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One of my favourite parts of being the “face of TechDays” in all communications is that I also get the opportunity to reply to every email that is sent to the email@example.com email alias. I get lots of emails – over 1000 at last count – and I reply to each one. Keep them coming – I really love reading them and having the conversation.
The fact that developers and IT Pros across Canada are passionate about growing their skills at TechDays is of special importance to me. Many of the emails I get talk about how you are looking to come to TechDays for a second or third time – thank you for your continued support, or maybe for the first time – we look forward to meeting you.
Some of the emails I get provide great suggestions on how TechDays can be improved, and we take all ideas into consideration and make changes based on your feedback such as adding a Local Flavours track to TechDays this year to allow individuals to submit sessions that they want to deliver reflecting the topics of importance to each geography we visit.
Finally, there are some emails that have a common theme and question that I get to respond to repeatedly. That’s the idea behind this blog post – to share those common questions (and answers) with all of you whether or not you sent me an email. Here they are, in no particular order of importance or frequency.
Question: When will you be announcing the list of sessions for each track at TechDays?
This question is usually accompanied by the need to provide a manager more info to get approval to attend TechDays, or a desire to plan your personalized agenda for when you attend TechDays.
Answer: We will be announcing the final list of sessions in early July. In fact, the team is currently working on the final session list for the five TechDays tracks that will be the same in all cities, with the exception of the Local Flavours track. We are narrowing down the choices to 10 sessions per track and are very close to the final agenda. Stay tuned to this blog and the www.techdays.ca site for an announcement when this process is completed – early in July.
Once the final list of sessions is published we will also open up the Schedule Builder functionality so that you can create your customized agenda for attending TechDays.
Question: I am interested in submitting a session for consideration in the Local Flavours track. What is the process for doing so?
Answer: At the same time as we are defining the final session list for TechDays 2010, we are also finalizing the submission process and criteria for the Local Flavours track. We will be announcing the process at the same time as the session abstracts for the other tracks – in early July. We are really looking forward to your submissions and hope that many of you will want to share your expertise and experience with your peers.
Question: As an attendee of TechDays 2009 I received a one-year TechNet Plus subscription. Are you offering the same benefit again this year?
Answer: Since we started TechDays two years ago our focus has been to provide a great learning experience for attendees both during and, through the Learning Kit, after the event. We work with many organizations to help make the overall experience the best possible. Over the last couple of years, we were fortunate that Microsoft Corporate has provided a promotional and complimentary TechNet Plus subscription exclusively to all TechDays attendees. Sadly, this complimentary promotional offering is no longer available.
We are working hard to provide additional value to all attendees through special offers from our Partners and other organizations, but our key focus is always to ensure that you have the best technical learning experience possible at the event and walk away with knowledge you can use today. That has always been, and will continue to be our focus – helping you grow your technical skills. Stay tuned over the next little while as we announce more details on session content, but also on what will be available to help you to continue to grow your skills after the event.
Update: While we will not have a TechNet Plus subscription available to all attendees at TechDays 2010, we are close to finalizing some great offers both from Microsoft as well as our key partners that we will be announcing later in July. I am sure that you will find these compelling and additional value to the great learning you will get at TechDays 2010.
Question: I need to get approval to attend TechDays and also want to take advantage of the Early Bird Price of $349.99 (50% off the full conference price of $699.99). How long will the Early Bird price be available?
Answer: The Early Bird pricing at $349.99 will be in effect until 6 weeks before the TechDays 2010 event in each city. For Vancouver this means that you will be able to purchase a ticket at the Early Bird price until July 31st, after which time the price will be $699.99. While there is plenty of time to ensure you get a great price, but you may want to act now as TechDays has a tendency to sell out in some cities, like it did last year.
Question: I registered for TechDays 2010 but have not yet received a email confirmation that I am indeed registered or a receipt for my credit card payment. Can you help?
Answer: If you have not received an email confirmation of your registration within 2-4 business days after you registered, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will look into it. Please note that the registration confirmation email will not come from Microsoft but from Starshot, our event management vendor, as indicated on the TechDays web site when you registered:
Credit card transactions will appear on your monthly statement as Tech Days care of Starshot. Once you click submit, please allow up to one minute for the transaction to process. An email receipt will be sent to the email address listed above. To ensure you receive our email communications, please add email@example.com to your safe senders list.
You should also check your Junk Mail folder in case the confirmation was routed their by your email client.
Question: I would like to register a group of individuals from my organization to attend TechDays. The TechDays website does not take group registrations. How can I do this and what payment methods are available?
The answer to this question also applies if you would like to register someone to attend and will be paying with a credit card in a different name than the individual being registered.
Answer: We would be happy to process your registration as a group to help with the admin side of things. To register a group to attend TechDays, please call 1 (888) 361-3343 and speak to one of our representatives. Our call centre is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Please note that the only payment method accepted for TechDays registrations is a major credit card. We do not accept company purchase orders or other payment methods.
So there you have it. These are the most common questions that I have been asked through your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a question about TechDays, send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll get you an answer. I REALLY do love getting your emails.
TechDays 2010 Program & Skills Manager
I hope you have a session on multipoint, home server and small business serve
I can't believe Microsoft no longer offers complementary Technet Plus subscriptions to Techdays attendees. That was one, if not, THE major reason why I could justify cost of attending Techdays (I pay out of my own pocket). If it weren't for the free Technet Plus subscription, Techdays just becomes a series of seminars about topics that I could have just as easily googled from the web (oops, sorry... I meant BINGed).
Like I said in the post, the focus of TechDays is to ensure that you get a great learning experience, connect with local experts, your peers, and other like-minded individuals to share your own experiences.
While you can get some of the technical details by searching the web, you can't get the experience of getting up close and personal with those that know the technology without attending a technical learning conference like TechDays. While these conferences often force you to go to them (and cost a lot more than TechDays), TechDays comes to you in 8 Canadian cities.
We are still working hard on extending your learning after the conference with offers and some really exciting things that I will be announcing in a few weeks, ensuring that you can benefit from the TechDays experience even after you leave the in-person event.
Thanks for your comments.
I personally feel that the free technet subscription is really something big to me as I can get priority online support from MS forums. I agree that TechDays is great for communicating with local peers however technet subscription provides a missing part that tech-days cannot provide, i.e. once I have a technical issue/problem, I need to get it solved asap and in this case, what I learned from tech-days may not help (otherwise, it is not an issue in the first place). With technet subscription, I can go online and get the priority attention from MS online support team, and this will enhance my appreciation for the techdays event.
In short, I may alreay solve lots of issues with knowledge gained from techdays, and if I cannot, I will still get the support from a benefit (i.e. technet subscription) bestowed upon me from my attendance at TechDays.
I hope you can establish TechDays brand to such image:
TechDays is an event that will ALWAYAS help you out in any cases.
Can we split a ticket with a Buddy I go on one day and my buddy attends on the nexr day. we only get one a week off for this
Thanks for your comment. Each ticket purchased for TechDays 2010 is assigned to an individual and is not transferable. If you would like to have a group of individuals attend TechDays 2010 from your organization, please contact the TechDays 2010 Event Centre and they can take you through the group booking process. Please call 1 (888) 361-3343 and speak to one of our representatives. Our call centre is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.
Thanks again for your comment. I look forward to seeing you at TechDays 2010!
I guess with no subscription, a leather jacket or [for those closer to winter] a winter coat with the TechDays lettering on it is also out of the question. :-)
The lack of the subscription [as seen by some of the comments below] will probably cost some attendance for the events. So some will choose between going and get what will be included or get the subscription only.
I'm a c2009 alumni and aside from the subscription [and of course the track courses] there wasn't much else offered. Actually, there was some developer rated stuff but I'm sure a good chunk of those who go aren't developers.
So, you get rid of the developer stuff, the pen and the mug [not the greatest one BTW] and there is little left in the lunch box.
Sure I got a t-shirt a month or so ago, but how many more t-shirts does one need? A polo shirt or even a long sleeve t-shirt would of been a good change.
As I said, while [for most] the training is the main incentive to go, I think many still want "something".
At least when the subscription expires, I can still access the software that I had [up until the expiration day].
In Techdays 2010, I am more interested in the learning kit which should include Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft Expression and/or SQL server. Plus the technet subscription. If these are not there I wouldn't be able to justify the cost to my manager.