In Microsoft, we have a style of meeting invitation known as "Hold the Date", which is used to let us know that a date has been fixed for something, even if the full agenda isn't yet defined. It's handy to allow me to book my dairy and to make travel arrangements. So let me share that style with you:
Hold the Date: 2013 Microsoft Global Education Partner Summit
Next year's summit will be on the 5th to 7th February 2013, at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond. Each year that we have run the global summit (known by it's acronym as GEPS) it has been a critical business planning and development opportunity for our key education partners around the world, and each year an increasing number of partners have attended.
The feedback from Australian partners attending this year was very positive, especially as it gave great insight into the key product and strategy news for a critical set of product launches in 2012.
Next year, as usual, we will have a limited number of places allocated to Australian partners, and as usual the event will be a 'behind dosed doors' event, with all attendees being briefed under NDA (Non. Disclosure Agreement) for much of the event. This means that you will be able to use the information for your business strategy planning, and be fully prepared for public announcements later.
If you are an Australian Education Partner, and would like to receive an invitation to attend, then please drop me an email, or give me a call, to let me know - and I'll sort out a pre-approval for your summit place so that you can take advantage of early fares on your flights across the Pacific. Over the last five years, I have found that the partners who get most benefit from the event are those where they already have a significant education business, or have a strategic growth plan in education. It allows attendees to network with potential partners around the world (especially useful for partners who'd like to expand their Australian product/service offering by sourcing products from the rest of the world, or vice versa), as well as network with key Microsoft executives at our corporate headquarters.
Of course, as this is a "Hold the Date" I can't give the detailed agenda yet, but the dates are fixed, so you can definitely plan your travel.
We will also be looking at hold a pre-day on the 4th February for Australian partners, specifically looking at Dynamics CRM in education globally, giving you an extra opportunity to make the most of the week away.
If you'd like to attend, or want more details, then the first step is to get in touch with me.