One Microsoft Conference to Rule Them All
This previous spring Microsoft brought together nearly 10,000 attendees to learn, discuss and celebrate all things SharePoint. Microsoft has presented the biennial event for pretty much as long as the platform has existed. Recently moving from Las Vegas to Anaheim and back to Las Vegas again, the event has been, for the most part, a success year over year.
In the same likeness over previous years Microsoft has produced the Lync Conference, Exchange Conference, Project Conference, and the two largest of the bunch: TechEd North America and the Worldwide Partner Conference. Each event targets that specific line of business and provides a unique focus.
Cramming all of the Microsoft Conferences Into One Big One
That being said, a couple weeks back Microsoft officially made the announcement they would be cutting these targeted events and, in lieu of multiple channels, would be producing one unified event promoting all commercial technologies under one roof. Who knows how large that roof will actually need to be, but they have determined the city will be right here in Fpweb.net’s neighboring city of Chicago!
The Worldwide Partner Conference will of course remain its own entity with the separate messaging towards their moneymaking powerhouse of a partner network.
Though many potential attendees may be concerned about losing the specific detailed information each one of these targeted events has offered in years past, Microsoft assured all readers of the following deliverables for the conference:
- Clearer visibility into Microsoft’s future technology vision and roadmap
- Unparalleled access to Microsoft senior leaders and the developers who write the code – many of whom will present and engage with you and answer your questions
- A broader range of learning opportunities across all of Microsoft’s technologies, including actionable best practices from industry experts
- Deep community interaction with the top technology professionals and industry peers in structured and informal settings
- Epic after-hour festivities for you to unwind and turn up the fun!
However, when you really cut through it, isn’t that what TechEd was supposed to encompass?
This is More Likely What’s Going On
Microsoft is rebranding all products to fit the Office 365 brand and they’re holding a massive event to promote it. In other words: Rebranding TechEd lets them use the other budgets to put the new and improved Office 365 event on steroids.
What does this mean for us “Microsoft specific vendors”?
This should be great for them! Personally, I think putting so much opportunity in one room can only help the partners. Assisting with focusing our budgets and messaging at a “unified” event will create not only a singular event but also a singular message to take back to our customers and team.
Certainly there are going to be some unanswered questions coming down the pipeline as the May 4th, 2015 date approaches.
With preliminary research, it seems this event could top 20-25k attendees. We will be eagerly waiting for Microsoft to answer: Will the sponsorship costs increase? How will Microsoft be organizing the travel for so many people (so conveniently located in the middle of the country)? And most importantly, with this large of a budget, who the heck will the entertainment be?!