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I attended my first-ever Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (now Microsoft Inspire) in Washington, DC back in 2010. That wonderful experience was instrumental in setting my career trajectory for the last 10 years. Ever since I’ve made it a point to attend every Inspire conference over the years, be it held in DC, Orlando, Las Vegas, Toronto, or Los Angeles.
Every event is special and beneficial not only to me but to my company as well. Even if it’s my 10th Microsoft Inspire, I still see benefits of coming back every year. Here are just a few of the reasons why I’m attending this year’s conference as if it’s my very first time.

1. Business is Moving at Light Speed

We live in a world where the number of devices outnumber people and create more data than we can possibly consume. Technology has led to disruptions in both our personal and professional lives; the pace of change is faster than it’s ever been before.

It’s essential to have a growth mindset and as one of Microsoft’s long-running partners and embrace this exciting change. We know that having a competitive advantage can be fleeting; as soon as there’s a shift, value starts to depreciate. Maximizing our impact to our customer isn’t about protecting what we have, but rather seeking innovations that help them unlock the greatest value.

As we stand on the shoulders of today’s technology giants, Microsoft Inspire provides partners with an optimal setting to learn, ideate, and expand their business throughout the breakout sessions, corenotes, and numerous networking opportunities.

Speaking of growth mindset, we heeded the call at WPC 2012 (Microsoft Inspire’s predecessor) to extend our business to the cloud. As a result, our portfolio of cloud solutions is the fastest growing arm of our business.

In addition to enabling our customers to better manage and govern Office 365 with the AvePoint Cloud, we’ve also enabled MSPs to maximize the same platform so they can easily manage multi-customer and multi-tenant environments. Come and see us at the conference to learn more!

Pro Tip: Pay close attention to what Microsoft is focused on in the next fiscal year and plan your business growth strategy around their relevant initiatives.

2. Meeting Amazing People & Making Lifelong Friends

gs.JPGSince most of the sessions are recorded and will eventually be made available on-demand, I usually spend most of my time at Microsoft Inspire learning about partnership initiatives and industry trends, engaging with people, and catching up with colleagues I rarely get to see.

I can’t count how many business opportunities I’ve come across thanks to meeting amazing people from Microsoft, the partner community, and the broader industry at large. To keep track of everyone you meet, make sure you take advantage of LinkedIn and Twitter! More on that here.

Pro Tip: Make sure you schedule a follow-up meeting right after you meet someone at the conference to ensure all the next steps that were discussed come to fruition.

3. Experiencing All of the Wonderful Activities

It’s evident that Microsoft wants to make sure all Microsoft Inspire attendees have a great time and make the most out of their week in Las Vegas. In addition to attending sessions, checking out the expo hall, and enjoying networking events, I highly recommend participating in meetups, after-hours events, and some of the diversity+tech initiatives available onsite.

Some of my favorite memories working in the industry have come from participating in some of these events; I rapped at WPC 2011 partyorganized a DragonBoat fundraiser at WPC 2012, and even sang acapella onstage at WPC 2016.

microsoft inspire

There’s so much to do, good food to eat, and so many places to see! ? Just make sure you keep a steady pace and don’t overdo it.

Pro Tip: Come prepared with these 5 things you have to bring to Microsoft Inspire.

If it’s your first time attending Microsoft Inspire, be sure to attend the first-time attendee orientation on Sunday, July 14.

I look forward to seeing you all at Microsoft Inspire! Hit me up on Twitter, come by the AvePoint booth (#2807), or let’s hang out at the VFI booth located in the Community Zone of The Hub!


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