If you work with any of the Microsoft Dynamics products or if you are just thinking about jumping onto the xRM/CRM bandwagon then you will want spend some time thinking or rethinking about attending Convergence 2011 in Atlanta!
Microsoft Convergence is one of the largest Microsoft shows in North America and as such it draws a large number of cool people from a wide variety of vendors and from Microsoft. I love just having a chance to sit down for 15 minutes or so with a number of different partner contacts, support staff, guru field experts and even the people who happen to sit next to me at breakfast. There are so many fascinating minds at work in this world!
Additionally although some of the presentations can be a bit too marketing oriented (the last couple of years have shown huge improvement in this area), there are even more that are totally intense field feedback packed. Not to mention that many of the speakers come right from the front line.
Realize that this year the EXPO hall at Convergence was sold out way in advance. Welcome back buzzing economy! AND the conference attendence is so full that Microsoft marketing doesn't have to do much so don't expect any extra motivation from your local Microsoft Rep!
Here are my top 5 tips for getting the most out of Convergence 2011 AND if you are going to be in Atlanta watch for me!
1) Spend the time to setup meetings in advanced. These can be a quick lunch, a specific breakfast table or an agreement to go to selected sessions together. Meet with people you don't know! A lot can be accomplished in those first 15 minutes before a presentation starts.
2) Line up your agenda now, but give yourself choices. One of the morning sessions might influence which session you pick in the afternoon.
3) Know the speakers and pick the speaker that is going to offer you the content at the level you are interested in. This could be highly technical, a mix of business and technical, 101 or case studies.
4) Make time to visit the Expo Room so you can connect and learn about all the incredible third party offerings. Many of the people in the booths are GREAT contacts to know from CEOs, to developers to passionate CRM gurus.
5) Attend DAYOne sponsored by CRMUG and supported by xRMVirtual. It is a great way to warm up, ask questions, find out how the week will unfold and meet some of the people who spend a significant amount of their time helping the community and learning from answering CRM specific questions.
6) Follow the TWEETs on the event so you know where things are happening and what you don't want to miss. The tweets let you find out about unpublished events and can give you access to Convergence experienced feedback minute by minute. #CONV11
Now jump on over and get those logistics nailed down before it is too late!