MMS 2013 Day 0

Day 0 of MMS 2013 is complete, and I think everyone is pretty psyched for things to really get going tomorrow. Why Day 0 and not Day 1? Even though there were actual breakout sessions today, I still think of this as Day 0, the day you get registered, settle in, check out the conference center, etc. If there hasn’t been a keynote, then it isn’t Day 1. My blog, my rules.

I eased into the day with some pool time at the hotel. The Luxor pool is nice, not Mandalay Bay nice, but nice enough. I used some high SPF sunscreen, but I expect I’ll be a bit pink tomorrow. First time out in the sun like this for the year, so it doesn’t take much time out to overdo it.

Afterwards, I cleaned up, grabbed lunch (at the Burger Bar, not bad…), and then finally to the Registration Area at Mandalay bay where they had opened up general registration an hour early. Lines were non-existent and registration went lickety-split. Here’s your badge, here’s your bag, now get out.

I went into the conference bag in detail (too much probably) in another blog post, so read that if you want to know more. l Suffice it to say, the bag seems like a hit. I might have liked a more prominent logo, but the minimalist exterior makes it look quite professional, and wouldn’t look out of place in one of those scifi movies or series that are set in some vague future time. Not so far in the future that it looks strange, but not quite “now.” But I digress.

The conference center is fairly compact, over three levels (technically four, but we’re skipping one floor that we’re not using). If that sounds confusing, relax, it is just as confusing if you’re here. The confusion continued when we discovered the door to Jasmine E is really over by Jasmine A. Let’s face it, room confusion like that is never good, but when that’s the room for MMS 101, the session for MMS newbies, well, I’m sure some people have room-change-phobia now, going into tomorrow. If you see someone having an anxiety attack as they try to find a room, calm them with soothing words and help them find their room.

MMS 101 was OK. As I expected, having gone to two MEC’s and ten TechEd’s, there wasn’t a lot that was specific to MMS and therefore unknown to me aside from the events, but It was still worth going. I chatted with Michael Niehaus (@mniehaus) and meet some other Midwestern folks in the “meet your neighbor” time after the session concluded. Michael changed my life with a BDD 2007 session he gave at TechEd many years ago, so he’s always one of my favorite presenters.

The other sessions going on alongside MMS 101 all sounded interesting as well, a SQL for System Center Admins session, another about managing 3rd party updates with ConfigMgr, and a certification session by Enrique Lima (@EnriqueLima). I’m going to try and catch another session Enrique is doing. I mention these sessions, because this one block of time illustrates what happens during nearly every timeslot during a conference like this – too many good sessions. There always seems to be at least one other session you’d like to go to in every block as you plan your schedule. if only you could clone yourself.

Thankfully, the abundance of interesting sessions isn’t really a problem. Because all of the sessions are recorded, you can always go back and watch them online when you get back home. That means you can see if one session would be more valuable to see in person, maybe there’s a question you want to ask, or the speaker is someone you’ve been dying to see.  In the end you’re not choosing between sessions or activities, instead you’re choosing when you want to see or do them.  The conference really never ends.

Back to my day… I went to dinner with Bryan Wilson from new Zealand, whom I met yesterday, and Joel (forgot his last name!) from Edmonton. (I asked if he knew Henrik Sorensen ( @nothatsyou), but apparently not everyone in Edmonton knows each other.) Then it was back to Ri Ra for some dessert, some music, and a confirmation that mushy peas will be back on Tuesday. That’s when they arrive from Ireland. I thought they were joking, but apparently they’re serious.

And here I am, writing up this first blog post. It is 12:20 AM, later than I wanted to be up, but par for the course for me. Sigh. See you tomorrow at the keynote with Brad Anderson.