The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Before Going to Summit
Blog: iDatix Blog
As a member of the GPUG community, I have noticed that many people have been asking about Dynamic Communities largest event of the year, Summit. Summit is a great learning experience for users, partners, and ISVs. It’s an opportunity for everyone to get in the same area and learn from one another, while bringing back valuable information to your own organizations.
In my opinion, everyone should be attending. When working with clients, I find that often, most of the confusion around how to do things inside of Dynamics is the same in each organization. Summit allows organizations to share in their concerns/issues and then empowers the attendees with information and training to help resolve them. Odds are, if you are facing a specific challenge inside of your organization, many more organizations are as well!
This year, Summit takes place on October 11-14 in sunny Tampa, Florida. Being the largest conference of the year for Dynamic Communities, they sure do go all out. The countdown has begun and we are less than a month away![/vc_column_text]
Here are the 5 things you need to know before going to summit.
1. Avoid registration lines by avoiding peak hours.
Registration opens on Saturday, October 8 at 5pm. As you can imagine, many people flood to registration as soon as it opens. With an expected 9000 people attending, I would suggest avoiding registration for the first hour or so. Since registration is open all day Sunday and Monday as well, don’t be too concerned. I have found that early mornings and late evenings are the best times to go, as most people are eating breakfast/dinner.
2. Attend as many breakout sessions and networking events as possible.
While Summit is a great way to make new relationships and enjoy time out of the office, the main benefit is gained from taking advantage of everything there is to learn. You will be surrounded by experts in every field, all excited and ready to help support you.Prepare before you leave your organization. Review the schedule and ask yourself the questions below, so that you can prioritize your time at Summit.
- What challenges are we currently facing?
- How can we improve?
- What issue(s) do we keep running into?
- Is our process working for everyone?
What sessions make the most sense for you and your organization? Is it learning how to use SmartLists inside of GP? Is it learning about the latest advancements in accounting automation? Is it learning more about moving to the cloud? Not only can you get these questions answered by experts at Summit, but you can hear how others in your position did it and their tips and best practices.
Take notes, learn from others, MAKE THE MOST OF IT!
3. Get out of your comfort zone
Meeting new people, hearing their stories, and learning from them is an important part of Summit. Get out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to people you don’t know. At each meal, sit at a table where you don’t know anyone. Ask the questions you want to in breakout sessions. Attend the networking events and share your own experiences with others. Trust me, everyone feels the same way you do!
4. Bring Business Cards
You never know who you could meet or where you could meet them. It may be at a bar, in a breakout session, or even riding in an elevator. Being prepared with your information is important.
Likewise, always make sure to get a card from someone you had a conversation with. You will be meeting hundreds of different people throughout the week and it will be very difficult to remember each one. Grab one of their cards, write something on the back of it to remind you who that person was (i.e. tall lady with short brown hair, talked about GPUG chapter meeting in Orlando).
Then, follow up and stay in touch! This will continue your relationship with everyone you meet, so that if you ever need a line of support, you all are there for each other.
5. Enjoy your free time in Tampa
Having been born and raised in Tampa, I know the best locations to visit on your free time. From best restaurants, to must see attractions, below are the spots I recommend!
Ulele – Get the charbroiled oysters – Amazing!!
Columbia – This restaurant first opened in Ybor in 1905 – order their famous 1905 salad and a pitcher of sangria
On Swann – Order the fig tart and scallops – On Swann has the best scallops in Tampa Bay!
Dough – There’s nothing better than enjoying ice cream in a doughnut cone
Green Lemon – Must eat all the tacos!
Jackson’s Bistro – Excellent food with a beautiful view of the water
Ferg’s Live – A great place for live music, sports, people watching
Busch Gardens – Roller coasters, animals, shows and more! Scream your way through the trill rides at Howl-O-Scream, Thursday – Sunday nights in October.
SS American Victory Ship – Climb aboard this 1940s era steamship
Tampa Riverwalk – Discover culture, entertainment and adventure along the Hillsborough River
Tampa Museum of Art – Exhibiting modern and contemporary art, as well as Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities
All of those are great places to visit, whether you want to tour a local brewery, or explore the many attractions, Tampa has it all. Busch Gardens is full of roller coasters, shows, and fun, however I would recommend a full day for this one – or go on a selected night for Howl-O-Scream!
Many different partners and ISV’s of are hosting parties throughout the week. The annual Rock-N-Rave will take place at Ferg’s Live this year, so make sure to check that out Wednesday night. TriBridge has an event at Jackson’s Bistro Wednesday as well. DocuPhase, Targit, and Envista will be hosting a party on Thursday evening at the Florida Aquarium, which will be a great way to network, while checking out the attractions, touch tanks and bringing home souvenirs form the gift shop for the family.
I hope to see you all at Summit!
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