Tue, May 27 2008 22:42
Waiting list for Houston
For those of you wanting to go to Houston, if you sign up now you'll be put on a Waiting list. And not that anyone is interested, but just in case you are, no, I didn't sign up. And for those wondering, no it's not because Hilton and I threatened to get into a wrestling match in person (heck, we even ate next to each other in Sydney and I've hugged him). So it's not like I'm avoiding the State of Texas just because Hilton will be in the vicinity or something ;-)
I looked at the speakers and the topics and I honestly just couldn't see where I gain value out of the topics for me and my firm. As far as Karl's point about the meetings in the hallways, WWPC is a big venue and unfortunately all I end up doing in large venues is clumping in the corners with people I already know. I know there are folks that say "Well MVPs always pal around together at conferences and never interact with anyone else", okay so I'm not a wallflower, but some of my fellow SBS MVPs are sometimes shy in gatherings, some of us only see each other once a year so sometimes we're catching up with each other, it's not something that any of us do on purpose and so I cringe when the word "the mvps" is said sometimes to describe how several of us that are friends and that also hold that designation also end up clumping together in the corner of a room.
And last but not least, I'll be brutally honest, I couldn't justify the dollar value for me. When there are conference and venues that can be declared as Continuing Professional Education for my firm, the firm pays, when it's an event that is more of a social get together, I can't justify asking my firm (where I'm a partner) to pay. So I pay for such social conference events out of my "mad" money, you know the fees and such I get from writing articles and chapters here and there. When it comes right down to it, like I said to Mark Crall in an earlier blog post, I'm cheap. And when you pay for it and not on the corporate expense account, the decision making gets tougher.
Okay so all of this is justifying to myself why I just couldn't justify to myself the time away, the travel costs, the hotel and the fee. Bottom line, I couldn't justify going to sessions on seeing the value in the SMB market and the future ahead for the SMB space because not only am I helping Microsoft with that future, I'm having to make real world decisions about that future. I don't need to hear about the potential and future of the SMB markeplace, I'm living it now.
This year I am looking for something a bit different in venues and content and with my Dad still not up to 100% full walking and all that, still have to stay a bit close to home base as well.
Does this mean it doesn't have value since I couldn't justify it for me this year? Absolutely not. I'm definitely not your ordinary Microsoft SBSC Partner for sure. And absolutely make sure that you take advantage of all the social networking and connnection tools that Microsoft ensures are in place for these venues. Make the connections and in particular be sure you visit the SBSC lounge and introduce yourself to the SBSC representatives there. Say hello to Chris Rue for me. Welcome the new SBSC Pals that will be coming into the fold on July 1. I've already seen a few blogs around announcing the new Pals.
So just be prepared to blog and twitter about it while you are there.
Oh yeah,, and say Hi to Hilton for me....
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