My name is Chris Wright and I’m the founder of PartnerPulse, a new digital marketing platform for Microsoft partners. Partners on the site can create and manage their own social profiles, and make use of a set of unique social tools allowing them to interact in new ways with clients and potential customers. 

 
We are attending the Worldwide Partner Conference in July, and as part of our preparations we are writing a series of blog posts focusing on helpful information and advice for “first time attendees” like ourselves.
 
Preparation starts well in advance
 
Good preparations for the show have to start months in advance. The very first thing we did at PartnerPulse, at the beginning of the year, was to work out what we wanted to get out of the show by the end of it. We wrote a list of ten things we would love to achieve during our time there and then we worked backwards. We used our list to drive our preparations. Once we knew what we wanted, we could work out how to go about achieving it.
 
The practical preparation
 
There are also plenty of practical steps you need to think about in order to ensure you have a good show. These things include:
  • Your ticket – Do you have your WPC ticket for everyone you want to go to? Forgetting this will make the show a pretty forgettable experience all round!
  • Your travel plans – PartnerPulse will be travelling from the UK. So we are booking our plane ticket soon. Make sure you make your plans well in advance to get good deals.
  • Your accommodation – Once you have your ticket, you will get an email from Microsoft detailing your accommodation options. Get this sorted quickly because Houston will fill up soon enough!
  • The day job – Remember whoever is going to the conference also has a day job. Make sure what they normally do back in the office is adequately covered by the right people, for the time they are away.
 
What we’ve done so far to prepare:
 
PartnerPulse is working hard to ensure we have a good show. We are focusing on networking and making contacts prior to our time there. As a result we have been working hard over the last few months to contact the following groups:
  • Microsoft – PartnerPulse talks to all parts of Microsoft about how we can better serve the partner network. WPC is great way to put faces to the names of the people we haven’t yet met in person.
  • Marketing companies – There are a number of specialist marketing companies attending the show. As our company provides a digital marketing tool we are keen to meet as many of these as we can.
  • Partners themselves – Partners are the lifeblood of our site, so we are using the show to meet as many in person as possible.
To actually help make sure we meet up with the people we have identified, we have been contracting them in advance to organize things. This won’t work with everyone of course, but if we can pre-arrange 50% of our meetings, we think it will really help our experience.
 
Look out for our next post, when we will give you our top ten tips for surviving the first few days of the Worldwide Partner Conference.