So just a few days from now on Mothers Day I am flying to the great state of Minnesota (u betcha!) for one of the best IT technical conferences available. (In my opinion that is.) It is already time for MMS 2018 (Midwest Management Summit) which is not MMS (Microsoft Management Summit). The Minnesota Systems Management User Group (MNSCUG) started this about 5 years ago after Microsoft combined their MMS with TechEd. I feel it has even more value now than when Microsoft ran the conference. Not ditching what Microsoft did when they had MMS, it was a good conference as well. The biggest difference for me and most people are the quality of sessions, the availability of the speakers, and the overall networking available at the new MMS. This conference also limits the number of people to about 600. So getting tickets earlier is always helpful or you might just like a few people I know get left out next year.
I have some advice for those that never have been to MMS or maybe this may be their first time. Do not be afraid of the redcoats. :) Let me explain, all the attendees at least in the past have been given a pretty nice lightweight jacket or hoodie that comes with the MMS logo and the logo of the Diamond Sponsor for that year. Out five years, this will be my 3rd. My first year CoreTech (now called CTGlobal) was the Diamond Sponsor, last year it was Adaptiva, and this year 1E! Oh, let me tell you how cool 1E’s after event parties are. They rock! Ok, so back to the coats again, all us attendees get black coats like I mentioned. The speakers all get red coats. Which helps identify them walking between sessions or just chilling in the open and general areas. Now back to my first thought for newbies to this conference. Do not be afraid to talk to any of the speakers. All of whom are MVP’s or very well known in their specific fields. They are willing to take the time to talk to you one on one and outside of their sessions, grab a cold one after, etc. However, I can’t vouch for Donnie or Garth but the rest of them are not scary monsters. :)
I have met and started some very good relationships with the people that attended MMS. I actually found out that those MVPs are actually humans and are just like you and I. I will be honest before MMS I probably didn’t talk to a single MVP. However, the sessions where they are just open discussions with a handful of MVPs and a small group of us normal guys in black jackets are the best for meeting and talking to MVPs. This is where I first started to talk to the great and mighty Cameron Fuller. It became very clear that Cameron was just a normal guy loving his work and very approachable. From him, I met Bob Cornelissen (SCOM Bob!) and so on. Now I have many new friends from all over the world and from all aspects of systems management and other areas of our lovely IT world.
Now, the sessions at MMS are some of the best sessions I have attended. I would like to point out also that each year the number of sessions and the variety of sessions keep growing. In the past, if you were not a Configuration Manager guy you would have some limited choices. However, the past few years this has changed and this year there are tons of non-Configuration Manager sessions.
Here is a snapshot of part of my schedule. It is going to be a very busy week next week:
Looking forward to all the sessions I have signed up for. Talking to old friends and to meeting new friends. Discussing all the new technologies and stuffing more knowledge in my old head.
Shoutout to all the speakers I will be stalking I mean listening to this next week:
Peter De Tender
Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen
New this year are also the Escape Room sessions that are being mentored by various MVP’s and speakers. There are more vendor sponsors as well which means more Swag, because who doesn’t like cool swag? Each vendor also does a very good give away, however I have yet to win, cough cough hint hint!
There are also raffles that help fund charities like my friend Bob’s House of Tails. So don’t forget to get your raffle tickets and help out a good cause.
So to finish it all up, I would highly recommend you sign up for MMS 2019 next year. If you a newbie, don’t be afraid of the redcoats, they are people too. Oh, and do not forget to get your pass to the 1E after event party, those are always awesome and extremely fun! One more thing, always try to stay at the Radisson Blu even if you that isn’t your hotel chain of choice. It is nice to have the room right there to sneak off for a quick 15 minutes siesta. I am also hoping maybe next year I will be a speaker?