​Hello Partners!

 
As part of our ongoing series following our First Time Attendees on their journey to WPC, we’re checking in with three of our #new2wpc partners and have asked them what sessions they’re most excited about at this year’s conference.
 
If you haven’t yet read the first blog in our series “Follow our First Time Attendees on Their Journey to WPC,” we recommend you check it out to hear why they made the choice to come to WPC.
 
What sessions are you most excited about? Which ones do you plan to attend and why?
 

 
 
 
I’m most looking forward to the sessions that are interactive where I can meet new people and ask their expert advice. Any sessions where I can get feedback from Microsoft and other partners, ask questions and gain valuable insight into ways to better market Microsoft solutions will be invaluable. For example, I’ve been invited to attend the Executive Round Table with Gavriella Schuster – Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Vision and Strategy FY15, where I want to understand Microsoft’s roadmap and how they intend to help partners in the future, especially with marketing Microsoft’s new products and solutions.
 
A lot of the sessions I plan to attend are in the ‘Leadership, Sales & Marketing’ track as they impact my day-to-day job. As we are a Dynamics CRM Partner, I am particularly looking forward to the ‘Market Microsoft Dynamics like the Experts’ session to find out better ways to engage potential customers and how Microsoft can help us do this.
 
With the new Dynamics CRM release and the marketing capabilities that are available, I’m also looking forward to the ‘Win the Chief Marketing Officer with One Microsoft’ session. I aim to find out the best way to unearth opportunities by understanding how Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Power BI and Office enable CMO’s to market smarter—and how we can help them achieve this.
 

 
 
 
Looking over the sessions for WPC has me excited for all the learning and networking that will happen. The hardest part of making my personal schedule is choosing between so many great sessions. I tried to add a variety of topics, as well as leave time for some unplanned networking. So, while I am excited for all the sessions, my top 5 are:
 
Make the Most of the First Time Attendee Experience
 
I think sessions like this are one of the smartest things you can do as a first time attendee. It will be great to learn the ropes from the pros, as well as get to know some new people right from the start.
 
Building Thought Leadership With Social Media
 
I’m really looking forward to hearing Ken Thoreson speak. I enjoy reading his blog and I think he has so much knowledge on this topic. Focusing on content that your customers and prospects will want to read is rule number one for me in regards to social media.
 
The State of the Microsoft Dynamics Channel
 
Working for a Dynamics-focused Independent Software Vendor (ISV), I think this will be a great session. I am looking forward to hearing directly from Microsoft about the channel and where they see the future state.
 
Public Speaking Excellence: How to Deliver Compelling Presentations in 5 Steps
 
I enjoy public speaking and I have been through plenty of training classes. But no matter what, I always seem to learn something new each time. I bet the same will be true for this session.
 
IAMCP WPC World Cup Championship Networking
 
So, this isn’t technically a session, but I love soccer and I am so glad there is an event planned to watch the final game! Ole Ole Ole!
 

 
 
 
It’s not easy, as a first time WPC attendee, to narrow down what makes the most sense to attend. I am grateful for Bill Hole of US Licensing Group, and Pete Robbins of Strata IT, for giving me some guidance on the plethora of opportunities to learn and network. My focus will be on Office 365 and Azure, along with lead generation and marketing. So, for the first run through, I’m thinking these are the sessions I’m looking forward to the most, in no particular order:
 
Top 5 Microsoft Azure Based Modern Application Scenarios That You Can Sell Today
 
I really want to be able to position the Azure solution as more than just a cloud server. Too many small businesses are wondering if they even need a server these days, so the added benefit of tying in mobile and social experiences might lend sales strength and it will give me a better idea of where the Azure development is heading.
 
Gartner: Reading the Tea Leaves – Future Growth Will Require New Sales Models
 
Need I say more? Of course future growth will require new sales models. I found my business in a tough position when Microsoft ended the Small Business Server line, as that was a huge portion of our project income. I want to be ahead of the curve in my sales model, not behind, from now on.
 
Get the Support You Need: Partner Advisory Services Interactive Deep Dive
 
Oh yeah.  I plan on using some of my partner advisory hours this week to design a solution for a large project that I’m excited about. The sense I get from the value of the Partner Advisory Hours is this will allow me to compete in an arena where I don’t have staff to help plan and cost out the project in advance, even if I do have the staff to implement it. So, this will be a timely discussion for me to have at WPC when I have some real world experience on what worked for me and what didn’t in my first endeavor with PAS, and how to property navigate it in the future.
 
Talking Real Value of Cloud Computing to Customers
 
I’ll have to check out Nigel Gibbons to see who he is and what he brings – this sounds pretty interesting though.
 
And of course, everything “Women in Technology” that I can attend, I will! I’ll be volunteering for those functions as well, along with my peer and friend Michelle Hollis who is taking an active role in this group. I’m super excited to be a part of this powerful posse and hope to meet many strong and successful women.
 

 
For more session recommendations, don’t miss long-time WPC attendee and speaker Jeff Hilton as he shares his advice in his presentation “First Time Attendee Sessions to Attend.” Then, make sure you catch this year’s orientation session, Make the Most of the First Time Attendee Experience, which will take place on Sunday, July 13 from 1-2 p.m. in Room 206 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Add this session to your schedule using WPC Connect’s new session scheduler tool if you’re registered and also new to WPC. Then, join the conversations in the First Time Attendee group on WPC Connect!
 
Stay tuned for our final First Time Attendee blog on July 11!
 
Best,
 
Kati​