A Blog Series for U.S. Partners by Jenni Flinders, Microsoft U.S. Vice President, Partner Strategy and Programs.

JenniFlinders

Surprised? While I absolutely think the 2012 Microsoft  Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is an essential event for Microsoft channel partners, if you’ve never attended and plan on simply showing up in Toronto on July 8, I encourage you to make a different, more fulfilling plan. WPC isn’t just an event you attend. It’s an event you experience, and as a result, you are a stronger business for doing so.

Next week is Microsoft’s chance to demonstrate a commitment to you, our valued partners, on a dynamic, global stage. This year we have an unparalleled and urgent need to unite the Microsoft Partner Network around a new era where advances in technology and the adoption of cloud computing have primed our businesses for explosive growth. If it sounds like an adventure, it is…and one I’m so glad we’re on together.

Because WPC 2012 is the largest annual gathering for the Microsoft partner community, it is like no other event in the industry. It enables attendees to network, learn, and prepare their businesses to succeed with Microsoft and the Partner Network for the year ahead. To make certain that you get the full WPC experience, I want to share three items that belong on your Conference checklist:image

  1. Begin with the basics. For a definitive source on all things WPC 2012, watch the online U.S. Partner’s Guide to a Great WPC 2012, developed specifically to help you plan the ultimate WPC 2012 experience, and featuring a variety of U.S. executives who offer their recommendations.
  2. Plot your possibilities. It’s important to review the available sessions (use the Session Catalog) and attend those most relevant to your business’s needs. Also, be sure you appear in the WPC Connect community. Through WPC Connect, you can introduce yourself virtually to  strategic channel contacts and conduct business-building conversations now that can be continued and cemented in person at the Conference.
  3. Listen to the leaders. We are fortunate to welcome esteemed thought leaders from a range of industry segments to WPC to discuss pivotal topics like big data, consumerization of IT, and cloud computing. Among these forums, Conversations in the Cloud (Monday, July 9 at 1:15pm in the Solution Innovation Center Theatre) is a panel presentation about partner opportunities in the cloud featuring members of the analyst, media, and partner communities (including me). I can’t wait to be part of this conversation, where we will discuss both practical integration and the future of this exciting solution, but it’s not your only chance to hear from the leaders in our space. Check out the list of WPC 2012 speakers to identify who sparks your interest. 

WPC 2012 is an experience for your business to feel, maximize, and leverage to reach your greatest potential. We’re even making available a “PR 101” QR code at the U.S. Lounge that will take you to a U.S. portal page containing downloadable materials that include the latest templates for awards, competencies, and general press release guidelines. Use them to share the many success stories we know you will have after experiencing the full range of possibilities at WPC 2012.

FinalPrepSlide_WPC12What conference sessions, networking events and other opportunities are on your WPC checklist? Share them with me on Twitter @Jenni_Flinders. Also, if you are active in social media, follow @WPCUS and use #wpcus to engage with us and receive event updates. For more planning information and links, use our handy slide shown at right (click the image to download). Toronto,here we come!