sad dog

Chicago Must Be Pretty Mad at Microsoft

6 minute read
Todd Klindt avatar

The big thing this week revolves around six little letters: I-G-N-I-T-E.

It was a roller coaster of emotion last week. I laughed, I cried. It was pretty crazy. As I told you guys, about a year ago I was on an Ignite roundtable, which they put together in advance of the big conference in Chicago last May.

Ominously Quiet

A bunch of my friends were on it too, and it was a big fun time. That was in September of last year.

So a couple of weeks ago I was thinking, "Ya know, I haven't heard anything out of the roundtable folks." And we have a Yammer channel, but that doesn't mean anything because nobody knows how to use Yammer; I don't know what's in there.

But I hadn't received any email or anything either, so I was kind of curious because this time last year they were starting to talk about stuff.

We had also given them a lot of feedback after the conference, some of it even positive and constructive.And I was curious what they were going to go with all of that.

Say It Ain't So

And then, on October the 14th, a day that will live in infamy, we got a hint of what was going on.

Somebody at the Chicago Tribune talked to somebody at the Chicago tourism board, who said that Microsoft was pulling Ignite out of Chicago.

This is horrible news in all seriousness.

This is horrible news for Chicago, which lost something like 90,000 hotel room nights out of that deal, which is bad. Those people had planned.

Microsoft had already announced that Ignite was going to be in Chicago in 2016, and so pulling it out is a bad deal for a lot of people.

It Wasn't Perfect, But …

When we walked away from ignite last year, I had a list of things that didn't go the way I wanted them. The event center was really big, which was good. But it was too big.

You'd have to go back and forth, and make this four-mile walk to a session and it would be full. To tell you how bad things were, I did one session that had about 300 people in the room, and about 70 more standing out in the hallway.

And that was for our session. Imagine was the popular sessions were like.

But yeah, you'd walk your four miles over hill and dale, through that conference center get the to room and it would be full.Yeah it was bad.

Dreaming of Food and Sleep

In addition, the food was not great. Conference food never really is, but the food at Ignite was not good.

While the conference center had two restaurants in it — a McDonalds and a pizza place, and they were open, which was odd. But that was all there was.

Because, the conference center was literally miles away from other stuff, you couldn't go anywhere else to get food.

Also it was nowhere near any of the hotels. You had to take 20 to 30 minute bus rides to get places. And then if you went to any of the night events, then you had 20,000 people waiting for buses at the same time.

When Ignite ended last year, I sent my contact at Microsoft a long email of the things I wish they had done differently. Under "Room for Improvement," we wrote they should never do it here again. And turns out, they aren't going to.

So the story leaked on Oct. 14, but again it's just one story in the Chicago Tribune, and everybody tweeted and it was all over, but nobody had any official word from Microsoft on it.

Learning Opportunities

(Editor's Note: If you live in Chicago and enjoy attending small, intimate conferences, join CMSWire at the DX Summit on Nov. 3 and 4. Find out more here.)

How Y'all Doing?

Then Microsoft responds. It announced that Ignite had been moved.

So now instead of Chicago in May, Ignite is going to be in Atlanta from Sept. 26 to 30.

Microsoft announced that on a bunch of different blogs and their web properties. The thing they mentioned was that they had some other things coming up and they wanted to move Ignite later into the year and the McCormick center was full at the time they wanted it.

I believe that.

I doubt they got rid of the place just because of all the negative things that people said, and anyway, that's their story.

I've been to Atlanta for conferences before. It's a good venue. It's also in a good area in Atlanta, with a lot of places around. I was able to walk back and forth to the hotel, which is something I really like.

Another good thing is it's just a little bit from where my friend Lori Gowin lives. So I don't need to worry about taking a cab or an Uber from the airport because Lori will be sitting outside the arrivals terminal … hopefully.

Looking forward to that. You can go to and pre-register for Ignite in Atlanta.

Microsoft also released a blog post that has all of the events that they've got going on next year Build, which is for developers, in the spring in San Francisco, then Convergence — I've got no idea what that is —April 4 to 7 in New Orleans, then the World Partner Conference in July in Toronto and then Ignite in September in Atlanta.

I'm glad that they got that all out there. We only had to ring our hands and feel nervous and confused for 12 to 14 hours. So glad we got that over, but yeah ... a roller coaster of emotions.

Ok, Moving On

As always, much more in Podcast 265.

13:32 - "If you go for a run, and your Microsoft Band does not record it, does it count?". NO! No, of course it doesn't count. If you go for a run and your fitness tracker doesn't record it, it doesn't count! You might as well not even gone for a run at all.
15:44 – Oct. 13 was Patch Tuesday
19:33 - Josh Blalock, a co-worker of mine at Rackspace, stumbled on my podcast and said "Oh good lord, this thing is grandma's cat could make a better podcast than this." So he made his own
22:10 – The US government plans mandatory drone registration program. My question: Do you have to register a drone that doesn't quite fly straight anymore? Flies sort of like it's drunk because you got it in stuck in your neighbors tree, then knocked it out of said tree and it fell like...uh, 30 feet or so?
25:39 – The Sharegate blog had a good post called "Demystifying The SharePoint Lists Threshold"

Title image by Matthew Wiebe