Editor's note: The following post was written by System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management Rodney Buike
MVP Summit is almost here! It seems like only 6 months since the last Summit :) Having attended, hosted and presented at more conferences than I care to remember there is a common set of tips that relate to all these types of events that will allow you to get the most out of the event. I thought I’d share some of these ahead of the MVP Summit for first timers and repeat visitors to help them get the most out of the event!
1. Get Comfortable – Find a seat, take off your jacket, grab a drink and relax a little. It’s a busy week with lots of great content, speakers and feedback sessions. If you are new to the group there are a few ways to break the ice and one of them is taking off your coat. Nothing says I’m about ready to leave than someone wearing a jacket, of course the swanky MVP jackets are not included in this ;) If you are not new to the group make sure you do your best to make others feel welcome. A former colleague used the term “rock piles” to describe a group of people huddling and it’s not overly welcoming. Open up that circle and make new friends while welcoming your old friends.
2. Outside the Box – While we are all deep subject matter experts in an area and MVP Summit is all about gathering those groups together, find some time to attend a session that is outside of your area of expertise. While most sessions are targeted there are opportunities to sit in on some other sessions and learn a bit about something you may not work with daily but that you are interested in learning more about.
3. Go Offline – MVP Summit allows you to connect with other MVPs and the PGs for a short while, face to face, once a year. OK twice this year but still. Close the laptop lid, stop hiding behind a screen. There isn’t a whole lot of anything you can tweet, blog, or post to Facebook anyway. Emails can wait until the next break, or the evening. If the email is incredibly urgent quietly take your device into the hallway to respond. As a speaker, and an attendee, the last thing I want to hear is you pecking away at your keyboard.
4. Break the Ice – Say hello, introduce yourself, work the room. Participate in the conversations, share your thoughts, provide your feedback, learn. Opportunities like this are rare so make the most of them!
5. NDA – Most importantly respect the NDA. "If it happens at Summit it stays at Summit.” is a cliched approach but the best one. It allows MS to continue hosting the MVPs and sharing information as well as ensures you won’t be booted from the program :)
Most importantly have fun! Take in the sights of Bellevue and Seattle, there are some great restaurants in the area, trails for running or hiking, museums, galleries and more.
See you there,
You forgot breakfast,
It is a great time to get connected with MVPs from other products and countries. In the old days when we sheltered in Seattle, the bus on the 520 was another good place to connect. Actually, even the ride is shorter, it is still a good place to connect, say hi to however is waiting for a bus or sitting next to you.