2013 MVP Global Summit Tips IV

So far we have seen in the 2013 MVP Global Summit Tips series what it is in general in Part I, a very important section on how to get around and what to use for transportation when you arrive at the airport in Part II while Part III covered some information about hotels, where to stay and how to get at your locations where the sessions are planned.

This section, part IV, is trying to cover some topics around finding your way in your ‘free’ time. Where to go and maybe get something to eat if you didn’t already get enough from eating the session snacks, welcome party food etc. etc.

Party Time

Besides interacting with your Product/Program Group the MVP Global Summit is all about networking, meeting new people. Other MVPs or Microsoft employees and maybe some local contacts.

The first and most obvious option at the MVP Global Summit are the scheduled evening events put together by the MVP Program. In general at an MVP Summit there are three types of evening events where you will get the opportunity not network and meet others that you can find in your schedule planner:

Welcome Reception

The Welcome Reception is in general planned at the first evening of the Summit. They will provide you with enough food and drinks to get around so although it is not staged as a full dinner you probably won’t feel the need to get out and have -another- eating event that night. This first event is mainly meant to be a social event to find others from your country, expertise or whatever works for you.

Product Group Dining

Another event is highly depending on the Product Group of your expertise. Over the years we’ve seen a lot of different events, some smaller events if your PG is a small team. Maybe going to a restaurant and have a PG dinner with members of the team. Or bigger dining areas are shared among more than one Product Group. You can imagine that groups like the Developer Division or the Windows group are large enough to fill up places like The Commons Mixer building and have a huge social event with just the developer geeks or the Windows dudes. It’s hard to tell you anything around these events as they are all in different locations, on and off campus, and with complete different groups of people. Just wait and see what is going on in your expertise area. Maybe nothing … if that’s the case there are plenty of other options to get around in the Bellevue area.

MVP Party

The third, and main event is often the MVP party. A large venue to go to with -all-, yes -all- attendees and a lot of PG members from Microsoft. These events are never the same, sometimes (how can’t it be after 20 years of MVP) the same venue but food, music and fun things to do are never the same. This is the main planned event to have fun after a full day of information and listening.

Party Transportation

So, you had a couple of drinks while eating … should you hire a cab? No! Same as with the sessions transportation between the event venues and hotels (at least the hotels available and booked through the MVP site) are all arranged for. You can just drag your tired body into the bus and wait for the driver to call your hotel. Hop off and go to bed! Easy as that.

Unofficial events

Besides the events arranged and scheduled by the MVP Program Group there are several other events going on outside the scope of the MVP Global Summit. There are MVP’s organizing their ‘own’ events like the famous Party with Palermo or events by the big software and courseware boys Telerik, Pluralsight and lots and lots of other events. Some of the events are restricted to smaller groups of ‘Insiders’ others are available on a first come first serve base where only so much tickets are available.

For a quick overview of events identified there is a small website available called MVPSummitEvents. A long list of events, where the art is to find someone to get you an invite. Best option to get is is often to ask a veteran MVP, someone who has been there for years already. Maybe he/she has another ticket left and you could be the lucky one!

Parties Only?

So if you read all of this you may think that the MVP Global Summit is all about partying, eating, drinking and sleeping. I can tell you it is NOT. The main part of the Global MVP Summit is still hard work, interacting with your product groups, discussing technical issues, giving your view of what you think is completely wrong and should be changed or showing the areas where they really did the right thing in your opinion. The Product Group wants to hear from you in this week stuffed with sessions. It’s all about feedback and learning from your peers and Microsoft technicians.

But be careful, if you are asked NOT to share information on specific items, topics or subjects not ready to share to the outside world you just can not talk to anyone about it.

If you break that trust there is a big chance this was your last MVP Global Summit you ever visited. But even worse, you also spoilt it for the ones privileged to be invited for the -next- MVP Global Summit because the team might be holding back on information until the group of MVP’s earned a new level of trust. So don’t do it, keep it to yourself, study the information you received and learn from it.

What’s Next

I am quite busy, so not sure if I can write you another post before I’ll be flying over the ocean but I want to try to at least share another post on shopping in the Bellevue area. So hang in there … and if not … have fun at YOUR MVP Global Summit in about a week from now!

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About Maarten van Stam
I'm a Software Engineer, working at one of the top 3 accounting firms. "My work is my hobby/my hobby is my work" - so you can find me almost at any time near a computer. If I'm not there it's most likely that I spend my time with my family - wife (undisclosed ;-) ), daughter (15) and son (13).

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