Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Microsoft Convergence New Orleans 2013: Day 1

It's day 1 of Microsoft Convergence New Orleans and it certainly promised to be an exciting one, since Mark Polino and I had on stage rehearsals for the first time - ever! So, it was just about fitting we meet for breakfast first thing in the morning then go find a quiet place for a couple of dry runs prior to our on stage rehearsal. We went to the ballroom area at the Hilton Hotel and found a space next to the main hallway leading to the ballrooms. Suffice to say, we had a lot of onlookers which made our practice very close to realistic. After all, we were only presenting in front of 5,000 people, so it could not hurt to have people walking by.

Once we did our dry run, we went to the Convention Center Hall E to get our wives registered for the event. The registration process was apparently going very smooth since there were no lines and attendees were picking up badges and bags at a very fast pace.

Convergence Registration

Next, it was time for our on stage rehearsal in Hall J. Once there, we had a chance to go up twice to finalize the little details of our presentation and get some final feedback from the Ovation team and Microsoft - I will remember not to dance around next time! Rehearsals were fairly quick so off we went to the speakers registration room to check in with Grace, Ace, and Trace... I know and I wasn't even trying to rhyme it either.

Registration was quick so Mark went off to deliver his GPUG sessions, Sex, Lies and Refreshable Excel Reports and What to Know Before the Auditors Ask:  Risk Management and Controls in Microsoft Dynamics GP, the latter presented with Andy Snook. For me it was a rather quiet afternoon, so I returned to the hotel to clear my mind and work a bit on the General Session scripts.

I returned to the Convention Center for the Welcome reception at the Expo hall, where I had a chance to walk around the booths and say hello to some of my favorite ISVs in the channel.

Of course, you had the colorful Rockton Software booth (#1851), which resembles a really fun bar. There I caught up with Jim Pelikza, a fellow Atlanta resident.

Rockton Software
It's always fun to visit the folks over at Reporting Central, over at booth #1855, for whom it's become a tradition to hand me down a nice jersey with my name on the back.

The Reporting Central Team
My friends over at AdvTrex (booth #2352) and their now very popular TitaniumGP product are always a joy to catch up with.

AdvTrex Team
After strolling around for a while, I ran into my friends over at I.B.I.S Inc. (booth #2522), and fellow General Session presenter, Mark Polino.

IBIS Inc. Team
Needless to say, Polino is always a riot and nothing says riot more than this:

Got Mark? t-shirt
To be honest, you have to be out of your mind or deeply in-loved with Mark to wear this t-shirt and I am neither. However, I did get a kick out of it.

I also stepped over to the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client booth where I ran into fellow co-presenters Daryl Anderson and Kevin Racer, and my old time friend Brian Roney. It was good to stop by and talk to these dudes as they are fun bunch.

Daryl Anderson, Kevin Racer, Brian Roney
I also caught up with Brian Graftaas, who currently the Program Manager for the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics GP program at Microsoft. Brian and I will be sitting down for an interview which I will release as a podcast upon my return from Convergence.

Brian Graftaas & John Hannick
The Expo halls closed around 8:00 PM so it was time to go back to the hotel to catch the tail end of the Miami Heat vs Boston Celtics NBA game and get some rest for the big day ahead.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC

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