I think I am!
Here’s the rundown and Julie’s list of important things for Convergence.
- Be prepared, it’s not just for Boy Scouts anymore. Bring business cards, not business suits. Sure we know you can get all gussied up, but leave it at home. But, come with a huge stack of cards. Sure, you’ll take down a few trees, but it’s currently the only practical way to transfer your contact info. I know someone is out there making a card scanner for my Windows Phone (right?!?!), but until then, I’ll take your card and go home and get it into my CRM.
- Make your plan of attack for sessions. Figure out what is important to you when you are there. Do you need to learn specific skills (technical deep dives)? Do you need to ask questions of experts (interactive discussions)? Do you need a good overview (general sessions)? Don’t miss the keynotes, they are just a good idea and where they show us shiny new things (I hope!).
- Don’t forget DayONE, it’s free and worth much much more. The day before convergence has always been just as important and info packed as the conference proper, so find your specialty (we know mine is CRM, but there’s others, promise), and go to these too!
- Make your plan of attack for the expo hall. Seriously. Not as big as a Tech Ed hall, but plenty big and often overwhelming. So, know what you want and make more than a single pass thru the hall. It is perfectly acceptable to go get that little airplane swag for your kid, but come on, be polite about it. Stop at the booths that are busy or not so busy, they all have something to offer and the smaller companies probably spent most of their marketing budget to be there, spend time with them.
- Go to the parties. Sure there’s free food and drinks but that’s not the value here, go meet people. Nerds are traditionally socially awkward and they will relax a bit and be more willing and able to chat with you (and you with them). They will be confident and they are smart. The networking at these parties are the important part. (don’t forget to bring the biz cards and forget the suit, heck, be dangerous, wear JEANS!)
- Come to my sessions . Come on, you knew that was coming! I’m part of the General Session on the CRMUG DayONE stage, then I have The Developer’s Guide to Reporting in CRM 2011 (with megastar Joel Lindstrom as my co-presenter!) at 3:15 in room B403. At 4:45, in room B404 I will be deploying a portal with CRM live for you (yea, nothing could go wrong there!?). On Monday with Jeff Loucks I’ve got Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online: Your Questions Answered in room B404 at 1:30, then that session again the next day at 11:30 in the same room.