Countdown to Ignite Ep. 4: The One with Q&A from the Ignite Forum + Cool Things to do in Chicago!

Countdown to Ignite Episode 4The clock keeps counting down, and with 69 days to go, it’s time for episode four of the Countdown to Ignite with Rick Claus and Joey Snow. As always, I rundown the high points of this week’s episode, but you should head over to the Ignite blog for the video and full blog post.

Rick and Joey take some questions from the forums this episode. The first question asked “Where do I input the promo code IgniteNA to receive the discounted attendee rate when registering for Microsoft Certification exams?” When you pre-register for the exam online (register early to get your spot!), you will enter the exam location (Microsoft Ignite North America 2015″, and then when you get to the payment page, there is a spot there to enter the promo code.

The second question asked “Are there sessions on Friday, May 8?” You bet! There is so much going on this year that Microsoft added an extra day to the conference for sessions, HOL’s, testing, and more. Rick mentions in the episodes that previous conferences were only four days long, but I have to point out that there was a time when TechEd was a full five days. Its long overdue that they restored the missing day.

Do you have questions about Ignite? Is there something you want to ask Rick and Joey? The Channel 9 Ignite Forum is the place to ask those questions. Check out the current threads or start your own. There are a lot of helpful people there who can get those answers for you, both fellow attendees as well as “folks in the know” like Rick, Joey, Denise, and more. Who knows, your question might bet used for an upcoming Countdown episode and you might get mentioned “on air” so ask away!

The magical mystery tour of Chicago with our Rick and Joey continues this episode with stops at three new locations.

  • Museum of Science and Industry – There are so many “not to miss” attractions in Chicago, but the Museum of Science Industry is truly one that you don’t want to put off until next time.I’ve been going there since I was a little kid, and it is bigger andbetter than ever. There are exhibits about transportation, weather, energy, space, history, science and more.

    There’s a coal mine you can visit that has been entertaining and educating visitors since 1933. There is a submarine, U-505, an actual honest-to-goodness German U-boat captured during World War II that you can learn about and actually tour. You can experience the inside of a tornado (as Rick does in the video). You can watch an Omnimax movie (think IMAX but on a dome). You can spends days here, and a few people have spent 30 days living, yes actually living, inside the museum. How cool is that? If you go in May, they will probably expect you to leave at closing time, but definitely make time to visit while you’re at Ignite.

    Travel Tip: If you’re a member of your local science center back home, bring your membership card and you might get in for free! Check the list of ASTC members that offer reciprocal membership benefits.

    Twitter: @msichicago

  • The Second City – A Chicago institution, The Second City is where so many of our comedy greats (and some not so greats) had their start. The recent Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary show put the spotlight on many people who graced the stages of The Second City: John Belushi, Dan Ayrkroyd, Bill Murray, John Candy, Martin Short, Tina Fey, Dave Thomas, Joe Flaherty, Chris Farley, Catherine O’Hara, and more.

    Watching Better Call Saul on AMC? Well, guess what? Bob Odenkirk performed here in 1990. Seriously, everyone has been through here. And now you can too. Shows are held nightly with matinees and late night shows on Friday and Saturday. I’ve never been here myself, but one of many places on my to-do list.

    Twitter: @TheSecondCity

  • Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) at Millennium Park – Millennium Park is an oasis of landscape and art in Downtown Chicago, and the Cloud Gate is its most iconic… icon. A huge, 110-ton sculpture made of stainless steel, its polished surface reflects the skyline and clouds drawing people in. It does a good job reflecting you as well as you walk around and catch it from every angle. Feel free to touch it, everyone does (just have some hand sanitizer handy, can’t be too careful). Afterwards, explore the rest of the park. There’s something to see around every corner.

    Twitter: @millennium_park

  • United Center – The United Center is the home of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks. It is the largest arena in the US and has been entertaining visitors since 1994. The event calendar for May is empty right now, but keep an eye on it as Ignite gets closer.

    Twitter: @UnitedCenter

So there are four more things to add to your dance card for Ignite in Chicago. As if you needed more things to see, right? If you were ever going to make a vacation out of Ignite, this is the year to do it. Stay for a weekend or two, and maybe bring the family. You won’t regret it.

You can watch the show over on Channel 9, but why not just watch it here?

If you haven’t registered yet, head over to the Ignite website and register now. Hotels are going fast, so don’t delay. You can check out my post with showing hotel availability (as of February 20).

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