[Southeastern big-eared bat via the Nature Conservancy. Read on to find out out you can see him!] 

MEC is back. It's also almostsocloseyoucantasteit here. To feed your excitement and, hopefully, help you navigate through the madness with ease, we've come up with a hitchhiker's guide to the sessions, events, people, and places you can.not.miss.

Prep kit:

  • website
  • blog
  • twitter: @meconf, #mecisback #askperry (for keynote below)

1) Sessions

Mobile:

  • E14.320R1 Mobile Access with Exchange Server 2010. Speaker: Shiva Seetharaman
  • E14.302R1 Developing Mobile Applications with Exchange Web Services. Speaker: Paul Robichaux

Exchange 2013:

  • E15.KEY1 Opening Keynote: Introducing the New Exchange
  • E15.365 Search Infrastructure in the New Exchange. Speaker: Michael Wilson
  • E15.362R1 eDiscovery Across the New Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync. Speaker: Julian Zbogar-Smith , Quentin Christensen

Outlook/OWA:

  • Hands-on Lab: Exploring the new Outlook and Outlook Web App
  • E15.370R1 Apps for Outlook and OWA. Speaker: Andrew Salamatov

Unified Messaging

  • E14.308R1 The Deep Dark Secrets of Unified Messaging. Speaker: J. Peter Bruzzese

Cloud:

  • E14.307R1 Making the Call: On-premises or Cloud? Speaker: Tony Redmond
  • E15.364 Exchange Online Archiving. Speaker: Bharat Suneja

Community:

  • Unleashing your inner influencer: Establishing, Running, and Promoting Your Own User Groups. Speaker: Quin Nikel

 

2) Events

Exchange Arena (http://www.mecisback.com/arena.aspx)

  • Where: Wreckers Sports Bar
  • When: Tuesday, 1:30pm-2:45pm, 3:00pm-4:15pm; Wednesday, 10:15am-11:30am, 1:00pm-2:15pm
  • If you've got serious Exchange chops, you can flaunt 'em in the Arena, where you'll be racing to finish challenges like: "The Case of the Missing Puppies" before your peers. Only 16 can compete, and the winner takes home a three-screen office chair/uber recliner. Confident in your abilities? Email mec@microsoft.com with your preferred date and time.

Attendee Party

  • Where: Islands of Adventure
  • When: 7pm-11pm
  • If you're not a theme-park-hating sourpuss like me, you'll doubtless have a blast at this, as you'll have The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man and The Incredible Hulk Coaster to yourself for four hours.

Geek out with Perry!

  • Where: Gaylord Palms
  • When: Tuesday
  • Famed Exchange blogger Perry Clarke takes to the stage to offer his take on the evolution of Exchange and answer your questions. Send them in advance to askperry@microsoft.com.

 

3) Experts

  •  Paul Robichaux (b | t), Content Author at Acuitus, Sr. Contributing Editor at WindowsITPro
  • Tony Redmond (b | t), author of Exchange Server 2010 Inside Out, blogger at WindowsITPro, former VP and CTO of HP Services
  • Jason Sherry (b | t), Microsoft Infrastructure Architect and Professional Services Consultant at Pro Exchange
  •  J. Peter Bruzzese, (b | t), Co-Founder and CIO of ClipTraining, Columnist at InfoWorld’s Enterprise Windows blog
  • Devin Ganger (b | t), Solutions Architect at Trace3
  •  Glen Scales (b), Freelance Exchange Developer and Engineer

 

4) Extras:

On the off change you suffer a server overload, activities abound in Kissimee and Orlando. Some suggestions:

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