Conference Plans & Travel Countdowns

Now that we know when and where TechEd North America will be next year (see my earlier post), I’ve updated my page of travel countdowns. If you ever want to see what trips I have planned, check out that page for the latest info.

In addition to a quick trip to Denver for work this week, I’ve also added in a couple of conferences along with TechEd. The latest edition of the Microsoft’s UC-focused conference, MEC 2014, will be in Austin next year. I attended the last two MECs in 2002 and 2012 and really enjoyed its return last year. The only problem is, I may not be working with Exchange when the next MEC rolls around.

We’re planning on moving our faculty and staff into the Office 365 tenant managed by the central IT organization. If that happens as I expect, I’ll be out of the Exchange and Lync business, at least from an infrastructure side, and that’s where I want to be. Because of that change, I had not given much thought to going to MEC again. After this year’s TechEd, however, I’ve decided that I do want to attend. I spent a lot of time over the last week with UC people, and it drove home to me that I don’t want to lose the connection to that community or to the technology. I may not be involved with UC in my current position, but you never know what’s on the horizon. I don’t have approval to attend at the moment, but I’m confident I can work something out. If you’re going to MEC, count on seeing me in Austin, one way or the other.

I also added the Windows in Higher Education Conference that is held on the Microsoft campus in Redmond. This is a very small conference, open to any higher education IT staff. The conference itself has a minimal cost, so the only real expenses are travel-related. It is a great opportunity to be on campus and see presentations from both Microsoft and your peers. Again I don’t have approval to attend, but because the costs are so low compared to other events, I expect I will get approval for this one as well.

I’m hoping that my travel plans will intersect with some of my friends and followers at some point. If you notice a trip where we’re in the same city, let me know. I would love to meet up!