Hello from Canada’s largest city – a skyline I hope you’ll be admiring for yourself soon enough.
I spent last week in Toronto planning for Worldwide Partner Conference 2012, alongside around 100 members of the core team delivering WPC 2012 less than five months from now, July 8-12.
I also had time with the delightful David Whittaker, president of Tourism Toronto (www.tourismtoronto.ca). David and his team are totally committed to delivering the highest levels of customer service for our partners and staff. (In fact, during our stay, Toronto enjoyed a rather untypical series of pleasant sunny February days – specially arranged, I was informed.)
Team Microsoft Canada are very excited about welcoming WPC 2012 to Toronto. They are making plans to entertain the largest-ever gathering of Canadian partners. Microsoft Canada president Eric Gales addressed the planning team (see picture), sharing his delight and pride at hosting an expected 12,500 business leaders from 150 countries. It will be a truly cosmopolitan event befitting a truly cosmopolitan, diverse city; David informed me that in the most recent census, 50% of Toronto residents were born outside Canada.
While in town we also shot new MPN Live episodes featuring partners and analysts, during which David shares his insights regarding technology’s impact on the tourism and hospitality business. There’s also a great partner panel on selling cloud solutions moderated by Darren Bibby (@darrenbibby) of IDC. See them as they’re released at https://www.facebook.com/mspartner.
I head back to Seattle confident in the plans we have in place, excited by the support and commitment from the city of Toronto, and deeply impressed with the focus and motivation of the WPC Business Owner Team. But there’s no resting on our laurels: next week we launch our new website, www.digitalWPC.com, and just one week after that we throw the doors open for WPC 2012 registration – four weeks earlier than usual.
So I hope you will confirm plans to join us. You’ll hear about Microsoft vision and strategy and make those all-important business-to-business connections – we expect more than 20,000 networking meetings will take place. And to help keep those connections going after the event, we’re investing in new technology that will available to registrants shortly. It’s going to be an exceptional gathering.
For most this is where WPC 2012 starts. But for some it’s the end of long winter months putting all the foundational pieces in place. I salute my team for all their hard work. Eric and I personally look forward to welcoming you and the whole worldwide partner community to Toronto.
See you when you get here.