Conferences are amazing places where you can meet new people and share ideas about what works and what doesn’t work. However, they can also be overwhelming. New information and new ways of doing things are constantly flying back and forth. Instead of trying to absorb everything, when I go to MMS in May, I’m going to learn one new thing.
Over the years, I’ve had a few different careers. The highlight of each one was attending a conference where a variety of people, with the same responsibilities as me, would get to meet and talk about how we do things. We would share information about what seemed to work better for us and laughed at things that didn’t work very well. Often after arriving home from those conferences, I would be a wreck trying to decipher my hastily typed notes, trying to remember exactly what we had talked about, and how I could implement those ideas in my own organization.
Learn One New Thing
More often than I’d like to admit, there was too much for me to absorb at each conference. It seemed overwhelming. Trying to implement all the things I heard about would take weeks if I was able to get them started at all. After going to a few years-worth of conferences, I mentioned my dilemma to a friend. I explained how I tried to implement all these changes that I learned about, but it wasn’t going well. He asked me a simple question, “What if you concentrated on one central thing that would be a game-changer in your organization, and then see if there’s time to do the other things?”
It’s a simple idea, but it was a game-changer for me. Rather than being overwhelmed with all the possibilities, just focus on one thing. Over the years that simple concept has brought about my philosophy for conferences, partly stolen from the movie Meatballs, “If you learn one new thing, you’re doing pretty well.” Once you change your outlook, you might even have more time to do some of those other things that look pretty cool.
Midwest Management Summit (MMS)
The conference that I’m currently looking forward to is the Midwest Management Summit (MMS) at the Mall of America in May 2022. This is the premiere place to learn about what’s happening in the Microsoft Configuration Manager universe. The website for MMS is https://mmsmoa.com/.
Strategies for How to Learn One New Thing
I’ve been checking out the website and came up with a few strategies for finding that one new thing I want to learn at MMS. The best part is that the MMS website is designed to help you in this pursuit.
- First, you can pick sessions that look interesting. If you go this route, make sure to choose a variety of topics by viewing the whole schedule here: https://mms2022atmoa.sched.com/?iframe=no.
- A second strategy is to review the list of presenters and find the ones that you enjoy learning from. See if the one new thing that you want to learn about shows up as one of their session topics. MMS has you covered with a speaker view right here: https://mms2022atmoa.sched.com/directory/speakers?iframe=no
- Another method is to choose sessions based on a topic that you would like to improve, or an area that you want to work on in your environment. MMS filters the schedule by type on the right-hand side of the page here: https://mms2022atmoa.sched.com/overview/type/Automation?iframe=no Reviewing the sessions this way, you can hopefully find the one new thing you learn.
- Perhaps you throw all caution to the wind and pick a couple of topics that you would never normally pick. Maybe that one new thing you are going to learn is about a completely random topic.
There’s no wrong way to decide which sessions to attend. Borrowing and slightly changing another 1980’s movie quote, “The only losing move is not to play.” I can’t wait to see and meet you at MMS where, “If you learn one new thing, you’re doing pretty well.” Do you still need some convincing about attending MMS? Check out what Gary Blok had to say about MMS Miami Beach, https://www.recastsoftware.com/resources/recasts-endpoint-management-recap-october-and-november-2021/#miami. As Gary says, and believe me it’s true, MMS is all about the ConfigMgr and Intune communities.
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to me @ConfigMarty.