Yes, TechEd for me is a year long experience. The sheer amount of content is actually to much to digest for just one week. If this is your first TechEd conference be prepared to have your brain cooked.
I work on the schedule builder weekly before the conference starts to try to find the ones that i really want to attend, and those I might skip and catch online. This makes my schedule quite full with a lot of conflicts.
I also try to find sessions on topics that isn’t something I do on a day to day basis. I’m a ITPro so I try to do at least one Dev session to broaden my skills a bit.
Also note that each session are rated in 200 – Intermediate, 300 – Advanced and 400 – Expert.
The 200 sessions are on a little higher level while the 300 and 400 sessions are more detailed.
In the conference bag amongst a bunch of other stuff, you’ll find a pen with a highlight marker on one side and also a pocket conference guide.
I use the marker to highlight the first days sessions from the ones I have selected in the schedule builder and circle the ones that i really want to attend on site. That leaves me with alternative sessions if the session fills up so I don’t make it or if the session isn’t what i expected it to be.
At the end of each day I plan the next day by repeating the procedure. A good thing is also to make plans for a session free slot each day to chill your brain a little. 🙂 I usually plan those slots so that I can call home and talk to the wife and kids.
When it comes to Outlook ICS files i personally don’t use them.
Once the conference is over I use my schedule to review sessions I’ve attended and those i missed.
Also check out the Countdown to TechEd Ep 2: All About ScheduleBuilder
See you around 🙂