Sunday, April 20, 2008

2008 MVP Global Summit: Canadians @ MVP Summit 2008

This past week, April 14 th – 18th, I attended the 2008 MVP Global Summit. It was an opportunity for Microsoft MVPs, to come out to Seattle/Redmond to meet with the product teams to talk about the direction of their product(s). It also provided an opportunity to collaborate with other MVPs through Regional MVP Dinners, Product Team Dinners and in Open Space Sessions.

Led by our fearless leader, Sasha Krsmanovic, there was a strong contingent of Canadian MVPs in attendance. I believe the total number was 110 which was #2 in terms of country representation. At the 2007 Summit, a bit of a tradition was introduced that included Canadian MVPs wearing Red Canadian National Hockey Jerseys. This tradition continued in 2008 as all new MVPs, in attendance, were provided with a new jersey.

A new concept this year included a Hockey Puck hunt. Each Canadian MVP was given, at least, 3 different hockey pucks to distribute to other attendees. Some Canadian MVPs had the special “MVP” puck. For the Non-Canadian attendees, the goal was to try and collect all 4 pucks. Once you had all 4 pucks, you could then turn them into Sasha for your very own Team Canada jersey. This was an excellent idea and provided for another opportunity meet new people from other countries. At the end of the summit, all Canadian MVPs were given a set of the 4 pucks to take home.

Some other attendees loved these ideas while some others felt we were suffering from “Look at me syndrome”. All in all, I think the ideas were great and the intent was not to rub people the wrong way. The intent was purely to provide Canadian MVPs with an opportunity to meet new people. I met a lot of people that I may not have met had it not been for the Jersey and/or pucks. So I would say ...Mission Accomplished.

So all in all, it was a great event. Here are some of my highlights:

  • Meeting with other Connected Systems Division (CSD) MVPs and the Connected Systems Division Product teams to discuss upcoming plans.

  • Hanging out with other CSD MVPs at the dinners and outside the sessions. This is a very international bunch, so it was interesting to get different perspective on how other regions around the world use BizTalk and .Net. I have met a couple of the MVPs at other events, but it was great to meet some of the people, whose blog or forum posts I read, face to face.
  • The Keynote presentations by Ray Ozzie and Steve Ballmer. I enjoyed both executive’s passion for the technology and Steve has the energy that you usually only see on NFL.

(Steve Ballmer sporting a Team Canada Hockey Jersey)

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