As I mentioned in my last post I am not going to the MIX conference this year. I am a little bummed about missing the big show. To prepare myself for not attending the conference, I decided to put together a list of things that you can do if you (like me) are not going to the conference.

Watch the Keynotes live - The MIX team has confirmed that the keynote address will be streamed live over the Internet, so you don’t actually have to go to Vegas to see it in real time. The Monday keynote is from 9:30 AM - 12:00 noon Pacific time (so 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM for those of us in the Central Time Zone).  Tuesday’s keynote is 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Pacific time (so 3:00 - 5:00 PM Central).

Prepare a VPC for all the new bits - If the last MIX conference and ScottGu’s blog post about what the keynote will include are any indication, then we can expect to get access to lots of new bits to play with during MIX. I always recommend that you install Beta and CTP software in a VPC (unless you have an extra machine or hard drive laying around). So while you are watching the keynote, spend some time getting a new VPC ready (don’t forget to run Windows Update on the VPC).

Take a Class at MIX University - Mix University is your online connection to some great hands on learning for the products that are showcased at MIX. One of the best parts about this is that many of the classes are online right now. You can watch videos, play with demos and take hands on labs on Expression, Silverlight, WPF, Virtual Earth and more!

Attend your favorite MIX sessions - Most sessions at MIX will be available online about 24 hours (give or take) after the session is delivered. Go to and you will be able to search for the sessions and check them out. Guess what? Sessions for MIX06 and MIX07 are also out there, so you can check out great sessions from the past already. Maybe you should check out the keynote from last year to get pumped up for this year’s keynote.

Subscribe to the MIX RSS Feed to follow all the side conversations - When I was at MIX last year, I learned as much hanging out in the lounge and talking to people in the hallways as I did in any session. You can follow along with some of these conversations by subscribing to the MIX RSS Feed. Last year they had lots of great interviews with participants and this year we will get a glimpse into the Open Spaces happening at MIX as well.