The MacTech Conference for IT Pros and Mac developers kicks off this week at the Sheraton Universal in Los Angeles, “MacTech Magazine” announced today. Some of the Apple industry’s best and brightest will not only be speaking at MacTech Conference, but attending to learn how to be better and more effective at what they do, share insights, and network with their peers, says Neil Tickin, editor-in-chief/publisher, “MacTech Magazine.”

The hotel-based, immersive conference is being held Nov. 3-5. The conference starts off with the first public display of Mac-based Planetary Exploration Rovers, a keynote by Andy Ihnatko, renown tech journalist (currently a columnist for the “Chicago Sun Times”), and then continues into over 40 sessions by industry experts.

The MacTech Conference has two separate tracks: one focused on IT, and one focused on programming/development. Sessions will focus on both desktop and mobile, with appropriate levels of attention paid to the Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod. MacTech Conference’s schedule is jam packed with some of the biggest names in the industry from some of the most recognized companies. Full descriptions of sessions, speakers, and more are available to peruse on the sessions web page at ; the schedule is at 

The conference has registered attendees from approximately 35 U.S. states and 10 countries with more than two thirds of the hundreds of attendees coming from outside of California. Those interested in following the conference can view the live twitter feed contributed to by conference attendees.  Follow @mactechconf

Gold sponsors for MacTech Conference include: eSellerate, Parallels, Southern Stars, Absolute Software, FileMaker and Nuance.  Additional event sponsors include: Microsoft, Bweasel, Google, Telestream, Global Delight, elgato, the University of Arizona, Ruckus Wireless, eReleases, and Peachpit. Media sponsors include: “The Mac Observer,” “TUAW,” “The Loop,” MacUpdate, “TidBITS,” “MacNN,” “AppleInsider,” “MacNews” and “Macworld.”

MacTech Conference 2010 Highlights include:

° Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) Panel. MacTech Conference will be the first public opportunity to discuss Mac OS X 10.7 (“Lion”), how to take advantage of the new App Store for Mac, and the impacts of Lion’s new features (including Mission Control, Full Screen, Launchpad, Auto save and Apps resume). As the first major industry event after Apple’s announcements, attendees can talk through their options with industry experts and peers, form strategies for adoption and support, and more.

° Macworld panel on “Trends in Virtualization” with Pat Lee from VMware, and Nick Dobrovolskiy (inventor of Parallels Desktop) from Parallels. The panel will explore and discuss virtualization trends in the industry for both desktop and server virtualization related to Apple technologies. “As with any major Mac event that serves the community, we’re happy to participate and keep Macworld readers informed,” says Jason Snell, editorial director and vice president, “Macworld.” “It’s always enjoyable when members of the Mac community get together to discuss our shared interests, and the MacTech Conference is another great opportunity to do that.”

° Immediately following the conference, v.2 will conduct Apple Certification Exams on site.  Apple Certifications offer a way to prove to clients or employer that one possesses the knowledge and know-how to be considered a guru in a Mac-related field of expertise. Attendees can take any available Apple Certification testing exam on-site at MacTech Conference, immediately after the close of the event.

° An exclusive trip to the Griffith Observatory, including a special behind-the-scenes talk about the creation of Planetarium show animation. On the first evening of the conference, conference attendees will load up in buses for a short ride from Universal City to Griffith Observatory, overlooking the Los Angeles basin and the Hollywood hills. This internationally renowned observatory is one of Los Angeles’ greatest landmarks, featured in hundreds of movies (including “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Charlie’s Angels”) and has touched the hearts of millions of visitors through a unique look at the universe.

° MacTech Conference Party, which includes dinner, billiards, video games, and more as well as the MacTech Bowl. On the second evening, participants will take a walk from the hotel down Universal’s CityWalk to Jillian’s. At Jillian’s, they’ll enjoy all that Jillian’s has to offer (arcade, billiards and more). During the event, participants will enjoy the friendly competition of the first MacTech Bowl to raise money for the Griffith Observatory’s “School Field Trip” program to educate local 5th graders.

° In the first public display outside a university or research setting, MacTech Conference will have Mac-based planetary exploration rovers and boat controlled by iPod touches on hand. Professor Wolfgang Fink, who came to the University of Arizona from Caltech last year, will be demonstrating the units on the first day of the conference prior to the Conference’s keynote by Andy Ihnatko. See more info at .