Hello partners!

 
In less than a week, partners from all over the globe will converge on Houston for the kick-off the 2013 Worldwide Partner Conference! For those of you who haven’t already, this week is your last chance to register for the conference before paying the onsite price of $2,195 USD. If you can’t make it for the whole week, you can also purchase day passes to the event for $795 USD each for Monday-Wednesday and for only $395 USD for Thursday.
 
We simply cannot wait to welcome you to Houston this year, but first we’d like to make sure that you’re ready: ready to travel, ready to network, and ready to have fun! You can find most of the information you need to know before you go right here in this blog. However, more logistical information and in-depth details are available here. We recommend that you review the document to make sure you have everything you need before your departure.
 
First, we want to make sure you’re prepared to take advantage of all the conference has to offer. Our online 2013 agenda is an overview of the major events taking place at WPC while detailed information about all offered sessions can be found here.
 
You can also plan your entire WPC experience through the Session & Meeting Scheduler on WPC Connect. The Session Scheduler lets you easily browse our entire session catalog and add sessions to your schedule. The Meeting Scheduler lets you schedule meetings with other attendees and the location. Remember that you can export your entire WPC schedule to your Outlook calendar for easy access in Houston.
 
070113_KatiBlog1.jpgSecond, get ready for traveling to Houston. Remember to bring your government issued photo identification and to check your government’s travel advisories. When packing, prepare for the weather in Houston. July offers the year’s sunniest weather, but air conditioning provides you an escape from the summer heat. Make sure that you pack layers to stay warm in highly air-conditioned buildings and remember to stay hydrated. You can review the weather report here.
 
Traveling to and around Houston is easy. Two main airports serve the Houston area:
 
 
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
2800 North Terminal Road
Houston, TX 77032
Distance from GRBCC: 25 Miles
Drive time: 30 minutes
Cost: $35-$45 taxi, $25 (one way) shuttle
 
William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
7800 Airport Blvd
Houston, TX 77061
Distance from GRBCC: 12 miles
Drive time: 20 minutes
Cost: $15-$20 taxi, $18 (one way) shuttle
 
After you land in Houston, you can take a taxi or catch a shuttle from the airport to your hotel. SuperShuttle offers affordable and convenient rides that you can share with fellow attendees. Reservations are preferred, but not required.
 
Once you’re settled at your hotel, the city offers countless options for exploration. Whether you want to dine at one of Houston’s famed restaurants or explore the city’s nightlife, our Logistics page on Digital WPC is dedicated to providing you with useful information regarding your trip to, around, and from Houston. There you will find: Houston visitor information, public transportation information, airport information, airline discount information, nearby hotels, and restaurant guides and special offers.
 
To get around Houston, you have plenty of options. Our Getting There page outlines many of the choices for travel in and around Houston or you can call any one of the cab companies below. Worried about cost? Then Houston’s Six in the City program is perfect for you. A cash-only offer, Six in the City provides cab rides anywhere in the Downtown District (bounded by I-45, I-10 and US-59) for only $6.00 USD.
 
 
 
 
  
Fiesta Cab Company​
(713) 225-2666
​Liberty Cab Company 
(713) 695-6700
​Square Deal Cab Company 
(713) 659-7236
Yellow Cab Company   
(713) 236-1111
​United Cab Company    
(713) 699-0000
​Super Shuttle      
(800) 258-3826
​Liberty Lonestar Cab    
(713) 444-4444

To get to the conference from one of the conference hotels, a shuttle service will run from early morning until evenings. Please review the below schedule for times (subject to change).

 Shuttle Type
Start
End
Location(s)
Sunday, July 7
Conference Shuttle
12:00pm
7:00pm
Conference Hotels to GRBCC
Monday, July 8
Conference Shuttle
6:30am
9:15am
Conference Hotels to GRBCC
Conference Shuttle
5:00pm
11:00pm
GRBCC to Conference Hotels
Tuesday, July 9
Conference Shuttle
7:00am
9:30am
Conference Hotels to GRBCC
Conference Shuttle
5:00pm
11:00pm
GRBCC to Conference Hotels
Regional Evening Event Shuttles
6:00pm
10:30pm
GRBCC to Evening Hub Location
Wednesday, July 10
Conference Shuttle
7:00am
9:30am
Conference Hotels to GRBCC
Conference Shuttle
4:45pm
8:30pm
GRBCC to Conference Hotels
Partner Celebration Shuttle
7:00pm
10:30pm
GRBCC to Evening Hub Location
Thursday, July 11
Conference Shuttle
7:00am
9:30am
Conference Hotels to GRBCC
Conference Shuttle
11:00am
2:00pm
GRBCC to Conference Hotels
 
Once onsite, check the WPC 2013 Conference Guide for maps of  the Convention Center, sponsor/exhibitor information and the session schedule. You can also download the WPC Mobile App to your phone if you haven’t already.
 
The George R. Brown Convention Center is equipped to meet your every need. If you are driving to the event, visit the Convention Center’s website for more information about rates and locations. Its Visitors Center will help you print your airline ticket and flight information, make dining reservations, check your coat, provide you tourist information, and even has cool Houston gifts for sale. Quizno’s and Starbucks also have stores in the Convention Center, so stop by for a quick snack. Need cash? There is an ATM located on Level 2 near Starbucks.
 
Now that you’ve arrived at the Convention Center, it’s a good idea to register onsite as early as possible to avoid the rush. Onsite registration opens at the Convention Center, The Commons (Level 100) on Sunday, July 7 at 8:00am and ends at 9:00pm. The full registration schedule can be found on our online agenda.
 
For registration, remember to bring your government issued photo identification, your registration identification number and/or your confirmation barcode. Upon check-in, you’ll receive your name badge, water bottle, and conference guide. It’s important to keep your name badge visible at all times, as security and staff will be checking badges throughout the event.
 
Hungry? The following meals are provided with your WPC 2013 registration:
·         Monday, July 8: Breakfast and Lunch
·         Tuesday, July 9: Breakfast and Lunch
·         Wednesday, July 10: Breakfast and Lunch
·         Thursday, July 11: Breakfast and Brunch
Last but not least, Microsoft considers the safety and security of its employees and partners to be of the utmost importance. If you have an emergency, please alert any conference staff member, speaker, security personnel, or room monitor for immediate assistance. Or dial extension 8087 on any house phone or (713) 853-8087 for security. For minor injuries, please visit the first aid station located in Hall A & Hall E on the first level of the Convention Center. There is also a first aid station located on the third floor directly across from room 342A. In cases of extreme emergency, call 911 to contact HPD dispatch.
 
In these last few days, be sure to check Digital WPC often for the latest exciting announcements and offers. I’ll see you in Houston shortly!
 
Best,
Kati​

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