Dynamics GP Conferences–which should I attend?

GPConference2

No matter how you interact with Dynamics GP, as a consultant, end user or software vendor, attending conferences is a vital element to keeping engaged with the product, alerting you to chances, what is possible and hearing from others’ experiences, good or bad. Visiting conferences allows you to network with peers, users, meet partners, domain experts, product vendors. Conference also offers exceptional learning opportunities for what is possible with your ERP solution by attending the conference sessions (usually presented as lectures or workshops). The networking opportunities at these events are incalculable in value, often offering opportunities to talk to the developers or program managers that create or shape the product, you really can get your voice heard! The expo halls at conferences also lets you discover products you never realised existed that may benefit your own or your customers’ businesses.

Maybe you are wondering what Dynamics GP conferences exist and which you should attend… read on…

First lets introduce some terms used, for those of you less familiar:

ISV Independent software vendor – companies who make solutions that integrate or work with Dynamics GP to enhance or extend its functionality
Partner Microsoft Partner – paid up companies in the Dynamics GP sales channel that have paid partner fees to Microsoft and have passed the partner criteria. They resell GP and/or offer consultancy around existing installations
End users People who purchased and use Microsoft Dynamics GP to run their companies

 

Amplify Amplify Conference Logo
Organisers GPUG Microsoft Logos 

GPUG (GP User Group) in collaboration with Microsoft
Location & Month USA May (2.5days) –latest California
Cost $699  (member discounts, partner rates & early bird discounts available)
Early booked flights  & accommodation from UK, approximately, £1100
Audience
End users
ISVs (opportunities to sell or get leads)
Partners
Summary NEW date in the conference calendar. This fledgling conference is dedicated to Dynamics GP and thus is smaller than GPUG Summit that has parallel conferences for other Dynamics products. This lets it be focused on GP without the size and bustle of the larger Summit (getting hotel rooms can be tricky at Summit). It had less Dynamics product sellers due to being new and quickly pulled together at the last moment, and perhaps because of the less broad audience, just being for GP. However it was very well received by those that attended the event.
It is finding its feet, it had a good balanced mix of customers, partners and ISV’s, 2016 was its first year, so it is too early to see what shape this conference will take longer term.
Microsoft supported so strong presence and support by Microsoft employees

 

 

reIMAGINE reimagine 2016 logo 
Organisers Dynamic Communities and Microsoft logos

Dynamic Communities & Microsoft
Location & Month USA October (3days) – always Fargo ND
Cost $790-$1000 (early bird discounts available)
Early booked flights  & accommodation from UK, approximately, £800
Audience
Partners ONLY event
NDA content that is strategically sensitive so event limited to partners
Summary Small but intense conference held at the home of Dynamics GP, Fargo North Dakota, as a result there are outstanding opportunities to talk to the Microsoft team and program mangers, hence hear the plans for the future from the horses mouth (N.B. subtle stampede reference). The conference tends to be more in depth due to the nature of the experienced audience and access to Microsoft team members to present material. It covers Sales, Marketing and technical fronts. The after show parties are legendary…
The top brass of the partner community attend this event, it is restricted to partners only, I’d say this is a MUST attend if you sell Dynamics GP or develop products for GP. If you have a company that has a GP consultancy arm, send you them to Fargo. The seniority levels of the discussions at this conference are strategically important for leaders of businesses that rely on GP for their income.

 

 

GPUG Summit  GPUG Summit 2016 logo
Organisers GPUG and Microsoft Logos 

GPUG (GP User Group) in collaboration with Microsoft
Location & Month USA October (4days) – latest Florida
Cost $1000-$1900 (member discounts, partner rates & early bird discounts available)
Early booked flights  & accommodation from UK, approximately, £1100
Audience
End users
ISVs (opportunities to sell or get leads)
Partners
Summary Large conference held simultaneously with NAV, CRM and AX conferences, thus benefiting from strong presence from companies that service the Microsoft Dynamics community as they can hit the entire market in one venue! This is a big conference that gets busy. Ran by the user groups and aimed at end users, power users and some developer content. Good selection of sessions on lots of subjects and a large exhibition floor of Dynamics ISV solution vendors. Generally well attended by the Microsoft MVPs.
Microsoft supported so some presence by Microsoft employees who will present some content.
If you are an end user, this is the MUST attend event for you.

 

USA

You notice that these conferences are all in the US, GP has its biggest market share in the US, and originates there, so this is not such a big surprise. if you are outside the US, don’t let this put you off, you should also look for local Microsoft Partner customer conferences, for example in the UK, m-hance have traditionally had Errol from Microsoft and some of the development team presenting together with their own staff from m-hance. Some strong content has been presented at these customer conferences in the past. As another example, MVP Ian Grieve has also presented some strong content at customer days for Perfect Image, another UK partner. These days are often free and usually open to anyone and can offer some valuable learning in a day out the office. Many of the other UK partners such as Advantage also offer such days.

The Dynamics conference scene has experienced some seismic changes in 2016 where the community has taken on the responsibility for supporting the product specific conferences as Microsoft perused its new direction in servicing mega sized contracts and execs and thus abandoning the tradition that was the convergence conference. It seems that the upheaval has resulted in a reinvigorated conference scene for the product with Microsoft thankfully keeping involved, but in a different seat on the bus.

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