2016 was the first time I had ever attended a Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) and it was also my first time in Toronto, Canada. It was a very exciting and informative week even if I struggled with a bit of jet lag. That being said, it was nice to escape the Perth winter and get some sunshine. Here’s my top 5 take-aways from my first time at one of the world’s largest IT conventions:
1. It’s big
The scale of the event is huge. Over 15,000 business people from over 130 countries attended the event this year. With so many people coming from around the world, the event has an almost festival-like atmosphere. This is especially true when everyone packs into the Air Canada Centre for the morning keynotes.
2. It’s very well organised
Somehow despite its colossal size and scale, I was unable to get lost at WPC. The level of organisation was top notch, from the seamlessness of the registration process upon arrival to the genuinely useful mobile app. I was never found wanting for anything.
3. There’s expertise on tap
The event was packed with experts from many different fields. The level of thinking from the Microsoft executives during their keynotes was very insightful. They all had something positive to say on their views on where Microsoft and the IT industry is heading. WPC also gave me the rare opportunity to meet with members of the global SAM community face-to-face, and to discuss which tools they’re using, what challenges they’re facing etc.
4. It’s productive
One of the key tools we use in our engagements is Movere by Unified Logic. WPC gave us the opportunity to spend quality time with the team at Movere and to share our feedback and experience with them. The level of depth we were able to go into in these meetings will pay dividends for the further development of the tool itself as well as our ability to get the most value from it for our customers.
5. There’s so much food!
There was never a moment when I felt hungry. I fuelled up on the free breakfast and coffee in the morning and enjoyed the variety of the lunchtime buffet. Microsoft looked after us every hour of the day with snacks and drinks readily available.
Turning up to something as large and well established as WPC was always going to be a little daunting. But the warmth of the reception and the faultless organisation ensured I had nothing but fun during my time in Toronto. I’d warmly welcome the opportunity to attend next year’s event in Washington DC.