MMS 2012: Travel Guide Part 2: The session types

This blog post is part of a series. The other parts can be found here: How to survive MMS 2012.

So you are heading to Vegas for the System Center event of the year: Microsoft Management Summit!

But what can you expect and how are you going to get the most out of the event. This blog post in the series will guide you through the different types of sessions and how to effectively plan your days at MMS.


There’s a huge spectrum of different sessions provided, opportunities to meet with peers, check the latest solutions of partners (and get some gadgets along the way),…

So let’s get started to give you some hints on the “official” part of MMS: the keynotes + session.

The different sessions:

Instructor Lead Labs: mms%20107_2

These sessions are basically big classrooms where you can get hands experience with the new software in predefined scenarios. It’s instructor led but also has a manual for each attendee to get you started. You’re working on your workstation in a VM which is specifically designed for this class room. The frequency of these labs tend to go a little fast so if you fall behind just continue at your own pace through the exercise.

TIP: All the Instructor Led Labs are available in the Commnet area to do them over again or take them at your own pace.

TIP: Make sure to get in line at the correct Instructor Led Lab in time otherwise your seat will be assigned to someone in the standby queue. If you did not register for this lab upfront but want to attend just get to the session and wait in the standby queue. There’s always a percentage of no-shows so chances are you will still get in.

Breakout sessions:


This is the majority of the sessions and are listed in the session listing. These sessions have a predefined subject and are delivered by product team members, System Center MVP’s and community members. These are the places where you have to really gather the info you are looking for at MMS. These sessions are recorded and the decks will be available afterwards for download and/or on the conference DVD.

Bird of the feather (BOF) sessions:


These sessions are basically slots in the evening which are available for community members to present some specific topics to a group of attendees. The topics of these sessions are proposed and chosen by you… the attendees. Make sure to check out the list of BOF sessions for some very interesting topics with a great opportunity to get first hand info from some leading experts. There’s a lot of room for interaction in these sessions

Apart from the sessions there are 2 major things you need to check at MMS:

The keynotes.


On Tuesday and Wednesday morning there’s the keynote of Brad Anderson which is highlighting some of the accomplishments of the last year and generally gives you a great sneak preview on the roadmap of the System Center suite. Generally there are also some scoops in these keynotes.

TIP: If by any chance you miss these keynotes (couldn’t get out of bed because of the time difference Winking smile) you can always review them on YouTube and the post conference dvd.

The Expo:


The expo is definitely something you need to visit. All the different partners have a booth which are generally filled with people who would love to attract you to their product with gadgets, price draws, demo’s, free giveaways,… In the center of the expo is also the Microsoft area where normally there a premier consultants + product team members available to answer your questions.

So now we have all the different session explained. The only thing left to do is see how we can cram this all in a week… Well simply by creating your own schedule with the schedule builder explained in the next chapter of this blogging series.

Enough talk, let’s build
Something together.