Convergence 2011 is only 4 weeks away, April 10-12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. If you are still on the fence trying to decide if you should attend let me help you visualize the top 5 reasons you should be there:
Training: In addition to the Keynote sessions there are Product General Sessions (separated for Dynamics GP, Dynamics SL, Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV). But the really meaty training is during the Breakout sessions. Choose from concurrent sessions, interactive discussions and deep dives. In the Convergence 2011 online session catalog you can sort the breakout sessions by product, industry, skill level, and more. I didn’t count them but I would say there are hundreds of sessions and certainly something for everyone - including prospective Dynamics ERP buyers.
ISV Expo: This year’s ISV Expo features an astounding 236 Sponsors and Exhibitors for Convergence 2011. These vendors all have products or services designed to enhance the Microsoft Dynamics solutions. If you don’t have time to see all 236 (that is a lot of walking) it is easy to plan your route as you can filter the list based on your product and industry focus. For example there will be 126 ISV Products for Dynamics GP, 113 for AX, 96 for CRM, 75 for NAV, 46 for SL, and 6 for RMS. 92 for Manufacturing companies, 69 for healthcare companies….you get the idea. That should certainly keep you busy! And if you have the goal to collect some fun marketing “swag” from each booth (like some people I know), you better plan to bring an extra suitcase. Note: if you want to attend Convergence just to see the ISV Expo you can get an Expo only pass for just $150.
Hands On Labs: Get coached by the pros and test out new features of Dynamics ERP Products in a hands on environment. When else could you go straight to the developer and discuss the latest features? They bring them all the way from Fargo just for you!
Networking & Fun: Share experiences and tips with other GP users, hang out with the CAL team and dance the night away at the Microsoft parties. The first big event is the Welcome Reception on Sunday night at the World of Coca Cola. (Last year it was moved indoors at the last minute due to rain and I guess the planning team did not want to relive that nightmare). But there are plenty of side parties too including The Spot 2011 and Rock N Rave on Tuesday night. And we have picked a special place for our CAL Client dinner on Monday night too. But it is not just about the free food and drinks, this is a chance to talk to peers from all over the country and share experiences about how to better use Dynamics products. Honest! It is not about the free drinks… or the karaoke, or the U2 tribute band or the giveaways…..
Still undecided? Here are a few comments from some CAL Business Solutions clients that attended Convergence 2010 (I don’t have caricatures of them, but you can see photos of our team at Convergence 2010 online):
“The ISV Expo hall is the best part of Convergence. You can have an interactive dialog with the product developers and decide what tools will fit your needs, there is no better way to get this information.” Jen, 2010 Convergence Attendee
“We realized how much more we can do with Dynamics GP now that we have seen what is out there.” Andrew, 2010 Convergence Attendee
“I got value from the training sessions as a first time attendee, particularly the Dynamics Tips & Tricks sessions. I have a lot to bring back home with me, besides the xBox I won today!” Michael, 2010 Convergence Attendee
“If you are looking for a particular solution to work with Dynamics GP, like document management for example, you can go to the expo and see several options, from $1k to $100k. You can see them all at once, instead of spending days researching online.” George Mackiewicz, CAL Business Solutions