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You attended the sessions, you made the connections, you shared your stories. Whether you were a First Time Attendee (FTA) or a veteran, there’s no doubt we all got a ton of business done at WPC 2016.

But how do you know if you are continuing to make the most of opportunities you found even after the conference?

How First Time Attendees are making the most of opportunities from WPC 2016

Over the past few weeks, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with a few of this year’s FTAs and hear how they’ve translated their conference experience into changes within their business. Here’s how they are doing it:

1. Follow up on ALL connections.

In order to make the most of the connections you made at WPC, you simply have to follow through. When you do, it can result in powerful growth for your business.

“The meetings we had were extremely beneficial for us and we were able to become better connected with the field. These introductions have already led to some potential opportunities to really help customers.”

Jeff Gunn author block_1

Whether following through means staying in contact with your new connection and building that relationship, or diving into coordination on a business plan, be sure to take the time to consciously take action on those connections. That follow up is crucial to making the most of your WPC experience all year long.  Looking for a place to stay in touch with all of your WPC contacts? Join the Microsoft Partner Community (MPC) to connect, engage, and collaborate with the partner community.

2. Keep growing your business.

Many of the partners we spoke to said that one of the main reasons they attended WPC was to better align with Microsoft’s vision for the future, and by making the most of their experience, they’ve been able to do just that.

For example, Rinkesh Arora, VP of Bitscape Infotech told us that his experience at WPC has led the company to think differently about the ways they serve customers.

“We are now focused even more heavily on expanding our IP offerings and getting services revenue from our customers….we want to expand our Cloud, Collaboration & Compliances portfolio in the current digital transformation era where all customers need help with modernizing their processes and compliances with the help of technology.”

Rinkesh Arora author block_1

Rinkesh isn’t alone—according to Danny Creasy, COO of idcit, WPC has inspired his company to look into packaging their service as an IP in order to take advantage of new opportunities.

“It made us look at our business and consider if we are doing everything we could. I think we will get one or two good partnering relationships within the coming year, and these relationships will really help to drive the growth of our business.”

Daniel Creasy author block_1

Keep your key learnings from WPC top of mind throughout the year to continue driving your business forward. Check out the on-demand keynote videos and session resources from the conference to refresh yourself or your team on content from Toronto all year long.

3. Get prepared for next year well in advance.

Finally, the two most common pieces of advice we heard from the partners we talked to were to have a mentor and to come prepared.

If you are considering attending WPC as a First Time Attendee next year, be sure to opt-in to our WPC FTA program. We match each program participant with an alumni mentor to ensure you hit the ground running once you arrive on-site at the conference.

Beyond that, begin brainstorming how you’ll want to spend your time at WPC next year. Keep in mind that while there will be a ton of sessions and meetings to attend, scheduling some down time can also lead to some of the most invaluable connections you will make.

“One thing I did that was really helpful was as simple as taking the full hour for lunch – I met a lot of people within that hour and made a lot of connections simply sharing stories.”

Lindsay Klein author block_1

Start your planning for WPC 2017 early! Grab your All Access pass now to take advantage of our early booking price of $1,695. With the right preparation, a few connections and a bold growth mind set, finding success at WPC is a sure bet.

What was the most valuable experience you had at WPC? Tell us in the comments below.

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