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5 Promising Additions to WPC Should Deliver Big Returns to Partners

In just a few weeks, over 10,000 partners will head to Houston and into the whirlwind of the Worldwide Partner Conference. Since the four days seem to fly by in accelerated time, it's important to plan ahead to take full advantage of all that is offered.

As always, the Microsoft team has been working through the year to refine and improve the WPC experience. New session types, private meeting spaces, focus on devices and a complete mobile experience promise to deliver tangible value that partners can take to the bank.

1. The Commons Theaters
The central WPC elements, like the Expo and lounges, are all combined into one location this year, simulating neighborhoods in an urban setting. Built around the primary themes of WPC -- Cloud, Devices & Mobility, Big Data and Enterprise Social -- "The Commons" will also include four theaters featuring 20-minute high-impact sessions.

"Sweet, short and to the point," said Kati Quigley, senior director of worldwide partner community for Microsoft. "These sessions have been designed to wow our partners with best-in-class content from our key business groups, field teams and top partners. The best speakers have been chosen to deliver high-energy and impactful sessions."

These sessions should provide a unique opportunity for you to collect ideas to make your own presentations more effective. Short and concise messaging should be the foundation for all your marketing. As you attend these sessions, take note of the sound bites that you can incorporate into your messaging.   

2. Customer Immersion Experience Training
Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) hands-on sessions, offered throughout WPC, will prepare you for offering interactive sessions to your prospects and customers. The one-hour training sessions are limited to 25 participants to promote interactive discussion.

CIE sessions put customers in the driver's seat to see how the latest technologies and applications will help them in their day-to-day work lives. As the partner, interactive sessions give you insight into the customers' challenges and positions you to help solve them. Immersive sessions, as opposed to static demos, are proving very effective for partners in building service opportunities with customers.

Details on the sessions and how to guarantee your spot can be found in the Session Scheduler on WPC Connect.

3. Executive Briefing Center
In addition to the familiar open meeting space, an Executive Briefing Center with private meeting rooms is included in the floor plan this year. "We've up-leveled meeting space," Quigley noted. "For partners who want a more private meeting setting without having to leave the conference area."

Partners should contact Quigley through WPC Connect to reserve a meeting room in the Executive Briefing Center. 

4. Device Bar
With the growing focus on devices, hands-on experience with a wide range of form factors will prepare you for educated conversations with your customers. The Device Bar, located centrally in The Commons, will feature over 100 devices from phones to tablets. Microsoft employees will be on hand to help you understand how to use and sell the latest in hardware. 

5. Mobile Experience
Based on a preview, the WPC13 app will make your conference experience exponentially more productive. Tiles provide quick access to everything from Schedule Builder to a Houston city guide. Monitor the #WPC13 Twitter feed, schedule meetings and search the expo vendors -- all in one place.

With the WPC13 app, you will be able to find out more about your speaker during the session and fill out the session eval from your phone. When you realize the session that you are attending is not what you expected, the "What's Happening Now" tile will help you find an alternative quickly.

Built by Vancouver, Canada-based partner QuickMobile, the mobile app will work on Windows, iPhone and Android devices. Watch for the announcement of the release of the WPC13 app on Digital WPC in the coming week.

Return on Investment
WPC represents a significant investment of time and money for every partner, regardless of size. Get the full return on your investment by planning not just your time, but how you will apply what you learn when you get back home.

How do you plan to make the most from WPC? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 25, 2013