Conference Notes

Microsoft Ignite 2016 – New Zealand


Photo Credit: Smoke Photography Ltd

Last week I had the privilege of attending and speaking at Microsoft Ignite 2016 in New Zealand. And although the photo above makes it look like I tried my vocal chords at singing, I was really only speaking!

A couple of comments on the event:

  • Ignite was by far the largest event I have attended in New Zealand. There was something like 1700 people there; the largest conference I have previously attended in New Zealand would have been in the 600-700 people range.
  • Microsoft and the conference organiser team did a great job of making the logistics work – getting people between rooms and sessions. There were some crunch points – the long registration line on Tuesday morning, and that first lunch on the Tuesday – but the other things seemed to flow well. People were encouraged to come early to register on Tuesday morning, but the several hundred people in the line when I arrived off my flight from Christchurch close to the start time of the opening keynote apparently didn’t get that memo. There must be another way of doing registration to avoid the crunch.
  • The three venues being used for the conference were closely situated, and everything was within easy walking distance.
  • The food service was excellent. Good choices for lunch and at other times during the day, and the wandering people giving out various food items added a bit of spice to the experience.
  • As a speaker, Microsoft appointed a speech track owner to corral speakers and slide decks in advance of the event. I worked with Emma Woods, who did a great job of providing timely feedback and input before the event, and coordination on the day of my talk.

I was supposed to attend all four days of the conference, but had to pull out for various reasons at the start of day 3. It was definitely a privilege to attend, and I commend the Microsoft New Zealand team for their hard work in preparing a great event.