Now I know most people, when they think of a big event in February, will normally say Valentines Day, but, believe it or not, this February, there is a different event taking place, and it's solely aimed at our Small Business Partners out there. This event is the SBSC Small Business Symposium 2007.
So, what's it all about, and why should you bother?
It's about Small Businesses, and you should bother because I said so! Ok, seriously though, we all know this is a huge year for Microsoft, what with that little launch taking place in just a few days now, and a huge number of amazing products on the horizon, and as Microsoft Partners, this represents a huge opportunity for both you and your customers.
So, how is it going to work? Well, essentially, senior Microsoft speakers will provide an update on our plans and outline areas of investment for the next 12 months. You'll be able to discover first-hand, the opportunities available for your business and put your questions, as I'm sure you'll have plenty, to all our speakers in an open Q&A.
In the afternoon of each day, rather than hear from more Microsoft speakers, you'll be hearing from successful small business partners from across the UK, sharing their secrets on things such as "How I market my company", "Changing to a managed services business" & "How to work with your local small business infrastructure." – very much the partner community at work! Trust me, this part of the day is incredibly worthwhile. I'm lucky enough to have had the chance to go out into the communities and have some pretty good conversations around Vista, Office and the like, along with Small Business issues in general, and to be able to bring as many of these communities together into one place is a fantastic opportunity to boost your business (and social!) network, and hopefully, your sales. This really is your chance to hear and learn from some of the best in the business in an open, friendly environment. There'll also be plenty of time for informal networking, including drinks and nibbles at the end of the day.
Now I do have some bad news, and I'm sure you'll be devastated, but I won't be at the event, as I'm in the US of A, trying to win a huge amount of money! More on that some other time.... :-)
The events are taking place at the following locations:
Microsoft Campus, Thames Valley Park - Thursday, February 1st
Edinburgh - Tuesday, February 6th (already sold out, but you can join the waiting list)
Manchester - Wednesday, February 7th
The agenda is as follows:
8.30am - Registration9.00am - Welcome & Small Business Specialist Community Update9.25am - Opportunities for partners in the SMB space9.50am - Keynote (Scott Dodds in TVP, Steve Haddock in Edinburgh & Manchester)10.20am - Q&A with Executive Panel11.00am - Break11.30am - EVO update for small business12.15pm - New Products update including OfficeLive & AdCentre1.00pm - Lunch2.00pm - Partner-to-partner sessions3.30pm - Break4.00pm - Partner-to-partner sessions5.30pm - Drinks & Networking
All that is left for me to say is...REGISTER!