Yes, I realize that 2013 isn't even complete yet and there are, at least, two big conferences still on the near horizon, but it might be time to start thinking about TechEd 2014. After spending some time in Redmond this past week to chat about TechEd 2014, I wanted to give you some cool resources to help stoke your excitement about Microsoft's big IT Pro event in May 2014. TechEd 2014 is going to be a particularly interesting event with the merging of the Microsoft Management Summit. Bringing the two distinct communities together could be seamless or it could be explosive. Either way, that alone is reason enough to attend for some. I'll be able to share more, very soon, about how the MMS and TechEd merge is progressing.

Related: Microsoft Merges Management Summit with TechEd

So, first off, a good friend of mine and longtime TechEd aficionado, Scott Ladewig has put together a couple unique resources. If you go to TechEdCountdown.com, you can get a real-time countdown on how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the TechEd 2014 kickoff in Houston, Texas. And, to go along with the web site, Scott also created the @TechEdCountdown Twitter account that automatically posts the countdown information once a day. Just follow the account and you'll get an update every day.

Then, there's a document that has been created in the Microsoft TechEd community group at our sister site, myITforum.com, that contains some great links and resources to help you locate areas where you can start now to join in on the community fun. The doc contains community links for the TechEd forums, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, and Channel 9. There's even some special TechEd "bling" to dress up your email signatures and personal blogs.

You can access the links and resources here: TechEd 2014 Links and Resources

Of course, I'll be on-hand at TechEd 2014, helping manage some community events and also as part of the long running "Best of TechEd" program.

And, oh…those other two conferences? I'll be at DellWorld in a couple weeks and then on to the System Center Universe at the end of January. If you're interested in topics that either of these have to offer and want to attend, check out the following links:

If you are attending or decide to attend, let me know and we'll find a time to get in a run or two, or even just sit down with some coffee and discuss the world.