And so it begins. This is the third year in a row that I’ve attended Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). As I prepare for sessions to kick off on Monday I’m thinking about how to get a good return for my time at WPC. Three things come to mind:

  • Networking
  • Learning
  • Taking home fresh inspiration and new strategies
 
Every conference I attend is valuable opportunity to connect – both with peers, but also new and existing members of the industry. I enjoy it, and the new and re-established connections are also valuable once I get back home.
 
 
 
If you’re struggling to find time to meet with everyone you connect with this week, I have a few suggestions: set aside breakfast for meetups, or even meet for a drink before or after dinner. And of course you can schedule to reconnect after WPC via Lync or Skype if you’re not in the same city.
 
 
 
Within my own business, Gorilla Technology, it’s essential to our business model that we stay at the forefront of technology. WPC helps by providing an opportunity to not only hear ‘from the horse’s mouth’ about where Microsoft is heading – but also to connect with other partners and firms and to learn from them.
 
 
 
Choosing relevant sessions to attend can make a big difference in how much you get out of WPC. If you haven’t already planned out each day of the conference, I can suggest you do that at least the night before each new day begins.
 
 
 
Three things that should be on your list each day:
 
  • Attend the vision keynote (every day!) – these are amazing and your chance to hear from Microsoft’s most visionary and inspiring leaders
  • Put aside time for social and networking events (such as regional dinners, Monday’s WPC Tweetup, or the partner celebration)
  • Attend sessions that will help you be more valuable to your customers
  • Visit some of the show floor vendor booths in the Solution Innovation Center
 
Paul Spain is CTO and Founder of Gorilla Technology, a firm dedicated to assisting small and medium businesses to effectively leverage technology to meet their business objectives. Paul also operates Global Voice Media and during WPC this year in he will be producing a new episode of the Channel Partner Podcast which partners can listen to following WPC to recap the highlights.

– Paul​