On Sunday I started the trek across country from Charlotte, NC to Seattle, WA to attend my first Microsoft MVP Summit in Bellevue, WA. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I am somewhat shy when in a new place, especially when I am alone. Now, for sure, I wasn’t alone but would be joining approximately 1300 other MVPs from around the world.
While waiting to board my flight, there was a page for Scott Forsyth. Suddenly, I was no longer traveling solo. I worked with Scott at OrcsWeb so now I had a travel buddy. I knew once we landed, I would have someone who knew the ropes. We landed safely a long 6 hour flight later and met at baggage claim. We shared a taxi and caught up on old times.
I had also met Toi Wright when I spoke at her user Group conference in Dallas last month so I knew she would also be attending. Microsoft puts on great events. There was an MVP Showcase on Sunday night and in the course of that 3 hours, I was lucky enough to run into both Scott and Toi and began meeting other MVPs both in my discipline (IIS) and other technologies. Both Scott and Toi have been MVPs for many years so they already know other members of our community and were sure to introduce me while we were making our way around the Showcase and the sessions/breaks.
There was a 1st Time MVP’er event that I also attended on Sunday. This provided information on how to get the most of the event (the big secret – don’t hide in your room, get out and network).
Over the course of the Summit, I met many people that I have corresponded with virtually. I wore my Orcs Web shirt on Tuesday. Many MVPs that host sites with us came up to introduce themselves. I was also able to catch up with Brady Gaster. I worked with him many years ago and he was the person that introduced me to Orcs Web and started this awesome journey that I am now on. It was nice to be able to thank him in person.
Today, I am returning home after having a great week of networking and information exchange with my product group team. I truly enjoyed this experience. Safe travels for everyone heading back to your respective homes over the next few days. Adios until next year.