EBRegThis year at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), the U.S. team’s plans include the U.S. Subsidiary track, a diversity event, roundtables and executive meetings (by invitation), and the event that brings all U.S. partner and Microsoft attendees together in one place, the US Celebration. This party gives us a chance to thank you for being a Microsoft partner in a relaxed setting, and to spend time with you. Last year, we held the US Celebration at the elegant Toronto landmark, the Roy Thomson Symphony Hall, and while partner and Microsoft partygoers mixed and mingled, the amazing violinist, Josh Vietti, wowed the crowd.

In Houston this year, we want to give you another unique, local experience, something you might not otherwise get to see during your trip. So, mark your calendars, and…

Join us for the WPC 2013 US Celebration at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Tuesday, July 9

Jason Leonardelli, the U.S. WPC lead, announces the location of this year’s US Celebration in this video.

As the mother of a 5-year-old, I am fairly fluent in dinosaur, particularly theropods like Tyrannosaurus rex, Allosaurus, and Deinonychus (“terrible claw”). So I was pretty confident that I knew what to expect when our U.S. WPC lead, Jason Leonardelli, told me that the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) was a potential space for our party, with a cool dinosaur exhibit. But the paleontology exhibit is beyond cool—it’s an astonishing display of more than 450 fossil and fossil replicas, all shown “in action.” The fossils chase, run, eat, fly. Check out this picture of a shark’s jaw getting ready to devour a mammoth skeleton. HMNS_shark-mammothI couldn’t stop giddily pointing out fossils like the lumbering giant sloth or the pteranodon soaring overhead.

But the HMNS offers much more to see and experience beyond fossils. It is also the home of a dazzling collection of gems and minerals, including a blue topaz crystal that weighs more than 2,000 carats, and the recently opened Smith Gem Vault, which showcases stunning custom-made jewelry. The Wiess Energy Hall features interactive exhibits that explain the process of energy development, from crude oil to wind farms to solar energy. And in the Butterfly Center, you can walk through a living butterfly habitat.

As the U.S. planning team walked through and marveled at these exhibits, the US Celebration began to take shape, and it’s going to be an awesome event. We’ll share more event details on this blog closer to the conference, and you can RSVP on Facebook to get updates there, too.

We look forward to seeing you there!