I had no intention of attending WPC until last night. I normally got this tendency of not booking for the event till last minute and start to feel about it during and after the event, just looking at missed opportunities. But it's always a touch call. Conferences these days are not cheap. To start with just registration fee is $1999 on top of that you got flights, hotels + other expenses and more importantly 1 week of your time outside your work and family.
You need to basically think wisely and plan where you need to invest your time+money. There are tons of conferences/meetup through out the year. I normally attend one conference a year since 2003. It was typically TechEd and PDC until 2007, and once I became a MVP, then for the past 5 years MVP Global summit became my choice of conference.
Why did I decide to go to WPC?
BizTalk360 is a matured product now after it's inception roughly a year ago. We got medium to large enterprise customers over 12 countries now. Until now the medium for us to promote BizTalk360 is via this blog, various BizTalk user group meetings across Europe and social media.
In recent days I got a gut feeling the awesomeness of BizTalk360 is not reaching the right audience (enterprise Microsoft BizTalk Server customers). I can sense some of the challenges here
Blog: My blog got over 8,500 readers (took 8 years to build). That's a huge number, given the official world wide BizTalk server customer base is only 12,000. But the problem is, I guess most of my blog readers are from technical background, mainly developers.
User Group meetings: Presenting BizTalk360 in the user group got the same problem as blog. The people attending the UG meetings are typically with developer/technical background.
Social Media: Social media is good for viral marketing, the term viral is very important. If you got a product that's attractive to wider audience then social media could be useful. But if you are targeting an enterprise customer base (like what we do), then I believe it may not be the right place. Most of the decision makers at enterprise software don't hang around in social media space.
We honestly believe lot of BizTalk customers out there can get benefited from using BizTalk360 to improve their day-to-day operational efficiency. The focus for me at this stage is to get the message about BizTalk360 to the customers. For that BizTalk360 need a right channel. Microsoft partner network, especially the ones specializing on Application Integration space dealing with Microsoft BizTalk customers will be the right channel for BizTalk360.
WPC provides us this great opportunity of hooking with all these partners in one place. There will be over 15,000 people across 150 countries attending the conference this year.
My objective is very simple, I wanted to talk to as many people as possible during this week. So, if you are reading this message and you work with Microsoft BizTalk server, please give me a buzz. You can contact me via @saravanamv, http://www.biztalk360.com/content/contact