We are counting down the days until the start of Convergence 2013—and trust that you are too! As you make your final preparations for the event, here are a few tips and reminders to help as you make your way to New Orleans.
Beginning on day one of the event, March 18, we'll deliver daily editions of this newsletter, containing the onsite latest news and information for Convergence 2013.
There are far too many logistical details for us to publish in this newsletter! Visit the Attendee Info page on the Convergence website to review some key details to help navigate the conference.
Have you sifted through the session catalog and picked out the concurrent sessions, deep dive sessions, interactive discussions and general sessions that you wish to attend? Schedule Builder, a personal agenda builder within our secured portion of the website, My Convergence, is standing by to help you wade through the eight different tracks and hundreds of sessions. Choose sessions of greatest interest, and move them to your personal agenda. Once selected, you can either print out your agenda, or save them to your Outlook calendar. Due to the popularity of some sessions, you’re bound to run into sessions that have reached their seating capacity. We recommend not only arriving early, but also choosing backup sessions within each timeslot so that you can quickly and easily change your destination if rooms reach capacity.
Make sure to download our mobile event app! Using your registration credentials (username/password OR Microsoft account), access a plethora of event-friendly features, including your personalized Schedule Builder, session materials, session and event evaluations, venue and city guides, and more. The Convergence mobile app is now available—visit the Convergence website to download the app, or you can search your phone’s app store, using keyword ‘Convergence.’ You’ll also find on the website a Convergence app optimized for Windows 8. With Wi-Fi throughout the convention center, you’ll be able to easily access the event information you need from any device.
Your first point of contact once you arrive at the Ernest R. Morial New Orleans Convention Center is the onsite registration check-in. One insider tip: print out and bring your confirmation email, so you can quickly scan your barcode, or have it easily accessible from your smartphone. Upon check-in, you’ll receive your Convergence name badge, which is required for entrance into any and all Convergence activities, as well as additional reference materials you’ll need throughout the week. Registration opens on Monday, March 18 at 11:00am and, closes at 9:00pm, then continues each day after from 8:00am to 6:00pm. Registration is located in Hall F.
The schedule of activities on Monday, March 18 is designed help you make some great connections at the start of the week. First on the agenda are our User Group Breakout sessions, brought to you by each of the Microsoft Dynamics user group communities. Besides the great knowledge that can be gleaned from your fellow users, these sessions also provide you an opportune time to meet others with common interests. Immediately following, Roundtable Discussions, also brought to you by the user group communities, offer more informal networking time as we gather around tables to discuss topics of interest. Visit Schedule Builder for a full review of sessions offered. Monday evening provides the first gathering of the community as we spend some time at the Convergence Experience Reception, which runs from 6:00 – 9:00pm. In addition to enjoying some great food, beverages and activities, this is a convenient time to start making connections with your fellow attendees.
If you’re a newbie to Convergence, or just want to get re-acquainted with all the happenings onsite, plan to attend the Convergence Orientation session on Monday, March 18 at 2:00pm and repeated again at 5:00pm in the Convergence Theater, located in the Convergence Experience Center. Immediately following the orientation, we’ll lead a brief tour of the Convergence Experience Center so that you can quickly get acclimated to all that is offered in that area.
We’re honored to have Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of United Nations as our keynote presenter on Thursday, March 21—and we could use your assistance! Help us ensure that Annan covers the topics of most interest to you by submitting your questions for Annan today.
We‘re hoping to set the Twitterverse on fire during our week in New Orleans, so brush off your Twitter handle and get set to post your observations, comments and ideas to the #CONV13 hashtag. In addition to Twitter, post your pics to Flickr or Instagram, upload your videos to YouTube and add your comments to Facebook—all with that same hashtag.
Convergence veterans know these two secrets to your success: wear comfortable shoes, and dress in layers. The official dress code for Convergence is business casual, and you’ll have plenty of ground to cover during our time at the convention center, so comfortable, walking-friendly shoes are a must. In addition, as is with many convention centers, the temperatures throughout the facility vary. A savvy conference attendee always dresses in layers for easy adjustment to room temperatures.
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