I had the great opportunity to be invited to the Microsoft Inspire 2017 event, formerly the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft Inspire 2017 is the biggest event of the year for Microsoft Partners, this is just a personal perspective about Microsoft Inspire event. With past attendance exceeding 16,000 people from over 130 countries, Microsoft Inspire provides a full week of networking, learning and collaboration.
**This is the final Inspire sessions schedule in PDF. Review MS Inspire Sessions
Check out Microsoft Inspire Session Recordings
This year’s event was hosted in Washington, D.C. From July 9th-13th. Many partners who attend this event are looking to grow business and strengthening their Microsoft partnership. Of course, it did not take me too long to see the benefits I could get from attending the event.
So, I jetted off to Washington DC and have nothing but positive things to say about the experience. Fortunately I was able to book direct flight from Mexico City -> Washington DC arriving on Saturday at midnight.
“This new name reflects how Microsoft and our partner community inspire each other to innovate and deliver powerful new solutions to customers. “- Chris Capossela. Chief Marketing Officer, Microsoft
And so the adventure begins! …
Sunday 9 July 2017:
Some of my colleagues arrived on Sunday morning, so I took some time to welcome them at the Washington Dulles. Microsoft placed a registration point so it was simple and nimble to perform registration. After that we headed to our apartment where would be the lair for the following days.
Time for meeting with a partner from Argentina, very punctual, friendly and a great intention to collaborate together. From 23 scheduled meetings, 7 of them the person did not show up… but that never happens in Latin America, right? LOL
My agenda continued without any inconvenience meeting great and exceptional people from all over the world.
Note: Every day from Monday to Wednesday, a Keynote was held at the Verizon Center and from there I would head to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the Expo
Let the networking begin! …Welcome Reception :
Monday 10 July 2017:
Time for the Keynote with Satya! – in case you want to see the complete Keynote:
8:30 waiting to be able to enter the Verizon Center … .the security filters could not cope …
Found good place and from start to finish the event seemed to meet the expectation. –
Microsoft Inspire: Satya at Keynote
11:00 Headed to the Walter E. Washington Center where the Expo, meetings and sessions of the MS Inspire took place … at 11:14 I was already at the next meeting of the day with Maria Clara of Microsoft.
.. I guess that guy didn´t wanted appear in the picture at all :P…
In the event was the expo area, where the sponsors had their space to present their products and were also dedicated spaces for specific meetings by each region: USA, LATAM, INDIA, CANADA … etc.
On the other hand was the space “Connect” where you could schedule your meeting in a dedicated space with table.
Additionally, on the 2nd and 3rd floors, regional presentations and sales, marketing and product techniques were carried out.
As I mentioned earlier, many partners who attend this event are looking to grow their business, so in order to grow your customer base, it is highly important that you put yourself in the place of each visitor and think about all the information they receive since the day starts – thousands of brochures, trials, downloads, access to new product features from hundreds of partners. That´s why you must define your pitch and how you´re going to add value to your next possible client!
By end of the day, attended the private event of Windows 10 & Devices at Union Station – Washington DC:
Tuesday 11 July 2017:
I went directly to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to start meetings previously scheduled. Expo area opened at 11AM, if you were not sponsor you better look for another place to have your meeting.
In the event many sponsors gave very good demonstration of their product, giveaways and access to private preview featuress of product. To mention a few, I was fortunate to review Citrix MAS, Azure Migration Assessment Tools, Odin, Delivering Microsoft Azure Stack with Dell EMC, SAP HANA on Microsoft Azure, Docker, Samsung – a girl gave me a good discount and I took advantage to acquire a Samsung S8 For 524USD!
In addition, Microsoft assigned a Community HUB and spaces where there were interesting talks about Cloud products and the know-how to improve your product, marketing and sales strategy.
As you can give an idea, Once you’re a Microsoft Partner, everyone at Inspire has the potential to be a customer, lead, or useful connection. But even so, it was important for us to take time to study exactly who was attending.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
This was the last official day of MS Inspire, the next day it was only private and regional sessions, there was no expo or content sessions really.
During this day I approached as many sessions as possible, some of them highly recommended: “how-to how to help your customer migrate their workloads to the Cloud”, “Set up well-managed and secured virtual machines for your customers”, ” Make the most of Your MPN Membership”.
A very good resource that I want to share: Enterprise Cloud Strategy 2nd Edition – download it here:
In this type of event you should make the most of the time you have so I prepared a one note datasheet with all my sessions and scheduled meetings including contact details, so I knew who was important to talk to and why. It was very helpful during the conference. Schedule your meetings at the same point or at nearby points will help you get the most meetings per day.
Despite the Microsoft Inspire App would show you notifications about your upcoming meetings. I would strong suggest to keep a good control on a separate file.
For the closing of MS Inspire, attended Carrie Underwood’s presentation at Nationals Park:
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Regional sessions were held in which each discussed strategies to increase business for the next fiscal year.
Also, there was a session for first time attendees, to learn how to get the most from Microsoft Inspire.
Each day at the end I analyzed the meetings I had, the objectives of each one and what were the next steps. This helped me to have a better organization and to be able to measure the impact of each meeting.
Microsoft Inspire has been a great personal experience! However in order to get the most of it, you need to decide the “what/why/how” attending Inspire. It is useful to take a look at the attendee demographic of past shows.
Is it worth attending? at Microsoft Inspire I engaged with the best of the Microsoft community, surfacing new ideas and found the opportunity to form strong partnerships.
Attending Microsoft Inspire is one of the best investments I have done this year, from the moment I was on the plane heading to the event and got involved into a conversation with people with great vision and shared common interests.
Special thanks to Manesh Raveendran, Tim Quinn, Kiran Banda, Amit Malik, Sam Agrawal, Jeff Fisher, Bhargav, excellent and talented people, for guiding and supporting me at all times from logistics to sharing their time and experience during MS Inspire.
In addition, thanks to Francisco Corona and Gerardo Rojas from Microsoft Mexico for their support and invitation to LATAM initiatives.
Hope we can connect next year in Las Vegas! Happy Hunting!