Surviving MMS 2019 at MoA Pro Tips – Greg’s Top 5

Last night, I responded to a tweet from Dan Olson about pro tips and I wanted to expand on that a bit here. mmsI love MMS—it truly is the best conference for me with outstanding speakers and fantastic networking opportunities, and I want to ensure each of you step out there and do everything possible to get the most out of this week. You’ve taken time away from your family, from work, possibly even invested your own money to attend, so PLEASE try to embrace some of these tips:

  1. Take care of yourself. Seriously. Eat, sleep, drink (water). Do your best to ensure you can wake up on time in the morning and be ready for the firehose. Each day is jam-packed. I love the networking at MMS, and it’s easy to burn yourself out. You are going to be very busy, and very tired by the end of the week. Think of this as a marathon and take care of your health.
  2. Be Present. It’s easy to try to multi-task the week and try to balance MMS, work, life, and networking. Trying to do all of these at once is the classic recipe for failure. Sometimes we must step away from the conference to take care of those other things, so do what you have to do and then get back and focus on learning and networking.
  3. Keep a notebook handy. Jot your questions, answers to those questions that you’ve learned, as well as networking leads and follow-up items. When I’m listening to our world-class presenters, I often think of new ideas or follow-up actions and need to write them down immediately. There are so many things going on this week, you can’t possibly keep all of them in your brain. So, jot them down and get them out of your brain so you can go back to #2 (Be Present).
  4. Network. This is huge, and alumni will tell you there are numerous opportunities at MMS. Of all the weeks of the year, step out of your comfort zone and meet new people this week. You will find just about everyone at MMS is ready to participate in a conversation. If you see a group of people talking, walk up and ask if you can join – I bet they will welcome you to the group. Here are some specific networking opportunities.
    • Welcome Reception – The sooner you introduce yourself, the more opportunity you will have to continue the conversation throughout the week. I promise you, if you don’t network at the welcome reception, you’ll wish you had later in the week. Bingo is also a great way to step out and meet new attendees too.
    • Per-Session Q&A – Our sessions are one hour and forty-five minutes – approximately one hour for presentation, and 45 minutes to have a conversation with the presenters, as well as fellow attendees. Take advantage of this time to share, learn, and network.
    • Lunch – If you see fellow geeks gathered for lunch, ask to join them. Or if you’re heading to lunch and see others on the way, invite them to come along. And if you’re a quick eater, take look at our Nerds of a Feather Sessions, and bring your list of questions and plan to share. We all have something to share and we all have more to learn, so check out our NoFs!
    • Evening Socials – There are many of them. “Beer” sessions each night, as well as vendor gatherings (just ask a vendor if they’re sponsoring anything), and many of us will end up at the Firelake Restaurant eventually each evening (please just walk up and join the conversation).
  5. Share. MMS always ask for your feedback via surveys, but we love seeing your feedback socially even more! It is great to see many of you post a daily review, take lots of pictures, post hot tips, share pictures, and more! Tag us on Twitter (@mmsmoa, #MMSMOA), Facebook, and send us a link to your blogs so we can help share your content to all of our followers too!

I hope you can apply a few of these tips this week, as well as share some of your own too!

Greg

P.S. If you’re not at MMS, and wishing you were, take a look at MMS Jazz Edition and register soon!

About Greg Ramsey
Greg Ramsey is a systems engineer specializing in global systems management for Dell IT. He has a B.S. in Computer Sciences and Engineering from the Ohio State University and is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. Greg coauthored SMS 2003 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach (Apress, 2006), Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Unleashed (Sams, 2009), Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Unleashed (Sams, 2012), and Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: Administration Cookbook (Packt Publishing, 2012), and Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2 Unleashed (Sams, 2012). Greg is cofounder of the Ohio SMS Users Group, and the Central Texas Systems Management User Group.

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