by Jason Leonardelli, Worldwide Partner Conference Lead for the Microsoft US Partner Team
Big. Modern. Entertaining. Impressive. I’m talking about the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It’s one of the top museums of its kind in the country and it’s also the venue for one of the most anticipated events at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference: the US Partner Celebration.
Mark your calendar and join us for this event on Tuesday, July 9, from 7:00PM–9:00PM. If your company has a Microsoft gold competency, you are invited to help us kick off the party early, starting at 6:30PM.
A Texas-sized event and a red carpet experience
We’re rolling out the red carpet for you at this event, and taking over the entire museum for 2,500 partygoers. Expect a modern take on regional Texas cuisine, signature cocktails, three of Houston’s top DJs spinning chill-out grooves, interactive experiences that include Kinect photo and video booths, and unique performance artists.
A wristband is required for entry to the party. Pick yours up at the US Lounge in The Commons during open hours from Sunday–Tuesday. Our party wristband this year is unique. It’s a smart wristband that uses technology developed by Microsoft partner, Thuzi, and powered by Windows Azure. In designated areas throughout the party, all the fun will be displayed on large social networking screens with just the tap of your wrist. Very cool!
We’ve been planning this celebration with you in mind. We want you to come and enjoy yourself, relax, have time to connect with other partners and with us, and explore the museum. Having been there myself, I can say it’s Texas-sized impressive, with exhibits that include:
- The paleontology exhibit is beyond cool—an astonishing display of more than 450 fossil and fossil replicas all shown “in action” in a big modern space.
- The Gem Room features a dazzling collection of gems and minerals, including a blue topaz crystal that weighs more than 2,000 carats, and the recently opened Smith Gem Vault, which showcases stunning custom-made jewelry.
- In case you forgot you were in Houston, the Wiess Energy Hall features interactive exhibits that explain the process of energy development, from crude oil to wind farms to solar energy.
- Walk through a living butterfly habitat, complete with waterfall, in the Butterfly Center.
The US Partner Celebration at WPC 2013 is our way of thanking you for your partnership and looking ahead to another fantastic year together. As we put the final touches on this event, I know it’s going to be something special, and that you’re going to have a fantastic time.
I can’t wait to see you there!
Transportation to the Houston Museum of Natural Science
When you pick up your wristband in the US Lounge in The Commons during open hours from Sunday–Tuesday, you’ll also get the latest transportation information so you can make your plans. Complimentary shuttle service from the Convention Center to the party starts at 6:30PM, and there are other options like taxi and light rail.
HMNS is located in Hermann Park, across the street from Miller Outdoor Theater, with close proximity to Highways 59, 288, and the 610 Loop.
- By shuttle bus. Complimentary service for US partners will begin at 6:30PM, directly outside the George R. Brown Convention Center on Polk Street. Return shuttle service from HMNS to the Convention Center will be available throughout and after the US Celebration.
- By taxi. One-way fare is $12-$15, but can vary depending on traffic and other factors.
- By car. If you have personal transportation, complimentary parking is available in the HMNS garage on Caroline Street, just south of Hermann Drive. GPS Address: 5800 Caroline Street, Houston, Texas 77030
- By METRO Light Rail. The Museum District rail stop is just three blocks from the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Catch the train at Bell Station, just off of Main Street, approximately seven blocks NW of the GRBCC and Hilton Americas Hotel. One-way fare is $1.25.