imageWorldwide Partner Conference 2012 is upon us and with it comes the opportunity for our partners worldwide to come together physically in Toronto as well as virtually across the world. For those of you that joined us last year, you undoubtedly saw the vast increase in social media usage from Worldwide Partner Conference, which enabled even more partners to join in and be part of the virtual Worldwide Partner Conference experience. This year, you will once again see an explosion of social media coverage from Worldwide Partner Conference to bring partners everywhere into the event, so I am putting together my annual “Worldwide Partner Conference and social” post to let you know how you can participate and/or follow along in the Worldwide Partner Conference through online and social whether you are joining us in Toronto or virtually from your offices around the world.

  1. Twitter – There has been and will be a ton of fantastic WPC content shared via Twitter this year, both from the Microsoft people & teams, as well as from all of the Microsoft Partners taking part in WPC. Here are some tips for participating and following all of the action from WPC this year:
    • The #WPC12 hashtag is the official hashtag of Worldwide Partner Conference 2012, so be sure to include it in your WPC12 tweets and follow the #WPC12 hashtag to get all of the latest shared by others
      • Who will be the top tweeter this year? It will be fun to find out, but I’d keep an eye on these folks (in no particular order) who have been either consistently some of the top WPC tweeters in the past or are pretty active Microsoft partners regarding WPC: @EricLigman, @MeetDux, @Nuxnix, @TiffanyWI, @Lizasisler, @trolleschultz@buckleyplanet, @KJKirby,@Uaguilar, @justinpirie, @akipekka, and @Ryantechinc. This is in no way a comprehensive list, so please don’t take offense if you’re not listed there. That’s the great thing about WPC is that there are THOUSANDS of partners sharing the excitement and information coming from WPC!
    • As always, be sure to watch the #MSPartner hashtag, where we continually share out Microsoft partner information through Twitter
    • From a team perspective, the official WPC Team here at Microsoft tweets from the @WPC Twitter account, and there are some national teams as well, such as the US WPC Team that tweets from the @WPCUS Twitter account and the Canadian WPC Team (thanks for hosting us this year!!) that tweets from the @WPCCanada Twitter account. Be sure you are following these teams to hear directly from them throughout the conference.
    • From a Microsoft Corporate Executive perspective, you should be sure to keep an eye on: Jon Roskill (@Jon_Roskill), Julie Bennani (@JBennani), and Karl Noakes (@Noakes) as well. I also know that the U.S. Partners will be watching out for information from Jenni Flinders (@Jenni_Flinders) and Cindy Bates (@Cindy_Bates)
    • For those of you with Windows Phones, here’s a really easy way to keep up with the WPC teams listed above as well as the #WPC12 conversation now, while at WPC, and beyond. If you have the Microsoft Partner Info Mobile App installed, you have access to all of this, regardless if you yourself have a Twitter account or not. Everyone can read the info and those with Twitter accounts can reply, retweet, favorite, and join in right from there. Plus remember you can now pin any category or feed directly to your start page from the Microsoft Partner Info Mobile App by simply pressing and holding the tile or link that you want to paste:
      image In the PEOPLE section of the app, clicking on the “WPC Teams” link will bring you all of the latest from the @WPC, @WPCUS, and the @WPCCanada teams in one single stream, displayed in chronological order.
      image In the EVENTS section of the app, clicking on the “WW Partner Conference” link will also bring you all of the latest from the @WPC, @WPCUS, and the @WPCCanada teams in one single stream, displayed in chronological order.
      image In the PARTNER TALK section of the app, clicking on the “WPC Talk” link will bring you the latest #WPC12 conversation in a continually updating stream that you can choose the refresh speed of. Also clicking on the “MSPartner Talk” link will bring you the latest #MSPartner conversation in a continually updating stream that you can choose the refresh speed of.
      image In the PEOPLE section of the app, you have direct access to the latest coming from Jon Roskill, Julie Bennani, and Karl Noakes by simply clicking on their names (yes, mine’s there too). This will bring you all of the latest from them displayed in chronological order.
      image For those of you U.S. partners, if you look in the COUNTRIES section of the app, you will see the U.S. Partner link. Clicking this link will bring you all the latest from the US Team, including the latest from both Jenni Flinders and Cindy Bates. 

      For those of you not from the U.S., if you look at the screenshot to the left, you’ll notice there are a LOT of other countries to choose from as well!
  2. Tweetups – Since we’re talking about Twitter, let’s talk about some of the Tweetups taking place. Tweetups are always a great place to connect with other attendees and who are active in online and social media at WPC. Once again this year, we have a couple of Tweetups taking place, so if you are interested in joining us, here’s how:
  3. MPN Live sessions from WPC12 – At last year’s Worldwide Partner Conference, we launched the MPN Live video chat series that brought live, streaming conversations among people from Microsoft and Microsoft partners to partners everywhere. Since then, the MPN Live series has continued to grow and broadcast shows throughout the year, and this WPC is going to include even more MPN Live goodness! This year, we will be broadcasting three daily MPN Live shows from the floor of WPC, Monday through Wednesday:
    • 8:30 am – MPN Live
    • 11:00 am – MPN Live
    • 5:00 pm – I’ll be hosting the daily recap sessions of MPN Live (I’ll also be posting my WPC daily recaps and info on my blog as well)
    • Then on Thursday, we’ll be broadcasting out at 1:00 pm before the end of WPC12.
    • As always, we’ll have a fantastic lineup of partners joining us for the shows with all of their great insights direct from WPC12. Here’s a quick video overview of MPN Live from WPC12 for you:
    • To follow along with the MPN Live sessions, we’ll be streaming the MPN Live sessions on Digital WPC home page, and also on our WPC Faceboook page. Also, there will be tons of Twitter coverage of the sessions utilizing the #MPNLive hashtag.
    • image Again for those of you with Windows Phones, the Microsoft Partner Info Mobile App brings you the latest MPN Live conversations through the PARTNER TALK section of the app, simply by clicking on the “MPN Live Talk” link that will bring you the latest #MPNLive conversation in a continually updating stream that you can choose the refresh speed of. Everyone can read the info and those with Twitter accounts can reply, retweet, favorite, and join in right from there.
  4. WPC Vision Keynote Streaming – Not able to join us live at WPC this year? Well, we’ll bring the vision keynotes to you so you can be part of the excitement every day! That’s right, we will be streaming the vision keynotes live from WPC Monday through Wednesday at 9:00 am on the Digital WPC site.
  5. WPC Connect – This year, we have expanded the WPC Connect tool and experience to bring so much more capability to connect with other WPC12 attendees. This includes being able to schedule meetings, join conversations online, and much more. Check out my WPC Connect is now live! Start building your connections today post on the new WPC Connect tool that walks you through some of the great new functionality you have available to you today. Oh, and if you haven’t entered in your WPC Connect profile yet, you’re missing out on the action, so get in there and put it in!
  6. Networking
    • Receptions: As always, we have several receptions setup at WPC where you have the chance to connect with other WPC attendees. If you look at the WPC 12 Agenda, you will see the Welcome Reception on Sunday from 3:00 – 5:00, the Solution Innovation Center Reception on Monday from 6:00 – 7:30, and the Partner Celebration from 7:00 – 10:00 on Thursday night.
    • Partner-to-partner speed dating: This year there are several partner-to-partner speed dating opportunities for those looking to make the most of their business-building and networking activities at WPC. We have events for partners interested in: Dynamics, SharePoint, SQL Server, and Azure/Cloud. Check out the details.
  7. Mobile – Once again at Worldwide Partner Conference, you will be able to take advantage of mobile to enhance your experience. Here are a few options:
    • From a partner information, social media, resources perspective, I have already mentioned the Microsoft Partner Info Mobile App that we have available on Windows Phone. You can view more about this app here.
    • From a WPC perspective, this year there is both an HTML5 WPC experience and a Windows Phone app that will be available just for WPC.
      • HTML 5 experience:
        • Head out to: http://wpc2012mobile.digitalwpc.com/ and login using your email address as your User Name and your WPC Registration ID Number as your password. Your WPC Registration ID Number is located on your confirmation email you received. (And there is a “Forgot Password?” link as well if you need it.
      • Windows Phone App: The WPC Windows Phone App is now available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, and you can get it from this link.
      • Both of the options above will give you access to: WPC Agenda, What’s On New, Your Schedule, Speakers, Maps & Venues, Attendees, Sponsors & Exhibitors, Evaluations, your Inbox, WPC Info, Notes, and the WPC Contest (Oooo, a contest!) Check these out and let us know what you think.

Well, that should get you started in your quest for getting even more from Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 from an online, social media, mobile, and connections perspective. Of course, I will be bringing you a bunch more throughout WPC12 through my Twitter account, my blog, and more. I look forward to seeing you all there (in person or virtually online)!

Did you find this information helpful? If so, you may want to make sure you are utilizing all of the areas I share information online, such as:

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
Director, Worldwide Partner Experience
Microsoft Corporation
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