On Tuesday morning, Beat and I caught the shuttle over to Convention Center and walked back across the sky bridge to the Atlantis.
I was double booked with both the PreGame to Summit partner event and the Energize Chapter Leader Training event on at the same time. Beat joined me for breakfast at the PreGame event and then headed off to the chapter leader event.
I stayed at the PreGame event for the Opening Session where we had Joe Carroll welcome us and talk to us about the Dynamics Communities organisation. He provided some interesting statistics, for example, in the organisation there are 11,522 Individuals from 2,075 Companies in 106 Countries across 5 Dynamics Products.
Then Brian Deming spoke to us about the Association of Dynamics Professionals and the Certification Exams that are already available for Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV. They also announced the people who had passed the exams that were held at reIMAGINE 2015 in Fargo in September. They asked any of those people to stand and it turned out that I was the only one of them present.
Next up was the keynote presentation from Robert Johnson, Chief Revenue Officer, MECLABs Institute. Robert spoke about how to make decisions better. Making better decisions will help grow revenue, but humans are not naturally good at decision-making. Decision making is more than a gut feeling and is not intuitive. There are tools and testing that can be used to measure the results of decisions and so help you to make better choices which can influence decisions that other people make.
He discussed the idea of the sales funnel. Most people talk about dropping a number of leads into the top of the funnel and the sales will eventually fall out of the bottom. Well, that model is wrong, sales don’t just happen with gravity. The Sales Funnel is in reality the other way up and it is an upward battle to stop sales falling out. It takes a lot of small “micro” Yes decisions before you can finally get a “major” Yes decision.
Robert spoke about how the probability of converting a lead into a sale can be modelled with a Heuristic formula: C = 4m + 3v + 2(I-f) – 2a, where
- C = Probability of Conversion
- m = Motivation of user
- v = Force of the Value proposition
- i = Incentive (additional) to take action
- f = Friction elements present
- a = Anxiety elements present
Robert used some examples of good and bad design for both printed and online (email and web) media and showed how bad design does not get the same response as the same or similar content presented in a better form. These design decisions can create both friction and anxiety elements which both have negative effects in the formula.
Robert closed with some points on how to get the most out of meetings, by keeping them short (15-18 minutes) and by minimising friction and anxiety. Thanks for a thought provoking keynote and for listening to my comment on how many US ecommerce websites can’t handle international addresses, phone numbers or credit cards. This in my opinion is a very big FRICTION to completing a sale.
After the PreGame to Summit opening session, I did not attend the breakout sessions as I was double booked. Instead I went to the Chapter Leading Training which discussed various topics to help create successful user group chapters. We discussed the tools and facilities offered by Dynamics Communities as well as ideas with other Chapter Leaders. At this stage many of the points discussed did not apply very well to the Perth Chapter as we are very remote and operate in a different time zone. However, if anyone would like to guest present remotely, please let me know.
After lunch, I finished with the training and went to spend some time at the Mekorma Hub. The Mekorma Hub was an area with lots of seating, power outlets and free WiFi for conference attendees. A perfect place to relax and socialise between sessions. Sponsored by my distribution and support partner, Mekorma, the hub also boasted free massages during the conference to help attendees unwind.
At the hub I caught up with the Mekorma team and also with some of the team members from other partners.
Also, I finally got to catch up with my friend and co-presenter, Mariano Gomez, who had finally arrived in Reno. As Beat Bucher was still with me after the Chapter Leader Training we decided to get a photo with the three MVPs (I can say that now). Then we noticed Christina Phillips in the Hub and grabbed her to get a photo of four MVPs.
You might notice the “Badge Beard” that I am wearing. Over the course of the conference, it got lots of comments. I had the following tags on it: Microsoft MVP, Speaker, GPUG Presenter, GP MVP, GPUG Member, GPUG Chapter Leader, then FIRST TIMER (Member Dynamics Professionals was added later). It is true, while I have achieved many things and am heavily involved in the community, this was my first time at a GPUG Summit event.
Then it was time to attend a couple of meetings. Held by Kim Peterson, we had the GPUG Presenter Meeting for all the presenters at the conference. This was followed by GPUG Summit Buddy Up: First Timers Warm Up! for first timers to meet and also get to meet with some veteran attendees. After the meeting Mariano, Beat and I headed back to the Mekorma Hub.
Rewind a little: When Mariano and I first caught up at the Mekorma Hub (before the MVP photo above was taken), he gave me a Microsoft Band in its box. This band was a warranty replacement for my Microsoft Band which I gave to him after reIMAGINE 2015. As the Microsoft Band is not available in Australia, Mariano has been extremely helpful as a middle man visiting the Microsoft Store in Atlanta for me. This band was a small size for my wife to use as she was currently wearing a medium size which was too big for her.
After the meeting, Mariano suggested that I check that the Microsoft Band is working before I put it in my bag to take back to Australia. So I went to get the box out of my bag and it was missing. My bag had been with me all the time so I knew that no-one else could have taken it. I checked the room where the meeting was, but could not remember seeing the box at all and could not find anything.
So, after checking with the Dynamics Communities guys if anyone had handed it in, I decided to contact the hotel security. Being a casino and having cameras on the ceiling, I was pretty sure they could be able to help. So, a security officer came and discussed with me where I was when I last saw the Microsoft Band Box. After a short radio chat with his office, they were able to confirm that when I packed my bag to go to the GPUG Presenter Meeting, I took the box out of the bag to put my computer in. I then closed the bag, and walked off to the meeting, leave the box sitting on the table. It then remained on the table for about 90 minutes before it was picked up by a conference attendee wearing a burgundy long sleeved shirt.
Now, we at least knew what had happened, how I had left it and what happened to it. The plan was now to announce something at the Summit General Session to get the attendee who picked up the box to hand it in. There was nothing more that could be done, so Mariano, Beat and I headed down to the Welcoming Expo Reception in the Convention Center. To anyone who tried to chat to me while I was searching for the box and talking to hotel security, please accept my apologies if I was a little abrupt.
So we get down to the Expo and one of the first stands near the entrance was manned by a whole load of guys in burgundy long sleeved shirts. On the off-chance that this was the same shirts that the security guy described, I asked if anyone of their team had picked up a Microsoft Band in its box. They said they would check with the team and took one of my cards. I then started to visit some other stands in the expo. I then had a tap on the shoulder and guess what… one of the team had picked it up and thought it was the Microsoft Band that they were giving away at the Expo.
Mariano and I stayed at the Expo until closed, we did not get to see many stands as we can never go far before we end up stopping and chatting with people. We had a long chat with Martin Olsen from eOne Solutions before it was time to leave.
The last event for the day was the MVP Mingle at Summit. This event was a gathering of all the Microsoft MVPs at the event. It also included some previous MVPs and the GPUG All Stars. It was a fun social event and was made very entertaining by most of the Microsoft Dynamics GP people present playing a completely inappropriate and politically incorrect game called Cards Against Humanity (click link at your own risk). My son has the game, so I knew how to play and how “awful” the game is. When I sent him a message saying the game was “awful”, he replied that I had spelt “amazing” wrong.
Before we left the mingle event, we had to get a photo of the Microsoft Dynamics GP MVPs as this was the first time we had so many gathered in one location. Thanks to FastPath for sponsing the mingle event and providing the Cards Against Humanity game… and for letting John Lowther keep the set. 🙂
The conference proper starts on Wednesday.
This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.