Hello Partners!

 
We’re approaching one month since WPC 2014 kicked off, and we hope that all of you have been capitalizing on all the great connections and learnings from the conference!
 
Before WPC, we followed the journey of several of our First Time Attendees as they prepared for the conference. Now, we’ve asked them to share with you a little bit about their experience and its impact on their respective businesses.
 
 
 
When I first arrived in Washington, D.C. for WPC 2014, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but WPC exceeded any and all expectations I had! The week was jam-packed with great sessions, amazing keynotes from Kevin Turner, Phil Sorgen and, of course, Satya Nadella, incredible networking events that ran throughout the week, and some great entertainment.
 
I was worried it might be just a little overwhelming, but the First Time Attendee orientation on the Sunday before the conference kicked off was key to how I planned the rest of my week. I took on board what was said about writing up my notes from the sessions each night, making a note of people I had spoken to and what we had discussed, and creating action plans of urgent and less urgent follow-ups. By doing each of these, it was much easier for me to get my head around everything I learned during WPC 2014 and know who I had spoken to so I could prioritise my follow ups when I got back to the UK.
 
I think attending WPC will have a huge impact on our business in FY15! Since we have been back, we have already had several meetings with key Microsoft contacts we met in Washington, D.C. to align our business strategy with Microsoft’s mobile-first, cloud-first mantra. Also, as so many of the sessions I attended were geared towards moving your business and customers to the Cloud, this is going to become a focal point of our strategy over the coming year. 
 
Attending the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference was an amazing experience which I would recommend to all Microsoft partners. It’s a great way to meet other partners and Microsoft employees, and find out about Microsoft’s strategy and priorities for the coming year. I had a great time and hope to see you all in Orlando for WPC 2015.
 
 
 
My first WPC experience was great. Going in, I was a little skeptical. As we are an ISV who focuses on Microsoft Dynamics, I wasn’t sure if there would be enough to make the trip worth it. Boy was I wrong.
 
I made many new contacts that will help grow our business, made some key Microsoft contacts that will definitely make my life easier, and I can’t say enough about the sessions. There was a fantastic session on Microsoft Pinpoint, and I had no idea the impact that Pinpoint can have on your business. The session on public speaking by Dux Raymond Sy, Public Speaking Excellence: How to Deliver Compelling Presentations in 5 Steps, was fantastic.
 
Using WPC Connect ahead of time was great for planning who to meet and what sessions to attend. Of course, I filled my schedule and didn’t leave a lot of open time for networking, but I quickly realized on the first day a few sessions would need to be missed. Thank goodness most of them were recorded! I have been enjoying watching the sessions I missed over the last couple weeks on WPC Connect.
 
One of the highlights of WPC was a meeting with Erik Tiden, the General Manager of Dynamics NAV. It isn’t often you get to sit down with someone like Erik in a small group setting. It was awesome to listen to him talk about the future of Dynamics NAV and candidly answer questions from the group.
 
I also love the balance of the event: sessions, networking, and even some fun. The US Partner Event at the Smithsonian was incredible. To be able to walk around and check out all the exhibits was fantastic. Mix it with the networking happening and you couldn’t ask for a better experience!
 
One other thing to note, I am really happy I went into WPC as an IAMCP member. That opened so many doors for networking and events. It was such a great group of people to be around and I look forward to working with many of them in the upcoming year.
 
At Fastpath, we decided this event is important enough that we already pre-registered for next year! How could we not take advantage of that great early bird special?
 
 
 
My first WPC experience was interesting. I think the session content most useful to me will end up being how to frame my service delivery for the entire customer experience, which I learned about in LS156 -Gartner: Reading the Tea Leaves – Future Growth Will Require New Sales Models.
 
Also, the Women In Technology (WIT) luncheon and its follow-up panel were valuable parts of the conference for me. Hearing such successful women share their challenges and experience really brought to life how important my role is as a rare female MSP business owner. 
 
I also enjoyed meeting so many members of the Microsoft team and other Microsoft Partners. Now that I have the names of the people in the areas most important to my business interaction with Microsoft, I feel better prepared to truly partner with Microsoft this year and to feel heard in my concerns.
 
Microsoft is again changing the SMB Partner Program, and I’m going to work on applying the strategies I learned at WPC to my business. I should know within three to six months if it has a positive or negative effect, and that’s when I’ll be able to decide if I am going to return to WPC.
 

 
If you already miss the insight and excitement of WPC, make sure to check out our recently released WPC 2014 Highlights page to relive the inspiration.
 
You’ve heard firsthand about the effect WPC can have on your professional network, your business acumen and your partnership with Microsoft. Make sure you don’t miss out on all the future opportunity ahead and register for WPC 2015 in Orlando, Florida from July 12-16!
 
Best,
Kati