Written by MVP Lead, Lilian Quek
Passport – checked.
Boarding Pass – checked.
Luggage – checked.
Yes, and I was hyped up and on my way to attend the eagerly anticipated event each year.
The 2009 MVP Global Summit at Seattle, Washington.
This year’s MVP Global Summit was another breakthrough in the MVP Award Program history. We hosted some 1,500 MVPs in attendance and offered more than 680 technical sessions during the four-day Summit held at the Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. With all the concerted effort by the MVP Summit Team and of course with appropriate strategic planning, no task is tough for the MVP Summit Team.
MVP Gala Welcome @ the Summit
Held at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center (WSCTC), the opening ceremony brought the MVP community together and kicked start the 2009 MVP Global Summit with a great big bang! Toby Richards, General Manager of Microsoft’s Community and Online Support declared the 2009 MVP Global Summit opened and extended his warmest welcome to some 1,500 MVPs to the gala event, provided an update on the program development and outlined the plans for the next four-day Summit. This was followed by irrepressible Rich Kaplan, Corporate Vice President, Customer and Partner Advocacy, Microsoft who delivered an uplifting message on the ‘Voice of Community’ whereby he talked about the impact of the community, listening systems and the integral role of MVPs in these systems.
Keeping up to the beat of the high-energy afternoon, MVPs were quickly ushered to the welcome reception area to meet up with their MVP Leads. All attendees were treated to a much-deserved and scrumptious feast and where they dined, wined, mingled and discoursed about the day’s earlier events.
The Southeast Asia MVP Entourage
What was to follow in the next two days were a series of mind-boggling and intense deep-dive sessions whereby MVPs get to hone their technical skills through the 680 sessions offered during the conference. During the deep-dive sessions, MVPs get to interact closely with a variety of Microsoft’s product teams, sharing critical feedback to help enhance and improve the solutions that Microsoft offers to its customers and communities.
A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star is BORN!!!
This year, the attendee party was held once again at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame (EMP). The atmosphere was lively and happy, mixed with a sense of unity and communal bonding. Folks turned up in their rock and roll attire and made the day rewind to the good Elvis Presley’s days. Backed by a live band, the attendees were entertained to a three hour of Rock-a-raoke concert. Superb entertainment and sumptuous food gave great satisfaction to our MVPs and all! The vibrant and attention-grabbing performance by the MVP from the various countries kept everyone’s eyes glued on the stage. Will “Michael Jackson” be making a return appearance? No words could describe the heart-throbbing performance by Singapore MVP Sarbjit Singh Gill who belted out the hard rock band AC/DC’s song ‘Highway to Hell’ and wowed the crowd away with his ravishing performance and prowess vocal. Encore!!! Needless to say, that night, an undisputed KING of Rock ‘n’ Roll was born @ EMP and ruling his way into the hearts of thousands of his fans worldwide.
MVP Summit Wrap Up and “I’m a PC and I’m a MVP!”
As the 2009 MVP Global Summit came to a wind down, it was the emotional good bye to this engaging and enriching experience for all MVPs. Saving the best for the last, MVPs were treated to an array of keynote speeches delivered by the energetic Steve Ballmer, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft who spoke on ‘Community Impact and Futures’ and Mike Nash, Corporate vice president, Windows Product Management, Microsoft who provided an eye opener on ‘Windows 7’. As one might thought those were just the icing on the cake, Mike Nash and Steve Ballmer held a surprise filming of MVPs shouting “I’m a PC and I’m a MVP!” that may be incorporated into future online promotions of the Microsoft “I’m a PC!” campaign. Indeed, this surprise added an extra ‘flavour’ to this meaningful Summit.
This was then followed by the keynote speeches delivered by S. Somasegar, Senior Vice President, Developer Division, Microsoft who touched on ‘Dev 10’ and last but not least, Bob Kelly, Corporate Vice President, Infrastructure Server Marketing, Microsoft who covered ‘Software and Services and Azure.’
The opportunity to catch up with fellow Worldwide MVPs, product group, executives and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer coupled with good food are the quintessential ingredients for a great MVP Global Summit! I leave the MVP Global Summit with this heart-felt wish – that we may once again re-connect with one another as the evening progresses and that we may continue to extend our MVP community network through similar Summit in the years to come!