Editor's note:  The following post was written by MVP Award Program Manager Kerry Herger

It’s November and we’re mere days away from the 2013 MVP Global Summit.  Nearly 1,500 MVPs from around the globe will gather on the Microsoft campus to participate nearly 600 technical sessions with hundreds of members of Microsoft product teams.

The sheer number of participants—and the amount of content shared—makes this the largest community event in the world. But that’s only part of what sets this annual gathering apart. For over 20 years, Microsoft teams have sat down with these technology and community leaders to provide MVPs visibility into early stage products and new releases giving MVPs the information they need to look forward in their work with community and to gain valuable community feedback to help make our products better.

“It’s one thing to hear opinions and ideas through email,” says Microsoft CRM Senior Program Manager Amy Van Hollebeke.  “Sometimes you just get it completely differently when you’re sitting in a room together at the Summit and MVPs are able to really explain how a feature can be improved.”

Most MVPs have numerous communications with Microsoft product teams throughout their award year, but the hands-on experience and deep exchange of ideas at the Summit is something most members of the community—including Microsoft’s product teams—look forward to all year. To lay the groundwork for this relationship, all MVPs sign a non-disclosure agreement assuring they will not share any confidential information they may gain from Microsoft. Throughout the MVP Global Summit, MVPs hear the refrain, “Don’t forget your NDA!” since it’s essential to the dynamic exchange of ideas between the MVP community and Microsoft. In case MVPs need a reminder, Orrin the NDA Octopus has a message for them.