Taking my talents to Atlanta (for Microsoft’s Convergence)

Many of the PictureRose Business team is heading to Atlanta for Convergence including myself. I’m already looking forward to a whole week without sleep and that long nap I’ll get on my long flight home. I was already asked by someone (Francisco) staying home from the big event to get a shirt so I can collect autographs from all the famous MBS folks listed below. I guess I’ll be tracking down the following people as a sign of respect (and gift for my colleague who gets to stay home and keep the fires burning):

  1. Bill Gates
  2. Steve Ballmer
  3. Karill Tatarinov
  4. Dave Musgrave
  5. Doug Burgum
  6. The girl on the Convergence sign on page
  7. Mariano Gomez
  8. Victoria Yudin
  9. Mark Polino
  10. Frank Hamelly
  11. Terry Heley
  12. Steve Chapman (Got that one lined up already)
  13. Rebecca Bunas (I call her the rock star of Convergence. I hate walking with her anywhere. It’s impossible to get from point A to point B without stopping and talking to 10 people she knows. I usually just say “I’m with Rebecca” and it gets me in a lot of doors)
  14. Alexa Hoekstra
  15. Anya Ciecierski
  16. The Atlanta Falcon’s Cheerleaders (I’m not sure this one will get done.)

I think this is my 8th Convergence so I consider myself a semi pro. Here is a list of things I’d recommend to get the most out of the conference.

  1. Bring a jacket (coming from a Canadian says something. The conference center’s are always cold) and the nightly events outside usually get chilly even in a place like Florida or Atlanta
  2. Don’t pack a full suite case. All the swag from the expo etc. has to go somewhere
  3. Preplan your agenda. I have my calendar chalk full of events and time commitments
  4. If you get in a session that doesn’t fit your needs. Leave. Find another session going on at the same time
  5. Set lots of appointments to meet people. Convergence is great for networking
  6. Utilize the support desk on site at convergence. I like to go and meet all the people that support me in person. I usually bring some cases that are bugging me and get free support from them while they are there
  7. Sign up for all the nightly outings before you get to Convergence. The Spot etc.
  8. Go to all the key notes. Usually they are pretty general but it’s great to be among 9000 other people using the same products. I usually meet lots of great people before and after
  9. Go to the social events even if you don’t want to. It’s a great time to network
  10. Hang out in the community lounge. Usually there are a bunch of people catching up on work or socializing
  11. Go to the expo early each day. Usually that is when you get the best swag. Ha. And it’s usually the best chance to hook up with the important people at the vendors you use.
  12. Bring lots of business cards. I always forget mine and end up having them shipped out express.
  13. Make sure everyone in your company has each others contact information. It’s hard to connect up with 10,000 people milling around
  14. Set a time with your partner to go through your current needs and wants. It’s nice to have the partner looking for solutions for you as well. As a partner it’s nice to know what the customer is looking to achieve at Convergence
  15. Summarize each days activities, learning points, events in an email or blog for those that had to stay home
  16. Promise to collect autographs from all the famous people you are going to meet

I’m sure I missed some recommendations. What do you do to get the most out of Convergence?

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