Last year I wrote two posts (finding the best talks at Tech·Ed & why is the Tech·Ed calendar is awesome) which really aimed to help improve your Tech·Ed Africa experience. They are both still relevant this year but I thought of one new tip to share and that is related to travel.
Short version: Book your inbound flight EARLY, your outbound flight LATE and stay at the HILTON.
Day 1 is a busy day for you – after you land you need to find the shuttle from the airport to the conference venue. I got separated from the group and lost in the airport last year . Once you are at the conference venue you need to register and get your swag (do this before you go to the hotel) then you need to find the bus to get to your hotel, if you follow the tip below about the Hilton this is easy else you may have a small wait. Once at your hotel, check-in, sort out stuff, see what the swag is etc… and then finally find the bus (wait) and get back to the conference venue for the keynote & opening party. In short – it is a VERY BUSY DAY, so having an extra hour or two helps.
For speakers there is also the advantage of taking that extra hour or two you can get to do a quick tech check the day before and help calm those nerves.
The last day ends with the closing keynote and those can run long – I have seen people RUN for the busses and have to drag luggage around with them in the closing because of time constraints. Plus when you get to the first few busses you have the fight for bus space! It really just messes with the last day, rather take a later flight which means you do not need to fight for bus seats or rush around.
The Hilton in Durban is the best place to stay, as it is RIGHT next door to the ICC where Tech·Ed is held. In fact the picture to the left, the bottom left hand corner is the ICC. You don’t even have to cross a road!
So it means getting up later, staying out later (Hilton bar is famous for after parties), it means being where all the Microsoft staff, media & presenters are (great for those informal discussions in the elevator) and generally a top end experience.
Big issue, it sells out FAST so you should be booking NOW!
Follow these travel tips and you will be on your way for a great Tech·Ed!