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.