If you're an IT Pro you should have heard by now that Microsoft has finally revealed the name of its new, consolidated conference that will take place next May in Chicago. We announced it when it happened last week.
Personally, I think Microsoft Ignite is a wonderful name, much, much better than originally proposed in a public survey back in August. Many have jumped on the bandwagon already, registering early to ensure a good hotel close to the McCormick Place.
Microsoft Ignite seeks to merge 6 very different communities into a single conference, merging MMS, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Project, and TechEd. Microsoft is hoping for 20,000 attendees bringing $47 million in revenue for Chicago.
Microsoft Ignite is sure to be a wonderful event and I've been promised that Microsoft is really working hard to reinvent its conferences and make community a top priority. However, the communities that Microsoft is merging into this single, signature event have wondered why the company would choose to dismantle its long-standing, popular community conferences and stick everyone under one roof. That answer came in a public press conference in Chicago the day of the official conference naming. The answer was supplied by Julia White, General Manager for Office and Technical Marketing at Microsoft. Here's the excerpt you don't want to miss:
"…before, we used to actually host 5 different technology conferences and our customers have asked us to bring that together into one holistic place…"
To those enduring alumni of Microsoft's conferences of the past, the answer may come as a bit of a shock. Those Microsoft Management Summit die-hards that experienced a sort of "merging" this past year with TechEd, might not agree with the answer considering they never asked for their event to be discarded. I've talked with others from the other conference communities and they have admitted the same. So, it makes you wonder who these customers are.
The full press conference, all 15 minutes of it, is here if you want the full effect: Microsoft Ignite Conference
What do you think? Is this the answer you were looking for?