The Summit conference in Phoenix, AZ was just over a month ago and we’re already looking ahead at the next one! Often, we hear that clients would love to attend the conference but haven’t budgeted for it. Although October 2019 seems far away, it is important to look ahead at training opportunities, and for Dynamics users the Summit conference is definitely worth considering!
We have a Q&A with one of our Account Executives on the Client Engagement Team, Becky, to share her experience and help explain the value that the Summit conference offers!
Q: This was your first time attending the Summit conference! What was your overall experience like?
Yes, it was my first time attending the Summit conference and it was great! It was a lot bigger than I anticipated it to be; I think they said there was around 7,000 attendees. At the Expo hall, there were a lot of third-party vendors with different add-on products for Dynamics solutions.
There were so many different sessions to attend, which was great but also overwhelming; there were a lot that I wanted to attend but didn’t get a chance to. Luckily Summit attendees have access to presentation materials after the conference, which means that you can learn about the topics from the presentations you couldn’t attend. Overall it was a really good experience!
Q: There were so many learning opportunities at Summit. What were some of your main takeaways from the conference?
The main takeaway is that there is so much happening in the Dynamics world. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everything because there are so many changes but its so exciting as well. The folks that delay upgrading their Dynamics solution for reasons such as cost, resources, or time, can learn things at a conference and realize that upgrading is important – what the true value of staying current on their solution means to the users of the system and the organization as a whole.
I attended a lot of great sessions – one was for macros in Dynamics GP, some were focused on Business Intelligence, a few on Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM), and Dynamics 365. Seeing these topics from different perspectives was great! Also, seeing the big picture and Microsoft Roadmap for their products was helpful.
There are great add-on solutions exhibited by vendors in the Expo hall. Clients can learn about different third-party add-on solutions that can increase utilization and efficiency of their Dynamics product. For me personally it was great to meet the third-party vendors that we work with face-to-face, as well as learning about other add-on solutions. I learned about new products that I can bring back to benefit my clients.
Q: A big part of the conference is networking and talking to other Dynamics users. What was the Dynamics community experience like for you as a first-time attendee?
There are so many people to talk to – whether it is the third-party vendors, clients, or consultants that are there speaking at sessions. There is never a time to be bored and that’s what makes it exciting! The days are very busy but it’s worth it. You get to hear other people’s perspectives and learn from other users.
Q: Why should clients start budgeting for next years Summit conference?
So much will change in a year! For clients it’s important to hear what’s up and coming and to be aware of what they need to start thinking about. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small, medium, or large business, you need to stay current with your industry. You need to know what’s going on and understanding the big picture in the Dynamics community is imperative. Whether you’re going to stay with your current solution or move over to another platform, a conference like Summit helps you be more knowledgeable that you’re making a good business decision.
Users can learn a lot in the office, but the value of in-person instruction combined with the chance to learn from other users is great! Leaving the office and having four dedicated days of in-person learning is very valuable. At the Summit conference, Dynamics users can talk to others inside and outside their industry that they might not be able to when they’re at home. It’s easy to get on the GP User Group (GPUG) website and ask a question, but when you’re face-to-face with people at the conference there’s that much more of a connection and you can learn a lot from other people. The training and knowledge you walk away with after four days is worth it!
Here’s an Encore Clients feedback who attended the Summit conference in Phoenix:
“I highly recommend all Dynamics users to attend the Dynamics User Group Summit! I attended based on the encouragement from Encore. While there, I was able to attend a variety of educational sessions focused on a range of relevant topics.
Additionally, there was a massive expo which allowed me to connect with numerous vendors of third-party add-ons specifically designed for Dynamics products that will help me utilize the application in even more ways.
On top of the educational benefits of the conference, Encore went above and beyond in making sure I was taken care of for the entire week and helped direct me to the right contacts to meet my Dynamics needs. Overall, it was a great experience and I have Encore to thank for that!” – Jordon, Senior Financial Analyst at PEBA.
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