Hello Partners!

 
A critical part of our endeavor to create the best possible partner experience at WPC is the First Time Attendee Program, which aims to help our #new2wpc partners make the most of the conference. The program has seen quite an expansion this year with the addition of a mentor program, as well as a brand new 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 Convention Center. If you’re already registered and are a first time attendee yourself, be sure to add this session to your schedule using WPC Connect’s new session scheduler tool.
 
This year, we’re lucky to have three Microsoft partners attending WPC for the first time who have agreed to share why they made the decision to attend. We’ll be checking in with them every two weeks up until WPC to follow their journey to the conference.
 
“Why are you planning to attend WPC 2014? What (or who) made you decide to go? What do you hope to get out of conference attendance?”
 

  
 
 
With just one month to go until WPC 2014, I can’t believe how quickly it has crept up on me. As a first timer this year, it was a real honour to be asked to share my thoughts on this year’s WPC, from my reasons for attending through to what I learn during my time in Washington.
 
For me, as I’m sure is true for many partners who are attending, there are a few key reasons I’m looking forward to going to WPC 2014:
  • Networking with partners and Microsoft employees: This is a great opportunity to not only meet other partners to extend my professional and personal network, but also to learn from other partners: we can share our experiences from the past year, what has worked and gone well, and discuss areas for improvement.

     

  • Learning opportunities: As a company we operate in a number of Microsoft domains including SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Business Intelligence, and in my job as marketing executive, I am always looking for new ways to get our message across. At WPC, I hope to find out what’s coming in the Microsoft roadmap and how we can take advantage of this in the future.

     

  • Progressing our Microsoft partnership: Over the past 12 months, we have made it a focal point within our business to grow and nurture our partnership with Microsoft, so for us, attending WPC this year was an obvious yes. I plan to meet Microsoft employees, who we may not have the chance to meet otherwise, and get valuable insight from them on how we can engage with Microsoft more proactively in the future.
 

 
 
 
Our company is very involved in events like Microsoft Convergence and the User Group Summits. This year, we decided it was time to start participating in WPC after talking with other Dynamics partners who attend. I’m very excited about the many networking opportunities that are available at the event, and I think a key piece to continue growing our business is our relationship with other Microsoft Partners.
 
I am also looking forward to the learning from other partners. Sharing best practices is such an important thing to do—and where better than at an event with so many Microsoft partners.
 

 
 
 
I’m going to give in and commit to investing my time and money to attend WPC 2014 for the first time this year for several reasons. The first is that I have a colleague who went last year, who had an MSP business about the same size as mine. I’m in awe of his growth since attending WPC for the first time. Pete Robbins of STRATA IT has been sharing with me his accelerated income and project goals, due to the Office 365 migrations and now the Azure solution, which he’s knocking out in record speed. His strategy was to align himself with the IAMCP community and to attend WPC to make more connections. It is working.
 
I find it challenging in the MSP world to separate yourself from other providers. Other than the fact that LA IT Girl is female-owned and operated in a mostly male-dominated sector, we essentially provide the same services, and we overlap in the same areas served, as many MSPs. So, although I have always been an advocate of staying ahead of the technology curve by acquiring Microsoft certifications, I am considering adding the Microsoft network to my toolkit for reaching new clients.
 
I’m hoping that I’ll be able to learn how to navigate the Microsoft sales and marketing materials in order to really expand my presence in Los Angeles. I’m also looking forward to meeting everyone I can and improving the LA IT Girl brand visibility to the Microsoft teams that support Small Business.
 
I haven’t had a lot of faith in the Microsoft community when it comes to Small Business in the past, but I am hoping that will change this year. I’m also hoping I can play a role in influencing the Microsoft SMB teams to pay more attention to the Small Business MSPs. 
 
And, I LOVE D.C.!
 

  
Do you have questions for alumni attendees or tips and tricks for partners new to WPC? You can join the conversation on the First Time Attendee group on WPC Connect. And make sure you don’t miss out on the excellent advice for making the most of your WPC found in Microsoft partner Jeff Shuey’s presentation “Tips from a Ten-Time WPC Attendee.”
 
We can’t wait to meet our partners in Washington, D.C. this year, so if you haven’t yet registered for the conference, we encourage you to sign up today—and stay tuned for our next First Time Attendee Blog on Friday, June 27!
 
Best,
Kati ​