I was honored to be included among the “Featured Speakers” at the Midwest Management Summit event this year in Minnesota from November 9th to the 11th at the Mall of America. A lot of my thoughts from last year still apply so I’ll focus on this year. If you want to know more about last year’s event see this post. The top five insights which I had for this year’s event are:
- Community: MMS very much has the feel of a community event while maintaining a high level of professionalism. The event staff was on top of things and all of the little details which can go wrong at an event seems to just be handed (behind the scenes that is a lot more work than it would appear).
- Longer sessions: The 1 hour 45 minute session times really let you go to more depth on a topic and still have time for Q&A. As a rule technical sessions are one hour long with Q&A added to the end of that. The MMS approach gives the speakers the time to really dig deep into a topic beyond what’s possible in a shorter session timeframe.
- Badges: The name badges at MMS are genius. This sounds like a little thing but its huge (see the screenshot at the bottom of this blog post). Their design includes a large first name up top and it is printed on both sides. This makes it viable to recognize someone by first name from almost across the room without that awkward moment of trying to read their badge without looking like you are trying to read their badge. This is especially helpful in ask-the-experts and birds-of-a-feather sessions where there can be a large number of people in a room.
- Mobile application: The daily schedule reminder from the app very well done. It made it easy to book your sessions and to find sessions throughout the week. My personal favorite feature was the email reminder which was sent to me daily with the list of sessions which I had on my schedule for that day.
- Giving back: The team at MMS was extremely supportive of a last minute idea brought to them to have raffles for two charities at the event. They were able to raise $500 for House of Tails (a dog shelter in Thailand), and over $600 for the Wounded Warrior Project. [The list of people to thank for their help with the House of Tails is too long to list everyone so I will say generically thank you to everyone who gave financially or through their time. This included the sponsors of MMS and the staff of MMS who all went above and beyond. I would like especially like to thank the CDM MVP’s, the OpsLogix team and the Secunia/Flexera crew – you each know what you did to help and it is appreciated!]
Summary: If you are looking for a top notch technical event focusing on Microsoft management and monitoring technologies with a community feel – you should definitely check out the Midwest Management Summit which is returning in 2016 on May 17-19 at the Mall of America!