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MEC is Back! | The Microsoft Exchange Conference

Image of Jaap Wesselius
Jaap Wesselius

Microsoft Exchange Server has been around for more than 25 years. To promote Exchange and to help Exchange admins Microsoft organized the Microsoft Exchange Conference or MEC for a long time.

A Brief History of MEC

The first edition was called in the Exchange Deployment Conference and was held in Austin, Texas, but all subsequent events were called the Microsoft Exchange Conference. Until 2002 MEC was an annual event and was held in various cities in the US (San Diego, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando and Anaheim) but also in Europe (Hamburg and Nice) and Asia (Tokyo).

MEC was typically a three days event, packed with only Exchange and Exchange related break-out sessions. I attended MEC in Anaheim, and did a break-out session in Nice in 2001. It was an Exchange related session and was about the Microsoft Provisioning Framework which was integrated into HMC (Hosted Messaging and Collaboration). In the end this turned out to be the basis for Office 365 😊.

In 2002, Microsoft decided to integrate MEC into TechEd so a lot Exchange sessions showed up and TechEd, but after 10 years Microsoft decided the time was right for a new MEC, focusing on Exchange and Exchange Online. For me personally this was a turning point to focus more on Exchange Online and I was lucky enough to do a break-out session about load balancing in Exchange 2010. In 2014 another MEC was held, this time in Austin, Texas. Again I could do a break-out session, about load balancing in Exchange 2013 (very different compared to Exchange 2010).

After MEC in 2014 it became quiet again, but this year another MEC is held.

Welcome to the 2022 MEC Airlift

Unfortunately, this time it’s not an in-person event rather an online event, but a lot of useful content is presented. Break-out sessions will be given by folks from the Product Team, but also by MVPs, for example:

  • Greg Taylor (MSFT) will talk about the deprecation of Basic Authentication that’s imminent. Make sure you attend this session since this will potentially be a serious cause of headaches!
  • Siegried Jagott (MVP) will do a deep dive into messaging security with Exchange Online Protection and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.
  • Thomas Stensitzki (MVP) will do a session about securing Microsoft 365 using service encryption.
  • Brandon Koeller (MSFT) will talk about user phishing behavior in easy steps. I have seen sessions from Brandon in the past. He is an excellent presenter, very knowledgeable and know how to bring his message. I strongly recommend this session!
  • Scott Schnoll (MSFT) will do his famous Exchange Online and Exchange Hybrid Tips & Tricks.
  • Ingo Gegenwarth (MVP) will talk about securing Exchange Online with Privileged Identity Management (PIM).
  • Michel de Rooij (MVP) as Mr. PowerShell will help you bringing your Exchange scripts into the modern age. Remember that lots of Exchange (Online) scripts are using Basic Authentication and these need serious attention with the deprecation of Basic Authentication. A must see if your organization depends on PowerShell scripts.
  • Another favorite presenter is Jeff Mealiffe (MSFT) who will present an insider view of Exchange Online Connectivity. Jeff is a presenter who knows his stuff, but he has the ability to bring it in a very pleasant way.

This is just a handful of sessions, but there are lots more. For more information about the sessions and to register please visit this website: Microsoft Exchange Community Airlift | Home

But hurry, it is September 13 and 14 is quickly approaching, so no time to lose. If I’m correct sessions are recorded and will be available later, useful if you are in a different time zone or continent (like me 😉)

Are you an Exchange expert? Prove it and win $1,000 [CONTEST HAS ENDED]

In celebration of MEC, we're bringing back another round of MEC Trivia! If you think you know Exchange, test your knowledge with the quiz linked below! The winner will be chosen based on two criteria:

  1. Most answers selected correctly
  2. Completed in shortest time

Deadline [Extended] to complete this quiz is Friday (September 16) at 3:00 PM PST.

Winners will also receive a Retro 2012 MEC T-shirt!

*Trivia is hosted in Kahoot.

**To qualify for the prize, use BUSINESS EMAIL and FULL NAME for "Nickname".

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