I readily embrace my fondness for nerdy conventions. While some endure them, I am one of the people they were created for because I love having dedicated time for collaborative learning, creating contacts, exploring vendor booths, and being in a new place.
Microsoft's TechEd North America is therefore drool-worthy for me, as it features Microsoft's latest and greatest products, including innovations for Microsoft Office Suite.
I find the included 12-month TechNet subscription extremely alluring. It includes a full evaluation of Microsoft software for the subscription term, e-Learning courses, and a forum where questions are answered in 2 business days.
The TechEd North America website is usually riddled with resources to get you there: full agendas, exhibitor lists, a myTechEd social networking site, student discount information, and even a template proposal letter you can use to convince your boss that the USD $2195+ price tag is worth the investment (plus transportation, plus hotel). A student discount is also available (about 50 percent off).
Can't make it? TechEd conferences also run periodically in Africa, Latin America, Europe, India, Australia, or the Middle East, if those locations are more convenient or you utilize Microsoft Office suite in multiple languages. Also, much of the conference programming is featured at Teched Online or Channel 9, Microsoft's network and blog.
I would like to point out that only at the physical conference will you receive the bag, notebook, pen, name badge, shirt, lanyard, breakfast, lunch, and entrance to parties.
Let me know if I should keep an eye out for you, whether this year or next!