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Written by Elisabeth Vanderveldt, SBSC PAL for Eastern Canada

If you haven’t been to New Orleans then what exactly have you been waiting for?

Admittedly I had not attended a WPC until Boston in 2006 when our firm just happened to be up for a WPC award (which we won). Until then I hadn’t understood the value of a 10-12,000 person conference and what possible benefits one could possibly walk away from it with. My partner did however attend them, but in a small business it is not uncommon for one principal to feel they must stay behind to “watch the shop”. I have rethought that decision since, and would encourage you all to make your way down this year if for no other reason to learn from and brainstorm with other global partners, vendors and Microsoft.

Obviously the value from this conference will vary from person to person and frankly I have been lucky to be involved with different groups or presenting, so although I haven’t sat in on many sessions I have attended something of everything WPC has to offer. And having absorbed 3 WPC’s in a row now, I expect New Orleans should be my most productive.

So why go? Knowing, especially in this market uncertainty, the direction of a major industry partner like Microsoft, having their major vendor partners accessible to ask specific questions and to learn about the partnering opportunities they represent (which could turn into new revenue streams for you), and then have the chance to exchange ideas, question, probe and sample new releases with experts from around the world – is probably worth a few days of your time. Let’s be honest. It is very difficult to step back from one’s business long enough to absorb, never mind research what’s next. By being at WPC you very quickly can scan the event landscape and hone in on what interests you and your clients, and then have access to the people and technical resources to get answers. The ability to find and make decisions in such a short period means you have a better chance to jump into new markets earlier than your competition or at the very least not fall behind.

And an important aspect of any business is networking. In New Orleans, Microsoft offers partnering with over 10,000+ such P2P (partner to partner) possibilities. And for the ISV community you can see the potential for serious one on one meetings with not only local but international partners. How can you do this anywhere else? You can’t!

And finally, if you want to get a serious sneak peak and some hands on labs based on the upcoming releases of technology, you can also find those opportunities. Believe me, they do get filled up quickly so you want to be aware of when and where they are taking place.

Still not sure? Well here’s a follow up to that earlier fella that sang the praises of WPC (and we do mean sing!) So crank up the volume and take a peek:

So don’t miss Dan and the keynotes at WPC in July. It’s where the smart partner goes to get ahead.

See you in New Orleans!

Elisabeth Vanderveldt

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