Tips for Microsoft TechEd First Time Attendees

Tip #1: Bring Government Issued Photo ID and Printed TechEd Final Details Email

Don’t forget to bring some form of government-issued photo identification along with your TechEd and Hotel registration confirmations. You should have received an email titled “Microsoft TechEd North America 2012: Final Details” sometime around May 29th that includes a barcode that will speed up your registration process. TechEd is sold out this year so don’t wait until the last minute to go through the onsite registration process. If you’re arriving on Sunday, go ahead and complete this process (10am to 6pm unless your a pre-conference attendee and then it’s 7am to 10am), otherwise plan to arrive early on Monday. The most important thing you’ll be given during registration is a nametag or badge to wear around your neck. This is your ticket to all the sessions and events to include breakfast and lunch so be sure to remember it each day and don’t forget it in your hotel room.

Tip #2: Know what sessions you’re planning to attend before you arrive.

Use the TechEd Content Catalog to build your personalized schedule so you’ll know where you’re going before you arrive. At a minimum, plan a day ahead and figure out where you’re going the following day each night. If you’re planning to attend the keynote, be at North Hall A1 forty-five minutes before it starts.

You may want to add more than one session during the same time slot in case one of the sessions you wanted to attend is full.

You can click on the room number to display a map of where the session is located:

Here’s the map that will be displayed as referenced above:

Tip #3: Don’t bring too much stuff with you to registration

My first Microsoft TechEd conference was two years ago and this may sound like a no-brainer for people who have previously attended TechEd. You’ll be given a really cool backpack when you check-in so consider not bringing a bag with you to registration especially if you’re completing it on the same day that you have sessions planned, otherwise you’ll end up carrying two bags around all day. What do I do with my computer? Carry your netbook or laptop with you in a neoprene sleeve, it will easily fit into the backpack you’re given at registration. Here are the backpacks from the past two years:

You’ll also be given a water bottle, T-Shirt, conference guide, and information about the vendors. I’ve attended a pre-con each year which gives you an additional day of training and time to familiarize yourself with the location before thousands of people arrive onsite.

Tip #4: Pack and Dress Appropriately

Leave the suits and ties at home. I’ll also be leaving my khakis and golf shirts at home. My attire for the week will be T-Shirts, Shorts, and Tennis Shoes. Plan to do a lot of walking. If you’re a cold natured person, pack a light weight jacket or sweater. It can be cold inside at these conferences. A small umbrella that will fit into your backpack may come in handy.

Tip #5: Learn, Network, and have a great time

Learn as much as you possibly can by attending sessions (lot’s of them are recorded and can be viewed later), try to meet some new people (network), and have a great time in the process.



  1. David Carr

    Great Tips Mike. I have a blog post with TechEd Attendee Tips on my blog I would appreciate you taking a look and leaving a comment


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