As you should know by now, Microsoft has decided to end several solo events (MMS, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Exchange) and merge them all into a single, massive gathering in May of Chicago next year.
Recently, the company asked for feedback on several, potential names for the new event. Most agreed that none of them were great and the online survey provided no potential for suggestions.
A few, hand-selected individuals have been invited to join a special roundtable to listen to what Microsoft is planning for the as yet unnamed new conference scheduled to take place next spring, and to provide feedback. This is not unheard of, Microsoft has done this prior to each TechEd for the last few years, inviting alumni to participate in pre-event discussions, and even providing tours of the conference center and cityscape where it would take place. It’s a good idea to get influential community members on board who are willing to project and promote Microsoft's ideals.
But, while feedback is a good thing, there's no better way to make an event successful than to turn feedback over to everyone. We used to do that with the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) and is one of the primary reasons why the event was so loved a cherished by the attendees. Despite the Microsoft stamp, it was truly a community event created by the community. Attendees were able to help develop something they actually wanted to attend and something they could actually sell to management to get approval to spend training budget.
One of the key aspects to an event like this is the sessions. Technical sessions supplied by actual peers is what provides the true value. Tony noticed recently that the sessions for Exchange at TechEd Europe this year are severely lacking. And, once he presented his findings (TechEd Europe session selection not good news for on-premises customers or independent voices), myself and many others dug through the TechEd Europe session list to find that our own particular topics were also very lightly covered. Not good.
I know a few (if not, all) of the people who have been invited to the non-TechEd roundtable, so I'd like to turn feedback over to all of you, in hopes that this newest committee can agree to proxy your votes and comments. Write in what you believe is important and what would make a Microsoft mega-event worth attending next year: