by Jeff Shuey, Director of Strategic Alliances at Winshuttle

imageHow does a first-time WPC attendee (aka a “WPC Newbie”) get the most out of the event? Follow the Four F’s of WPC and I predict you will have a very successful WPC experience. 

First, what is WPC?

WPC is the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. It’s the chance for partners to connect with partners. It’s the best P2P event for Microsoft partners on the planet. It’s your chance to connect with the People that can help your business grow. It’s your opportunity to engage with the Partners that are as committed to the Microsoft community as you are. And it’s your chance to see the Products from Microsoft and partners that will help you create solutions.

This post is about what I call the Four F’s of WPC—simple guidelines to help new attendees get the most out of the event.

Think about these Four F’s as you finalize your plans over the next few weeks, and when you arrive in Houston, review them to make sure you are ready to maximize your time at WPC.

Now, what are the four F’s?

  1. Familiarize yourself…
  2. Find
    • Find a friend (or bring one).
    • Be a friend—if you see someone who looks like he or she could use a hand or some guidance, offer it! This is an idea from Bill Hole of The Hole Group, and it’s a GREAT idea.
    • Find someone you identified before the coming to WPC. Use the WPC Connect tool to make contact before you even show up—make the request and the connection.
    • image Find the IAMCP booth. If you don’t know the IAMCP folks, you should. The International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners, or IAMCP, is a group of like-minded individuals who want to see partners in the Microsoft community be successful. There are IAMCP chapters all over the world, and they want to see YOU succeed with Microsoft.
  3. Flow
    • Design your flow of activities.
    • Have a plan and follow it. If you get a little sidetracked by all the hoopla and excitement, that’s OK. It’s to be expected. The good thing about WPC is…there is never a lack of something to do!
    • Think about these points to make the most of your time:
      • What MUST you see?
      • What would you LIKE to see?
      • What can you SKIP? Can you learn about this topic from your colleagues or the new friends you have made? If yes, skip it.
  4. Follow up (the most critical F!)
    • Everything you do, everyone you meet, everything you learn or want to learn, will need your attention after the event.
    • Plan time in your schedule to follow up.
    • My secret Trade Show Tip: plan for at least one hour every day to do follow up activities. You won’t be sorry you did when you get home.
    • As you meet people, write down whatever it is you promise to do, and follow up.

At the end of the conference, you may think you didn’t get enough from the event. And it’s possible you may not have. But if you follow these Four F’s of WPC, you will be on a very good path to getting the most out this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference.

In my next post, I’ll talk about what to do before, during, and after WPC. Stay tuned here on the US team’s WPC blog.

See you in Houston!

_______________________________________________

Jeff Shuey is a veteran in the Enterprise Content Management industry. Over the past 20 years he has worked with customers and partners to design, develop, and deploy solutions around the world. Jeff is the Director of Strategic Alliances at Winshuttle. He has worked for Microsoft, FileNet, K2, Captaris, Open Text, Kofax, and Kodak. He speaks and blogs about ECM and the intersection between social, mobile and cloud computing.

Connect with Jeff on Twitter, his blog, by email, and find him on Facebook, and LinkedIn. It’s also a good bet you can find him on WPC Connect.