Getting passes from Sponsor's / Expo vendor's has been an act of futility this year for me this year. Normally I'm used to getting a number of passes at no-cost from various avenues for Conference's. I've paid for plenty in my 20's years working within the Microsoft spectrum but haven't ever had a problem getting a number of comp'd passes. These are usually part of a project from a partner, gift from a VAR or directly from an EXPO/Sponsor of the event due to a possible deal on the table or lastly Microsoft themselves. Well this year is a first... Even some of the largest partners of MS don't seem to have any passes/registration codes to hand out. This is frustrating my Companies leadership who are not willing to pony up nearly $25K for just the passes. (they understand the travel and hotel costs, that is no problem) They have never spent that much for an event we are going to, simply plan out our next years budget and determine best solution for our budgeted problems. I recall years of Tech-Ed, Convergence and most recently Envision and Ignite passes we could hand out to our Admin's, Managers and key leaders. This year looks to be a bust for us...
I'm just curious if anyone else has experienced this? Maybe you just pay for your pass and that's all there is too it.. Cool, I get that. I see the bulk discount is already sold out so I have to assume many companies are just buying 10, 20 and 30 passes a pop. especially if it's sold out in July.
Another wish is if there was an EXPO only pass. Some of us just want to meet with the Vendors in the Expo and start talking business. Last year visiting many sessions was less valuable then going to the expo hall and talking with the vendors or going to the Microsoft booths. I Had great conversations around Skype and Teams with the product managers. We found solutions for our problems and implemented many of them this year.
What can you say about getting comp'd passes for 2018?
hard to Justify expense of travel and housing to pay a pile to hit expo floor. I would generally say I would stay onthe expo floor for three or four days.
Well I do not know what is up with Envision. We got 1 comp'd pass from Microsoft. We got Messed over by Microsoft Premier as we could not convert our un-used hours to ignite passes this year... they converted too many passes and ran-out.
To say we are all angry is an understatement.
We contacted all the Platinum level folks for both Envision and Ignite and they didn't have any passes to give out. I was told one of them had a total of 12 passes to give out. A fortune 100 company had 12 passes to give out for more than a billion a year in sales. Come on guys... something is rotten in Orlando!
I had three deals with vendors in the $100K-300K range each, and they couldn't get us passes. So we are going to put those deals on hold till 2019. No reason to rush it. I told each of those companies and VAR's that due to this situation we would not close those deals in 2018. Apparently we have to line up our passes by February.... April at the latest's. But that means we need to line up our purchasing deals on a different schedule. Well so be it. Lesson learned.
I can tell you VMworld is packed as can be... Ignite is likely to be more packed then last year... (due to so many conferences being canceled and merged into one)