Microsoft’s Session Leveling Guideline

Most of you know this since you’ve been to many Microsoft events but many times, different people have different interpretations of the Session Levels that run from 100 – 400. Here’s the official guideline that we use internally for all our events. You can adapt it for external or other technical events.

Content Session Leveling Guidelines

The following guidelines were developed with input from the Microsoft Technical field, as well as, representatives from the Business Groups. Presenters will be provided with these guidelines and asked to keep them in mind when developing a technical breakout session.


Level 100 (Introductory): Product/technology features, functions, benefits overview

          What are the new features, how will they benefit the customers and convince them that they need to buy this product

          What are the functions of the product and an example of how they are used in a real world environment

          What are the benefits of the product and any case studies that show how they assisted a customer

          Product requirements and other product integration points

          Where to find additional information

          Basic functions of IT organization

          Cost structure of IT organization

          Overview of Microsoft’s approach to helping customers to create and manage IT services based on MS products

          Introduction to solution accelerators and service offerings


Level 200 (Intermediate): Specific Product/technology technical drill-down

          Drilling into architecture, integration, and configuration (what makes the feature tick?)

          Supportability reviews

          Code samples

          Best practices

          High-level troubleshooting techniques

          Known limitations/issues

          Where to find additional information

          Drill down into customer development, integration, deployment, management and operations challenges

          Detailed MSF and MOF drill down

          Introduction of consulting service offerings (including MSF and MOF components)


Level 300 (Experienced): Product Migration, deployment, architecture, development

          Dig into how a Product / Technology is designed to be deployed, migrated to, etc. while focusing on how it is actually deployed, migrated to, etc. 

          Real world examples examined as appropriate.

          Complex coding, known issues and work arounds (sample code/examples)

          Lessons learned, both positive and negative

          Sample migration plans including sample Project Plans

          Deployment case studies

          Architecture design best practices and case studies

          Where to find additional information

          Drill down into specific solution accelerators and consulting service offerings addressing engagement model, deployment guide, architecture guide, solution guide, operations guide and test guide


Level 400 (Advanced/Expert): Custom Code, scripts, application solution development, architect infrastructure designs & solutions


          Architecture considerations/challenges

          Design considerations/challenges

          Advanced coding considerations/challenges

          Troubleshooting techniques at the debug level

          Where to find additional information

          Case study based presentations of key issues in using the solution accelerators and consulting service offerings addressing key blockers, TCO/ROI, short cuts and shared best practices.

          Detailed examples of implemented architectures, operations guides and test plans.