The Dynamics GP Tech Conference (Aug 8-10, Fargo, ND) was, by far, the BEST Tech Conference in years. I have been in the GP Community long enough to remember the CIS Conferences that we use to do every year in Fargo in February (yes, February in FARGO!). And I do not remember a better Tech Conference since those blustery, negative 40 degrees, trapped in the Holiday Inn because it was just too cold to go outside events from over a decade ago.
Microsoft Dynamics MVPs Rod O’Connor and Jen Kuntz have both written excellent blogs on the content, feel and flow of the event. In addition, Microsoft MVPs Belinda Allen, Mariano Gomez, and Mark Polino were just featured guests on the MS Dynamics World Podcast: GP Tech Conference 2017 Roundup and discussed their experience at this event. Plus, if you search the twitter hashtag #GPTechConf, you can see comments and pics from attendees throughout the event.
In summary, the consensus of these well known, well-respected thought leaders in our industry is that this was the best Dynamics GP Tech Conference in years.
That said, there were some pre-show rumors that attendance was down this year. But as Rod points out in his blog, the Sales and Marketing tracks were pulled out of this event and moved to the Dynamics GP Amplify event. So, while the event was smaller this year, if you added back in all of the Sales and Marketing folks, I bet it would have been just as big or bigger than in the past. This also allowed the entire event to take place at the Microsoft Campus, which was nice. Bouncing back and forth between locations, as we did in years past, was a distraction that we did not have to contend with this time around.
Personally, I very much enjoyed the depth of the Content this year. In the past, the technical sessions were 100-200 level at best. But this year, under the leadership of a committee of our peers, the content was 300-400 level (some were Post-Graduate level…) and led almost exclusively by our Dynamics MVPs and other experts with real world experience. If you get a chance, you should throw some love to the GP Tech Conference Planning Committee for putting together some of the best talents in our industry to come and teach us: Deb Sletmoen, Jen Kuntz, Marla Greenman, Mary Lynn Peterson, Rachael Brancich, Rod O’Connor, Tanya Henderson and Windi Epperson.
I mean, at how many events do you get the opportunity to learn from, and have private conversations with, the superstars and thought leaders of our Industry? I think that is what I really like about the more intimate nature of events like GP Tech Conference and Amplify: you can get quite a bit of face time with MVPs like Belinda Allen, Steve Endow, John Lowther, Leslie Vail, Mariano Gomez, David Musgrave, Jen Kuntz, Rod O’Connor and Mark Polino. If you are lucky enough to spot one of them at an event like GPUG Summit, they are likely teaching a session or racing to their next session or they have a line of 20 people waiting to talk to them. But at GP Tech Conference, these folks were just walking around amongst us! It was awesome!
By the way, if we are taking a vote on the location for future GP Tech Conferences, personally, I LOVE going to Fargo. It may be a little harder to get to, and the plane tickets might be a bit more expensive, but once you get there, the food and hotels are very reasonably priced. Plus, Fargo has so much Dynamics GP history, heritage, and culture. I think it is good for our community for the technical peeps to make an annual pilgrimage to Dynamics GP Mecca. It helps keep the spark of Caring, Courage, Commitment, and Community alive and well.
To wrap up, this year’s GP Tech Conference was one of the BEST. Dynamics GP is still the BEST, most trusted mid-market accounting and ERP software in North America (and in far away places like the UK and South Africa). It has an unbeatable feature set. It has a proven track record. It is keeping pace with all the current hot technology like PowerApps, Flow and Power BI. And it can run in your browser, on your iPad and anywhere with an on ramp to the Information Super Highway. Customers want it, and they need you to help them make the most of it. So, if you are a Dynamics GP Consultant or Developer, don’t let your current and future customers down! Don’t miss out on this event!
So, let’s make plans to see each other next year at GP Tech Conference 2018 and make it the BEST-EST EVER! See you there!