The first year that I went to Convergence as a customer (2002), I was a bit overwhelmed with the agenda. Without a game plan, Convergence for Dynamics customers might be less than productive. Dynamics customers should review the Convergence agendas before leaving for Atlanta and have a plan from morning until bedtime every day. There are lots of things going on and it’s all free with your pass.
A great place to start your planning is the Convergence website. The agenda is published there. The website also has a schedule builder which will allow you to create your perfect schedule. There is also a mobile app that will provide you with up-to-date information.
If you are attending with others from your company, I recommend that you meet with your colleagues every morning to discuss what each other is doing and to hear what everyone learned the previous day while it’s still fresh in everyone’s mind. After my first Convergence, we returned to the office and had a meeting to recap what we learned and what we’d do differently the next time. We learned that we missed a lot. The following years, we met every morning at Convergence to recap the previous day and that was a big help.
There are many things at Convergence that you won’t know about unless you spend quality time in the Expo. During my first Convergence, I didn’t want to talk to the vendors in the Expo (vendors called me at work too often as it was). That wasn’t a good idea. The second year, I stopped at every booth and asked what they sold that might help our business. That was a good strategy. I picked up many ideas that I took back to the business. Our company purchased and implemented several good solutions as a result of the Expo.
Whether or not you ask questions during sessions be sure and pay attention to who does. These are people that you can approach after the session or at networking events and ask them about their experiences. You can learn a lot from how others are working with Dynamics.
If you are attending Convergence as a prospective Dynamics customer, your VAR can be a valuable asset. They’ve been to Convergence many times and know how to get what you want while you are there much quicker than “browsing”. Ask your VAR first. They are eager to help. Remember that your pass is color-coded. Every vendor knows you are a customer or prospective customer. Your VAR can help you sort through the information overload.