Convergence is the #1 business-building event of the year for many partners, but nothing else happens until you can get your customers signed up and ready to go!

Here are 8 ideas for getting your team, and your customers, motivated for Convergence:

1. Rally the Troops – Create an event for your sales, marketing, and customer care teams to get them fired up and fully equipped to engage your customers.

  • Develop an all-out push plan to build excitement and motivate your best customers to attend Convergence.
  • Create incentives to ensure your best customers attend Convergence again, and new customers are added each year.
  • Share success stories from past conferences and strategize to make this year’s Convergence the most successful customer engagement your company has ever attended.
  • Send your team to the Convergence page on PartnerSource to get marketing materials and other information they need to succeed at Convergence.

2. Get the Word Out – Send an email blast to all your customers, and follow up with personal invitations for the customers you want to make sure attend.

  • Use the email template and make it personal with your own stories of Convergence success.
  • Include quotes from customers who have attended Convergence.
  • Create a communications calendar to regularly remind customers about Convergence. Send reminders two weeks before registration opens, the day registration opens, the week before Early Bird registration ends, and four weeks before Convergence starts.
  • Personalize the Convergence email signature block found on the Convergence page on PartnerSource and include it in your emails.
  • Use Twitter and LinkedIn to post messages. Have your updates auto-post to social media channels. Use hashtag: #CONV13

3. Host a Webcast – Host a “Why Attend Convergence” webcast the week before registration opens, and personally invite the customers you want to attend Convergence. Record the webcast and share it in future customer communications.

4. Let Your Customers Do the Talking – Record your customers’ best Convergence stories and share them on your Convergence webpage. Nothing is as effective in communicating the value of attending Convergence as hearing from another customer.

5. Include Convergence as a Regular Account Review Topic – Make sure Convergence is included as a topic in account reviews year-round, so customers can budget for the conference before the event.

6. Invite Your Customers to a Convergence Customer Appreciation Dinner – Plan ahead to book a private dinner with all your customers and your team attending Convergence. Plan your dinner well in advance so you can share the date and place with customers attending. This is always a great way to build relationships with your customers, and between customers. And don’t go on the cheap!

7. Set Up an Easy Way to Communicate with Your Customers While at Convergence – Set up a Twitter feed for your group, and get each attendee’s cell phone number for texting group announcements and updates.

8. Point Your Customers to Additional Resources – Here are some of the resources you can share with your customers to ensure they have all the information they need to attend Convergence: www.microsoft.com/convergence

And One More…

9. Make it Your Own – Instead of thinking of Convergence as a Microsoft event, think of it as a platform for staging your own customer conference, supported by Microsoft. Schedule meetings, invite customers to attend specific events, make plans to socialize together, and encourage every team member to view Convergence not only as a customer marketing event, but as an opportunity to improve your team’s skills and connections, as well.

New this year! Sign up for the Partner Only Email Alerts to receive details that are just for you, our partners, around Convergence 2013.

--Kevin