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After Microsoft Ignite, How Do You Fan the Flames?

When you leave a Microsoft event like Ignite, Convergence or the Worldwide Partner Conference, the flame is definitely lit. You feel invigorated and ready to take your business to new heights.

You may also feel a teensy bit guilty. Yes, it's four days of intense learning -- sessions, the Expo, meetings with Microsoft, more sessions -- but it's also a ton of fun. With a little planning before you leave, you can share the wealth of knowledge and maybe even ignite some fun for your own team. 

Put a Plan in Place Long Before You Go
The right time to start planning is when you register. As soon as you commit, decide how you are going to extend the learning and the jolt of enthusiasm across your team. A few ideas to get you thinking:

  • Schedule a mini-Ignite in the office. While you can't afford to send everyone to Chicago or Orlando, a single day in the office dedicated to learning will be worth the investment. Review and choose the best sessions to stream to the group. Engage the team to discuss how the topic can be applied to specific customer engagements.
  • Connect to the team during the event. Your schedule is so full during the event that it is tough to stay connected, but it can pay off. Your employees will likely be following the event on social channels and may have a specific question that they need answered.
  • Build the excitement with a party. You get to do a bit of partying during the event, so why not make your event debrief more fun than just a company meeting? Even if it's beer and pizza, thank your team for holding down the fort while you were gone. 

Take Full Advantage of the Resources
During the event, you've discovered a ton of resources and people that you didn't know about. How are you going to share them when you get back? Set aside the time to review and deliver newfound information to the right people in your organization. Make introductions and follow up with key contacts. 

During Microsoft events, you're likely to meet Microsoft employees and MVPs who can be valuable resources for your team. Following those people on Twitter or through their blogs will give you and your employees an inside view to announcements and developments of the solutions you support. Many of the MVPs do continuing outreach during the year. For example, Office 365 MVP Christian Buckley has organized a series of CollabTalk tweetjams this year that attract an impressive group of MVPs and thought leaders who share their perspectives on current topics.

Attending Microsoft and other vendor events plays an important role in keeping your organization abreast of the latest developments, as well as building personal relationships. When you come home after four days out of the office, it's easy to get sidetracked and not get around to sharing the experience. Take the time to plan before the event to ignite the energy in your own business.

How do you bring vendor events back to your team? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share your story.  

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 07, 2015 at 7:33 AM


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