With Inspire 2019 fast approaching, I’m excited to experience it for the first time as a Microsoft employee. I joined Microsoft 3 months ago as the Partner Marketing Advisor for Modern Workplace, where I have the privilege of working with our amazing partners on their go-to-market activities.
So, while this year will be my first time as a Microsoft employee, last year I attended as a partner, where I connected, I shared, and I was in awe of the scale.
Inspire is huge. The SCALE – on every aspect – is hard to describe. So many people from so many countries. There was more than 400 sessions on offer. The Core Notes each morning are something special. The highlight was experiencing 20,000 people singing “All you need is love” in perfect harmony at 8am! The energy that morning was truly inspiring and something special.
I’d also recommend you take advantage of some of the professional development sessions on offer. There are some awesome speakers there, so why not take an hour or two a day to focus on you?
With so much on offer, there is a chance you may feel overwhelmed if you do not come prepared. A few things that helped me in the lead up to attending Microsoft Inspire is I set clear goals on why I was going and what I wanted to achieve by the end of the conference. I can not stress enough to tailor the agenda and meetings around what you want to achieve. I found the Learning Paths within the Microsoft Inspire Schedule Builder helpful in that regard.
Once you know why you are there, get CONNECTED. My Microsoft Host was instrumental in helping me schedule 1:1’s with both Microsoft and partners. Meeting with similar partners was invaluable, learning how they were handling things, sharing your experiences or even just the realisation that someone else faced the same challenges was reassuring.
Microsoft Inspire happens at the same time as Microsoft Ready which means there are thousands of Microsoft employees for you to meet with. Take advantage of meeting new people from all over the world, don’t spend time meeting with the Microsoft Australia Team members you would normally connect with when you are in Australia.
And my last tip is to SHARE. You get out what you put in couldn’t be truer for Microsoft Inspire. I was privileged to be invited to participate on a panel discussion, sharing experiences on building an Small Medium Business customer acquisition engine around Microsoft 365 Business. The panel was on day 3, and I was sure everyone would be fatigued. In fact, the opposite was true. The audience was engaged and eager to learn first-hand around the partner opportunity for Microsoft 365.
Partners love hearing what other partners around the world are doing, so get engaged. One of the best ways to do this is to submit your Microsoft customer stories or solutions for the Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards program, which goes live Wednesday.
I look forward to seeing you all at Inspire 2019. And if you hurry, the discounted price of US$1995 is available if you register by 7th March.