Let the countdown begin. The Worldwide Partner Conference is one month away. WPC can seem mostly exciting with just a hint of intimidation – and this is from someone who has been to 10 consecutive Worldwide Partner Conferences.
I want you to know that I am especially excited for the large number of women who plan to attend WPC this year.
Within the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), we have several Women in Technology (WIT) communities growing and forming around the world. As someone who served as a WIT Global Chair, and now the international chair of IAMCP WIT, I have seen this group of women influence their individual communities and the global tech industry at large. And it’s not too late for you to join us for this defining experience.
At WPC 2015 there will be several opportunities to engage with women in technology and learn about IAMCP WIT:
  • “Janes of Digital presents Power Networking at WPC”

    Monday July 13th, 12:45 – 1:45pm, #WPC15Women Booth/Community Hub


  • Women in Technology Leadership Panel

    Tuesday July 14th, 2:30 – 3:30pm, Room 37 – Level 2 S230A


  • Happy Hour with Executive Sponsor Gavriella Schuster

    Tuesday July 14th, 4:00 – 6:00pm, IAMCP Women in Technology Booth/Community Hub


  • IAMCP Women in Technology Charity Luncheon

    Wednesday July 15th, 12:00 – 1:45pm, Orlando Hyatt Ballroom STUV


  • Illuminating IAMCP Women in Technology and How to Start a WIT Chapter

    Wednesday July 15th, 2:30 – 3:30pm, IAMCP Women IAMCP Women in Technology Booth/Community Hub

All women-led and women relevant content will be searchable in the session catalog under the filter #WPC15Women.
In this blog, I want to offer you three insider tips on how women can make the most of their time at WPC:
1. Plan ahead with Connect
Embrace Connect and use it strategically. For instance, at Directions Training, we leverage the Connect Meeting Scheduler as a way to meet people and forge business relationships while at WPC. This is a tool that is invaluable when starting a new WIT community. You can search for other female attendees who live and work near you. Use the tool to invite them to meetings and even consider hosting a small group of ladies or schedule some one-on-one meetings.
The Meeting Scheduler is a great way to find other WPC attendees and make initial connections. However, once you schedule a meeting via Connect, I suggest creating and sending your meeting mate an Outlook invite, too. This way, the meeting is certain to be on both calendars.

Also, make sure to export your Connect schedule to your Outlook calendar, or if necessary create a printout of your meetings. Remember, we will be among nearly 15,000 fellow tech enthusiasts and the internet connection may be spotty at times.

2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
This may be a Microsoft partner event, but LinkedIn can come in handy at times. When planning to meet with new connections and old friends, you might want to check out their LinkedIn profiles first. Refresh your memory of who they work for, what they do and what they look like.
Which is exactly why you want to keep your own profile up-to-date. Have you changed jobs or hairstyles in the last few years? Make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects these changes.
3. Be Comfortable and Fashionable
If you haven’t already, go shoe shopping. After a 12-hour day and a 4-hour after party, you’ll be happy you invested in fashionably-comfortable shoes.
Finally, if you would like learn more about IAMCP WIT and prepare for Orlando with WPC veterans and WIT champions, register now for the Know Before You Go live webinar on June 16 from 12:00PM-1:00PM CST. This will be your chance to get recommended sessions and activities, hear best practices for Connect and learn how to grow your network at WPC.
With a decade of Worldwide Partner Conferences behind me, I’ve learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn. On a daily basis I learn and grow because of the relationships I have with IAMCP WIT members. While I hope these insider tips encourage you as you prepare for Orlando, I am even more hopeful that you feel inspired to reach out and connect with other women who also plan to attend the conference.
Who knows – maybe you and I will connect. After all, this is what WPC and WIT are all about.

Jennifer Didier

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