In this highly connected world, the differences with attending a full blown technical conference versus not attending and watching the post-conference blogs, presentation slides or videos are still, no matter what, without a doubt, never going to really bridge the gap completely.
Time vs. Money
We recently had the pleasure of attending MS-Ignite in Chicago.
I was unable to attend many sessions that I really wanted to get to, you certainly can’t hit them all. But within a day the Microsoft Channel9 team posts the presentation and videos on Channel9.msdn.com. Of course, no one can attend all 371 sessions, so having these resources available post-conference is very useful.
That said, life gets in the way, I have a job, my neglected family awaits when I return, clients too, did I say I have a job? So I download them all and get them on an external storage device but simply having these presentation resources on my storage drive does not mean I will have time to see them. The sessions were at least an hour long.
So why would we bother to fly out to Chicago, spend good money on a conference, hotel, Black Hawk jerseys, etc. when we can just watch the presentations for free?
I really want to be there.
As ‘consultants”, we are your stewards to technology and as an attendee we are able to network with individual attendees, vendors, speakers and Microsoft employees in person, as well as attend the sessions that interest us. I may find a vendor with a new solution for an issue that I am working on, or one that solves a business problem that you as a customer are looking to accomplish. Attending these events and meeting the people whose blogs we read, meeting the partners whom you do business with is so very important to us. Another thing, I am an Office365 Administrator. I am a SharePoint Administrator. If I am going to speak to my clients about the upcoming changes that are in store in 2016, I want to be able to talk to each vendor that I can to get their individual perspectives on change and their plans for addressing change.