Next week Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) from around the world will descend on Redmond for the annual MVP Global Summit. As the site describes it, “the MVP Global Summit enables MVPs to connect with other MVPs, build relationships with Microsoft program managers, and provide feedback on Microsoft products and technologies.”
It is a valuable opportunity for both Microsoft and the MVPs, but it is also decidedly Microsoft-centric. A new event kicking off this year, though, has the potential to make the trip to Redmond significantly more worthwhile–MVP Nation.
Developed by Harry Brelsford of SMB Nation, the event follows directly on the heels of the MVP Global Summit. Microsoft predicts that 1500 MVPs will attend the MVP Global Summit, and at least 200 of them plan to stick around for this inaugural MVP Nation event.
What makes MVP Nation both unique and valuable is that it provides an opportunity for the MVPs to act as ambassadors for Microsoft and engage both the vendor and customer audiences. The MVP Nation site describes it like this: “Customers, channel partners, consultants, and members of the public will be in attendance to learn from the MVPs. View it this way. A mid-level IT administrator at a Fortune 1,000 corporation (say Weyerhaeuser or Boeing) would attend to meet his favorite Windows Server MVP!!!! A Microsoft Partner who is a consultant would attend to learn from her favorite Exchange Server MVP! A member of the public will be thrilled to attend a panel discussion hosted by Microsoft Office MVPs. Hopefully you get the point – this is an amazing opportunity for the public to meet the infamous MVPs!”
Unfortunately, I will not be there. The timing of the MVP Global Summit has always been problematic–at least for security MVPs. The RSA Security Conference is generally right before the MVP Global Summit and makes attending both difficult. I have always been reluctant to make the MVP Global Summit a priority because it seemed to offer fewer opportunities or less value than RSA in terms of networking and potential projects. However, the combination of MVP Global Summit and MVP Nation is much more compelling and I look forward to attending both next year.