I could have sworn I read somewhere recently that Alliance Day would be open for general access this year but I can't find it. Am I crazy?
While we wait for an official response I can say what has happened in the past and why.
Typically NI Week's Monday is Alliance Members only for the technical sessions, lunch, and I think keynote but I can't remember. If you aren't an Alliance Member you could go to the conference, but instead you would likely try to find sessions in the Academic Forum, which was much less informative. It was typically presentations given by professors talking about how to better get students involved. Sometimes there were students themselves talking about what they did and the issues they overcame. They usually had a few booths setup by various companies showing training tools for students for sale. They would also have their own lunch area separate from the Alliance Members with speakers focusing on student interaction and teaching. There were absolutely useful things and it wasn't a waste, but I did feel like I was missing out on the good stuff.
NI's reasoning for this was that the Alliance Members lunch session talked about some things that NI didn't want in the public. Not that I ever found what they said ground breaking but there were some things discussed like sales numbers and adoption rates. The technical sessions themselves were mostly things that would be presented again Tuesday through Thursday for the rest of us, with a few exceptions. In my mind this did help the presenters talk about things in more detail, since they expect their audience to not be new to the world of NI which the audience could be on other days.
But since NI has moved from August to May, most professors and students are still in school so there wasn't an Academic Forum Monday. I didn't go last year but the year before I ended up not coming in until later in the day Monday due to the lack of things to do. I do want to make the most of my time and I'm hoping NI has something for us to do if we choose to come in on Monday. There is usually some other events Monday like training, certification tests, or other events that are a paid thing like the embedded development hands-on, which I've been meaning to go to since you walk away with some hardware.
To clarify, the afternoon technical sessions on Monday will be open to everyone with a NIWeek badge.
The morning sessions, which are focused on sales, marketing and strategic alignment, are limited to Alliance Partners with an Alliance Day badge. There are no technical (Skills Development) sessions in the morning on Monday.
Both the morning and lunch keynote on Monday are limited to Alliance Partners as well.