Last week I attended the first US MVP Open Days.  It was held at the Microsoft Technology Center in Malvern, PA.  It was a 2+ day conference for US Microsoft MVPs.  Other countries have been holding their own MVP Days, it was time for us to have one.

People finding their seats, just before the start of the opening session

It was two days of networking and attending presentations.  Some presentations were by MVPs, the other were by Microsoft staff.  A few of the topics were NDA, but many of the topics were about improving the experience of being an MVP and how to best leverage Microsoft resources.

Doug Ware with a session on Office365

I came to this session knowing almost no one, I left with many new friends and colleagues.   I’ve now attended two of the Microsoft MVP Summits, where you are with MVPs from all over the world.   The Summit is great, but you end up spending most of your time with MVPs that are in your same group.

This is was nice and cozy and I was able to interact with other MVPs from different groups.  People who I usually do not get to interact with.  That was very nice, worth the trip down to PA just for that experience.

We got to celebrate Steven Murawski’s (Powershell MVP) in suitable style:

You either get it or you don’t.

In addition to full group sessions, we broke up into smaller focus groups.  I attended one on running user groups and code camps that was led by Bill Wolff.  Bill runs the very successful Philly .NET user group and he shared his tips on how to run a user group and the growing pains his group went through with camp camps

Bill Wolff showing us the secret magic for getting big sponsors

I was in Windows Insiders session that was run by Jeremiah Marble (Windows Marketing) and Tyler Ahn,   We talked about what could help the MVPs could participate in the Windows 10 experience.

The Windows Insiders planning sessions.  Random arm courtesy of Ken Tucker.

We also had time to do some group photos…

MVPs and Staff

We ended the conference with plans to continue the conversations and to make plans for future Open Days.  I want to thank Rowina Branch, Esther Lee, and Fernanda Saraiva, their staff, and the MVPs that helped put this conference together.

As an added bonus, Brian Prince gave a sticker to fix my Macbook…

It’s a ninja cat riding a firebreathing unicorn. This should be the new logo for Microsoft. Click on the image to order one.