We built a quick and helpful checklist to help you get the most out of four days of learning, networking, and entertainment with thousands of Microsoft partners at Microsoft Inspire, and Microsoft account teams at Microsoft Ready. This year for the first time, our two big kickoff events will take place side-by-side, overlapping for our Executive Corenotes and our celebrations. It’s one big tent for the global team bringing Microsoft solutions to our shared customers.
Here is what you need to know before you head to Las Vegas.
1. Plan your logistics and stay informed
Begin by reviewing all the logistics with the U.S. Know Before You Go guide. It’s your introduction to Microsoft Inspire – what’s going on, where and when. It includes transportation advice and venue maps, safety and security info, Vegas details and our Event Code of Conduct, and more.
Check out the Microsoft Inspire website and social channels for additional tips and info leading up to the event:
- Follow @MSInspireUS and #MSInspire to stay current on all the latest news and conversation!
- Join our “Know Before You Go” U.S. partner community call on Wednesday, July 11 at 9:30 a.m. PT to get all the most important info before Microsoft Inspire!
- Opt-in to the First-Time Attendee Mentor Program when you register (or after); if you’re a returning attendee, sign up to be a mentor!
- Subscribe to the U.S. Partner Community blog for Microsoft Inspire updates
- Join the Microsoft Inspire Group on Yammer to stay informed and ask questions about Microsoft Inspire
2. Define what you want from Microsoft Inspire
To get the most from the Microsoft Inspire, decide what outcome and benefits you want from your investment in the event. Are you coming to learn more in key solution areas? Is your priority making partner-to-partner connections? Are you seeking deeper technical knowledge or looking for case studies and inspiring stories to help you sell? Have your objectives in mind.
3. Prepare your pitch
Be ready to share everything that’s great about your business with thousands of partners and Microsoft representatives, including:
- What is your elevator pitch for your business? You will be talking to many types of people, including other partners and members of the Microsoft partner teams. Practice and perfect it.
- What differentiates you from other partners? Your customers come to you for a reason – being able to articulate your competitive advantage will help you in conversations with other attendees and in the sessions you attend.
- What is your business roadmap? Envision your future and have an outline of your business goals for the coming year and beyond.
4. Plan with your team
If your business is sending multiple people to Vegas, plan together. Divide and conquer as you plan the sessions you will attend and be ready to share what you learn with others. Remember, some sessions will be offered multiple times during Microsoft Inspire and many will be available on-demand on MPN. Flag the great ones and make sure your team is aligned on the sessions that they will attend.
And if you are flying solo, find a friend from another company that you work with.
5. Ensure you participate in everything Microsoft Inspire has to offer
Microsoft Inspire will have a lot going on, from sessions to side meetings, plus The Commons and the US area lounge, and celebrations and other networking opportunities. Get a sampling of everything so you don’t miss anything that could help build critical knowledge and plan your year.
- Begin each day with Corenotes delivered by Microsoft leaders like Satya Nadella, Brad Smith, Judson Althoff, and Gavriella Schuster.
- Put the celebrations on your calendar – U.S. area celebration will take place on the evening of Tuesday, July 17, and the One Celebration will take place on the night of Wednesday, July 18.
- Come to The Commons expo space to learn about solutions and opportunities with other partners, and Microsoft Central, to connect with Microsoft experts across products, programs, technologies, and more.
- The US Area Lounge is in The Commons – stop by to meet members of the U.S. Partner Team, connect with other partners, and relax and recharge (you and your devices!). This is where you’ll pick up your wristband for the U.S. Area Celebration on Tuesday night.
- The U.S. Lounge also features more learning in mini-sessions, offered throughout Microsoft Inspire.
- And – Vegas is Vegas. Check out the hotels, the restaurants, natural beauty like Red Rock Canyon or human-made wonders like Hoover Dam.
Pack plenty of business cards and update your LinkedIn profile. Who will you be looking to meet, and who will be looking for you? Use the MyInspire Connections tool to find complementary partners, thought-leaders, potential collaborators, and old friends.
Connecting with other partners and members of the Microsoft partner team is a key benefit of attending Microsoft Inspire in person. There will be numerous opportunities, from the US area lounge to happy hours to the shared area celebrations and One Celebration.
7. Have fun
With the area celebrations on July 17, and the One Celebration for partners and Microsoft field teams on July 18, the best events will be the Microsoft events. We can’t reveal too much but get ready to have some of the best of Vegas brought directly to you with awe-inspiring performances that will captivate your eyes, ears, and soul!
8. Know how you will beat the heat
Las Vegas gets hot in the summer and outdoor temperatures can reach the 100’s during the day and remain in the 90’s at night. Be prepared. And if you have ever been to a conference you know that hotel and convention center air conditioning can be quite effective – pack a light sweater or windbreaker for maximum comfort when inside sessions and indoor networking areas.
9. Viva Las Vegas!
Everything is entertainment in Las Vegas! Many of the world’s greatest chefs have opened restaurants to cater to the international crowd that comes to play here; there are shows of every size and for every taste; themed hotels and shopping areas make for fascinating strolls. In your downtime relax at the pool or indulge yourself at the spa, take a scenic drive, or visit the city’s top sites.
10. Check out even more resources
As you plan your time at Microsoft Inspire, the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Microsoft Inspire website may be helpful. Review the Sessions and follow @msinspireus on Twitter for updates about US Partner activities. Download the global Know Before You Go guide. Finally, start engaging with other attendees now on the Microsoft Inspire Discussion board.
We are looking forward to seeing you at Microsoft Inspire next month in Las Vegas!