Mark Crall – a massive influence on the SMB/SBS community in the Carolinas region of the USA has questioned “Why are there no MVP’s at the SMB Summit”
Honestly Mark – I was not wanted or needed. When the event was announce, and I found out that out it was on right after MVP Summit, my first email was to the conference organiser. I asked “What can I do to help? Do you need a presenter/anything”. After a few emails back and forth, I was essentially told at that point “No thanks we’ve got it covered – we don’t need help – Microsoft are doing all the presentations”. Ok – so I looked at what the event had to offer, what I could give to the community and what I could get out of the event personally. All of the content at the event is stuff that is public release. We as MVPs were given deeper content that this at the MVP summit under NDA – which Microsoft could do because of the NDA itself. Therefore I was not going to learn anything new at the SMBsummit that I didn’t already know. Sure it’s great to catch up with friends, but it’s also a cost. Conference Fee, Flights, Hotels – they all add up. I had been told that I was not needed, so I made other arrangements which followed on directly after the MVP Summit. This was back in January this year. Airfares from Australia to the US run out around the $3500 mark, so I need to make sure that when I come over here that my time is well spent. I would have been happy to go to Dallas for the event, but there was nothing of value I could contribute to it. So I decided instead to go to another conference in Houston, Texas instead which would have more impact on my business. So I made my flight arrangements, booked the other event and hotels etc. Sure I would have liked to go, but I need to think of my business too and paying to attend a conference, hotels, flights etc where I was not going to learn anything dramatically new, is not really a good investment of my time and money. Then about 3 weeks ago, came a discounted conference admission (basically the same fee as the SMBTN members) and a request that we attend. Sorry guys – I’ve already booked myself for other things – so I could not go.
So Mark – whilst I would have liked to go, and would have gone, I was not able to do anything that would benefit my business or the community by being in attendance. Therefore I didn’t come. Simple as that.
MVPs are not the only people in the community. There are so many people out there that are valuable to the community and should be MVP’s too – but it’s not up to me to decide who is and who is not in or out – it’s up to Microsoft. What I’m trying to say is that where ever 2 or more people gather in the name of SBS, there – that’s what you have as community. I’ve heard some great feedback from the people that are there and I wish I could be there – but I can not. Maybe next time.
Stuart Crawford says
Thanks for your offer to help, it has been an awesome weekend here at SMB Summit. My thoughts were exactly the opposite….I choose SMB Summit over MVP Summit for the second year in a row as well.
I looked at this whole week on “what will benefit my business more?” and that is what I based my decision on. At the end of the day, getting information ahead of time is all grand, getting the latest technical rundown is wonderful, however we all know in today’s day and age the technical speeds and feeds don’t sell any longer.
Microsoft and the SMB Summit crew really drove home the point this weekend on “how to position this in the market” and “why we should look at EBS over SBS”.
Even though I am a MVP, I am a business person first and the top line revenue and bottom line profit are more important than what techie stuff is in a product now.
You, Dean Calvert and other’s smart business minds were missed this weekend, let me share that with you for sure.
In Dallas, TX
Wayne Small says
Stuart – you are 100% right. Our clients don’t care about the speeds and feeds at all. They care about the business solutions their business needs to improve profitability and productivity, not the latest geek toys. My choice to attend MVP Summit over SMB Summit was motivated in part by the technical content yes – with a greater technical understanding, I can better position the solutions we sell to our customers overall.
The other point in attending the MVP summit was to network with people to understand ideas on how I can better give back to the community at large. Microsoft are working on things that help in this area and understanding this helps me help others better.
Anyway – we could discuss this all day and not agree 🙂 That is the nature of the community overall.
Thanks for the comments and I’m glad the event is going well over there
Kevin Beares says
Maybe you missed the memo. We deep dived not only on SBS, but also EBS. Probably covered EBS more deeply than at SMBSummit. In an ideal world, MVPs would have made both events, but for most it was just too much time away from their customers and businesses. Most MVPs who come to MVP Summit are not coming for business reasons, they are coming for the community and because of the role that they play in the community. They have the technical expertise that the community needs. Without MVPs, the community would not thrive. You can sell all the SBS and EBS licenses you want, but in the end, the community has a need for the senior influencers who can give them an honest industry exeperienced answer on how to solve their problem.
Community Lead – WSSG