As typically happens at these events, I started out the day with the intention of attending 3 sessions over the course of the day, only to see them pushed off the schedule due to partner and Microsoft meetings. While I enjoy the live sessions, for me – its all about the networking, anyway. Some fantastic conversations, exciting partnership developments, and tremendous pipeline building. Which means a lot of streaming videos and PowerPoint reviewing post-conference so that I can catch up on the sessions that I’ve missed.
While I can’t get into the details of the 5 or 6 partner meetings yesterday, I can talk about the Ask the Experts session at the end of the day. As you can see in the photo above, each speaker put on one of the SharePoint, Office365 or Yammer shirts to signify their area of expertise (I’m a SharePoint guy, increasingly an O365 guy, but also Yammer certified – so I went with Yammer because I wanted the t-shirt) and then stood by a table with a sign signifying the topic around which they were an expert. I stood next to the SharePoint Partner sign, as I am heavily involved in the partner community – both as a SharePoint ISV, but also as president of the Seattle chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP).
In fact, the video is now live on Channel 9 from my Tuesday session with Karuana Gatimu from MSIT, as well as fellow IAMCP peers Jeff Shuey, Barb Campbell, and Ro Kolakowski. Watch it here:
I was happy to help answer questions for about a dozen attendees, sharing my experiences and advice on connecting with and building a relationship with Microsoft (the secret is: know the commitments of the person you’re targeting), how to tap into the SharePoint community (identify and get to know the local influencers, attend SPUG and SPS events), and how to learn more about Microsoft offers and strategies for partners (PinPoint, IAMCP, WPC).
Following Ask the Experts, I made a short visit to the MVP party hosted by the product team, made a round of hello’s and handshakes before walking (yes, walking) down to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and the Marquee club to participate in the Metalogix Best of Breed Award Celebration and party. Beautiful club, tremendous turnout, and a lot of fun. Of course, I took a load of selfies, said my goodbyes, and then walked back to the hotel to get up early for Day 4 and my session. But from all of the pictures, tweets, and emails it sounds like people had a blast, and the partners and award recipients got a lot of value out of the event. I’m glad it was a success. Oh, and check out my “meta-selfie” video on Facebook.
Ok, wrapping up so that I can do some final session prep, then its on to Bill Baer’s half day hybrid workshop, followed by the SPC speaker party tonight. And then a 7am flight home. I suppose I’ll get some sleep this weekend…