re continuously moving at the same pace as Microsoft in their rapid development.

Read more: how to get your team on 'Teams'

An outcome of this is our Delegation and Policy Control functionality in our latest product Nova, which makes it easier to manage Microsoft Teams. For example, you can now: create new teams, modify settings on existing Teams, add or remove Channels, add or remove members of Teams and create logical groups of Teams and perform actions on the whole group. You can find out more in this independent technical review by MVP Dominik Hoefling.

Some of Greg’s other top tips for Microsoft Ignite 2019 include:

  • Bringing comfortable shoes – you’ll do a lot of walking. The OCCC is one of the largest expo centers in the world, and you’ll ramp up your steps getting from one session to another, and also when working your way around the Expo Hall
  • Taxi – although we’re all accustomed to grabbing an Uber, this can prove to be arduous when you’re battling it out with 25,000 other attendees. In which case, go old school and take a taxi

…like Doug

Doug Davis, Product Manager of Reporting & Analytics at Quadrotech, has also attended Microsoft Ignite many, many times and exclaims ‘Office 365 has been on fire’ over the past few years. The main part of Doug’s role is making Office 365 easier to use, manage and report on. So, it comes as no surprise that Doug is looking forward to attending sessions and announcements.

Doug particularly looks forward to Ignite because it’s the one time of year everyone is together. Meaning there are countless opportunities to collaborate with our customers, partners and other companies. It’s great because everyone can toss up their ideas, discuss what they want to do and ‘bring it all together’.

A top tip from our Reporting & Analytics expert Doug is:

  • Bring a spare backpack – Ignite is ‘swag central’, there are so many opportunities to grab a few free t-shirts and merchandise, and there’s also a lot of prize giveaways! Don’t forget to stop by our Booth #841 to grab a stress bull and some other goodies

…like Emma and Petra

Emma and Petra both work in our Marketing team and are the fuel behind the fire at Quadrotech’s booth 841. Emma is the Brand and Content Director at Quadrotech, and Petra is a Marketing Executive and manages the Customer Marketing division and also our brilliant videos.

Both have attended numerous Ignite events, and although they don’t work directly in the Product teams, they are just as eager to see what Microsoft has to offer each year. It’s also a great opportunity to hear the ‘general consensus’ of the event and see what topics are on the IT professionals’ horizons.

At a previous Ignite, they heard a lot of hype around ‘Office 365 adoption’ and how it can be a tricky task in larger organizations. Based on this feedback, we were able to incorporate a solution to this into our latest SaaS management platform, Nova. You can find out more about our Adoption Accelerator feature here or come and find us at the event.

Read more: for easier adoption add change management

So, what else are our Marketers looking forward to?

Emma is really looking forward to meeting the Practical 365 community in person. Our independent sister-site has a fleet of MVP’s who produce technical, thought-leadership blogs and videos on all things Office 365.

Petra is excited to catch up with any Quadrotech customers attending Ignite, to get product feedback and better understand their needs. She is also a videographer and an expert at capturing great content, so stay tuned for daily posts on the technical highlights from that day. Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect.

Top tips from the marketing team include:

  • Go and see the puppies! – Rumour has it, there are going to be puppies somewhere at the event this year. They will be there as ‘therapy animals’ supplied by Pet Partners, and there will be many different types of dogs at the conference. Don’t worry, the furry friends won’t be overwhelmed and will operate in two hours shifts, which also means there will be lots of different canines available to meet.

More Top Tips:

So we’ve gained some great tips and tricks from some of the Quadrotech team attending this year, but there are still plenty more top tips for Microsoft Ignite:

  • Download the MyIgnite App and build your schedule – need some tips on what to go to? Check out this blog from MVP Vasil Michev
  • Take a power bank – if you came to Ignite 5+ years ago, you probably wouldn’t have needed this, however it’s 2019 now and many of you will be using your MyIgnite App, cameras and social media a lot whilst at this event. So, don’t forget your power bank! There’s nothing worse than trying to find everyone at happy hour with 2% battery. If you don’t have one, however, why not swing by Quadrotech’s booth for your chance to win one?
  • Plan your time between sessions – as I previously mentioned, the OCCC is huge! So plan your time between sessions carefully, such as the length of time it’ll take you to get from one to the other
  • Stay hydrated – I mean, sitting in a session isn’t exactly a strenuous activity, however, this will help you stay alert and on the ball all day. Although some of you may disagree, soft drinks and coffee will make you crash
  • You can pick up your Ignite badge from Orlando airport – so this makes that ‘checking in’ experience so much easier. If you’re flying into MCO, you can pick up your badge at Terminals A & B baggage claim. This service will be available both Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd November 8AM-11PM
  • Shuttle Bus – if you’re staying in one of the official hotels, you can catch a shuttle bus to and from Ignite. These will start on Sunday 7:30-10:30AM, then 2:30-5:30 PM. On Monday, 6:30-10:15 AM, and then 5:00-8:00 PM. The schedule will also be available on the MyIgnite app, so don’t forget to check it out
  • Attendee Celebration – when else are you going to get exclusive entry to Universal Studios? This is not a celebration to be missed! You can either go and relieve your inner adrenaline junkie on one of the many famous rides or alternatively kick back and enjoy a Harry Potter ‘Butterbeer’ at the free bar. Either way, it’s got something for everyone and not one to be missed! Be there, Thursday 7th November at 7:30 PM onwards

Come and see us! Quadrotech will be there in usual fashion at Booth 841 with our infamous bulls and plenty of prizes to be won.