Microsoft Ignite Virtual Event To Include Keynotes, Sessions, On-Demand Content and Chat Sessions

Microsoft Ignite, starting Sept. 22 as a free two-day virtual event, still requires registration, but it will be a mixture of keynote talks, technical sessions, Microsoft Teams-hosted chats and "breakout" videos that will be accessible via a so-called Virtual Hub portal.

The Virtual Hub portal provides access to both Microsoft Learn and Microsoft Tech Community video content. It provides skill-building materials. Microsoft appears to have housed what used to be called "Breakout" sessions at its live Ignite event in this new Virtual Hub portal, which will become activated on Sept. 22.

Even though the Virtual Hub materials are somewhat separate from Ignite materials, users will still need Ignite registration to access the Virtual Hub Ignite-related videos. Similarly, there's a Learning Zone portal that's separate from Ignite, but Ignite registration is required to access its Ignite materials. The Learning Zone offers topics on tech skills, online workshops with experts and interactive learning modules, per this Microsoft student developer blog post description.

This year's Ignite event also has a "Connection Zone," which is for extracurricular discussions and one-on-one consultations. There also are so-called "Table Talks," which are 30-minute meetings conducted using the Microsoft Teams collaboration service.

Ignite Session Codes and Guides
Ignite attendees can build a schedule using the "Session Scheduler" link at the Ignite home page, which saves the info in a MyIgnite schedule list app. When using the "Session Scheduler" link at the Ignite page, it's possible to add events to your schedule, as well as to your "backpack." It's not clear how those two options are different. Both will add a session into a user's MyIgnite schedule list app.

The talks are identified somewhat by their alpha-numeric codes. Here's what the first few digits mean:

  • KEY for "Keynote"
  • DB for "Digital Breakout"
  • ATE for "Ask the Experts"
  • OD for On Demand (maybe meaning it's available in the Virtual Hub portal)

The keynote sessions at Ignite get followed by "Digital Breakout" sessions, which are 30 minutes long. These Digital Breakout sessions are Q&A-type talks.

So far, there have been some useful Microsoft blog posts published that point Ignite attendees toward certain areas of interest. Here's what's out there so far:

The Microsoft blog posts listed above also sometimes included Virtual Hub sessions. However, it seems that these Virtual Hub Session can't be found using the Ignite Session Schedule builder, so that's a bit confusing for people creating their Ignite schedules.

In any case, the Virtual Hub content is available on demand. Microsoft also typically makes all of its Ignite content publicly accessible after a period of time.

Unofficial Ignite Guides
The "unofficial" guide to Microsoft Ignite series of videos, hosted by Rick Claus and Joey Snow of Microsoft, appears to be the best explanation of this year's Ignite structure. It's still a little confusing, though. For instance, they explained that Ignite will have "Ask the Experts" sessions that are considered to be different from Microsoft Tech Community "Ask the Experts" sessions.

Claus and Snow also explained that Live Events during Ignite, which get hosted on Teams, aren't limited in size. However other sessions do have attendance limits. Most sessions will repeat about three times, though, so users can sign up for another time or day if a session is booked up. Live Events is a Teams technology used for very large meetings. You apparently access those kinds of events via certain Ignite Connection Zone sessions.

There's also a discussion about this year's Ignite structure in a Sept. 16 "365 Message Center Show" podcast, which starts about 20 minutes inward. This podcast noted that the Ignite Table Talks, lasting 30 minutes, are conversational and can be large and interactive. The Ask the Experts sessions "are mostly aligned with Digital Breakouts," the podcast noted. Speakers from the Digital Breakout sessions will typically answer questions during the associated Ask the Experts sessions.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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