Cindy’s Project Conference 2012 Recap, Starting Off


Well my trip to the Project Conference began with a flight on Saint Patrick’s Day and after my arrival, I enjoyed the music from the streets in my hotel room. On Sunday, March 18, I was shocked by the cold weather in Phoenix (high of 46° F) and was even more shocked Sunday getting hit by rain and hail. You would think being from Michigan that I would be used to cold weather but when I left Michigan, they had a record heat wave around the high 70s. Later on in the week, Phoenix sun came out and things really warmed up but this is nothing like the last conference in 2009 where 100 degrees was common.

On to the Event… Some Nuggets

The first day, Monday, March 19th was dedicated solely to partners and it was an appreciation day for our work in promoting Microsoft Project/Project Server. We received some special insight and training on how to better use the Partner services provided to us by Microsoft.

Here is a sampling of nuggets I got throughout this day:

  • One Project license has been sold every 20 seconds since its release.
  • Microsoft is dedicated to cross-platform support to better serve their customers.
  • It is still a growing trend to offer services in the cloud. The adoption of Microsoft Cloud Services is evidence of this.
  • Shorten tweets to encourage retweeting with comments.
  • Project and Project Server 2010 are still new to many customers.
  • Don’t forget to plan for disaster recovery.
  • Hotfixes and Cummulative Updates should be evaluated before installing them.

Rubbing Shoulders with the Partners

Networking is always part of this event and I was excited to meet for the first time ever, someone from Microsoft legal. It was really interesting to hear how her job impacts what partners do every day.

Later that evening was the opening Welcome Reception held poolside in the Renaissance hotel. Instead of swimming, people were hovering around heaters which actually made for some great networking opportunities. I give credit to people on the dancefloor… I think the International attendees outperformed the US attendees in terms of dance talent :).

See, Share, Grow

The theme for this year’s conference was ”See, Share, Grow” and there were 44 countries and around 1200 attendees at this event.
I am happy to announce that Advisicon represented 4 breakout sessions out of 94 total at the conference.

Tuesday was a fun and busy day and thanks to some help from my colleagues, I ended up with a well-decorated badge for the conference.  MVP (and Advisicon President) Tim Runcie and I ended up with some finger cramps after signing 150 books on Project Server that were given away to people that stood in line at the Author Signing area of the Microsoft booth in the Expo hall.

The books went fast.

Later on that day, I gave the first session from our team titled Making the Most of Project Professional When Managing Multiple Projects.

Walking like an Attendee

Jan Kalis (pronounced like Yon) led the Partner Appreciation day and took photos throughout the event (one of his many skills). He is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Project and Visio and he promotes the advancement of partners. There were so many of us trying to find him on Twitter that he actually changed his Twitter name to something easier during the event.

Chris Crane, Microsoft’s new Director of Project and Visio Marketing, spoke during both keynotes. He pointed out that this is the 4th Project Conference (which conflicts with our program book that lists 6).

Read part 2 of Cindy’s review of the Microsoft Project Conference 2012! She covers Advisicon’s sessions, highlights from other sessions, and the Arizona Science Center.

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