The Road to Inspire 2018 – Part 1
This is the beginning of a multi-part communication that should help partners that are planning on attending Inspire 2018. My goal will be to share information as it becomes available. Some of it will be from my personal experience of attending 6 previous WPC/Inspire conferences and other parts will be repurposed items from other sources (i.e Websites, blogs, social posts, etc.).
No matter what, it is to help you travel the road to Inspire!
I realize that going to Microsoft Inspire can be overwhelming. Please share this with people you know who are also attending this year’s Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 15th to July 19th.
Something very special this year is that Inspire is being co-located for the 1st time with Microsoft Ready, the annual Microsoft sales, marketing, and technical fiscal kick-off. This potentially can bring 30,000 people together by the time Wednesday comes around.
General Inspire Information
- Overview of Microsoft Inspire – what happens on each day
- FTA Program – FTA activities and sessions taking place
- Microsoft Partner Community
- Sessions and Speakers and events
- Logistics – attire, transportation, etc.
- In the past the First Time Attendees (FTA) had an FTA purple lanyard – mentors will always help (identified by green lanyards) and you should never hesitate to ask for help or guidance from a mentor. I am not sure if this is happening again this year but if it is, look for the mentors for help and offer help to the FTAs
- Attire – wear comfortable clothing especially on your feet, given the volume of walking that is required around the conference, is important. Casual business dress is the order of the day, not shorts and trainers, but neither is a suit and tie required. Often attendees are going straight from the conference in the day to evening activities so dressing appropriately for that will save a lot of time.
- Eating and drinking – this is a marathon not a sprint, so water, water, water – having a good breakfast, and not going overboard on alcohol in the evenings will help to stay the course. Until you have been to Microsoft Inspire you cannot foresee how much energy is required.
- Always having business cards and a small pen or pencil in your pocket. You never know who you will meet, where – and always being able to pass out a card, and receive one will mean you never miss an opportunity. Writing on the back of the business cards something that will remind you, who the person you met was, where you met etc… will make a difference when you get back to the office and have 100 business cards to follow-up on and no idea who is who.
- With GDPR concerns now and many people being from all over the world attending Inspire – make sure you ask the person if you can add them to your data base for marketing/communications and write the date on the card – treat that as your opt in later if needed.
- The conference is flooded with opportunity for your partner business. Executives from Enterprise partners and Microsoft are everywhere, Directors, CEO’s and Senior Managers are often ‘in disguise’ in a social environment, so always be aware of what you are saying to whom and who may be listening to your conversation. Much better to always impress than put people off talking to you.
- A good tip for partners keen to connect with other partners is to attend the events and activities that are aligned to your target audience. You can then see and hear first-hand what those partners are interested in, how they respond to key messages and the Microsoft strategy that aligns to their business. Microsoft Inspire is a great way to understand more about your target partner audience and their strategic goals, which helps you with your pitch as to why they should work with you.
- HAVE FUN! People buy from people and love to connect with people that are not only professional and capable but great to work with – relationships built at Microsoft Inspire are often very unique and stand the test of time, there’s no better place to build and secure your current and future network, so go for it!
- Don’t forget to watch and listen out for the secret location (SHHHHhhhh!) of the IAMCP Speakeasy party on Sunday night – people in the past have said “this is the party of the conference” – you won’t want to miss out attending!
That’s all I have now but I hope to add a series of items over the next few weeks.
Some of the topics about which I hope to share more about in future posts:
- First Time Attendee Activities
- IAMCP Special event information
- Voices for Innovation event information
- Tips from other past attendees
- Party “Advanced Networking Events” information
- Suggested sessions
Please feel free to reach out to me via What’s App, LinkedIn, Twitter or text, now, during and after the event for any more help!