A few weeks ago, Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) and RDs (Regional Directors) got together at the Microsoft Redmond campus with the Mircosoft Executives and Product team for the MVP Global Summit. This event happens every year in Redmond, Washington. Even though we can’t talk about specific products because of some rules, I want to tell you about the cool things I learned and experienced there.

As a Microsoft Access MVP, I was lucky to be part of the Summit. It’s a special chance to meet the Azure Product team, learn about new stuff, and talk with other MVPs. The Summit is a big deal because it brings together experts from all over the world who are really good at what they do.

At the Summit, we have sessions where we learn about different Microsoft technologies. We also get to hang out with other MVPs and Microsoft staff. It’s not all serious stuff though. We also have fun events like parties and dinners where we can relax and chat with each other.

The Summit showed me how social media can bring people together. It’s also a reminder of how awesome the Microsoft MVP community is.

Planning

Prepare Gifts Before Leaving:

Don’t forget to pack some thoughtful gifts before heading to the MVP Summit. Many attendees bring small tokens from their hometowns or other stickers to share with fellow MVPs. I made sure to pack a bunch of dates to hand out as a gesture of appreciation and to reciprocate the kindness of those who brought gifts as well.

MVP Sessions Planning

Before you go to the MVP Summit, plan your sessions to make the most of your time. Filter sessions and create your personalized event plan. Some sessions are in person, some are virtual, and some are both. Plan ahead to avoid wasting time deciding which sessions to attend.

When building your plan, consider marking sessions that conflict with each other as “Watch Later.” This will allow you to focus on the sessions you’ve prioritized attending without feeling torn between conflicting options. Additionally, be sure to add a few sessions focused on providing product feedback. Your insights and input can have a significant impact on shaping the future direction of Microsoft products, so take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to their development.

Arriving a couple of days before the MVP Summit

Smart move! Here’s a suggested itinerary for making the most of your time in Seattle before the event:

Day 1

  • Arrive at SEA Airport.
  • Upon arrival, opt for renting a car online through platforms like Kayak or RentalCars.com for potentially cheaper rates compared to physical rental outlets.
  • Catch the bus from the airport to the SeaTac Rental Car Facility.
  • Head to downtown Seattle and check into your hotel.
  • Take a leisurely stroll around downtown and perhaps grab a bite at a local teriyaki restaurant.
  • Explore Redmond Town Center and grab a coffee.
  • Optional: Visit the Boeing Future of Flight museum to kick off your Seattle exploration.

Day 2:

  • Start your day at Victor’s Celtic Coffee & Roasters for a great breakfast
  • Head to Pike Place Market, one of Seattle’s iconic attractions.
  • Explore the quirky Gum Wall and Post Alley nearby.
  • Enjoy a delicious seafood lunch at a waterfront restaurant.
  • Experience the thrill of riding the Seattle Great Wheel for stunning views of the city.
  • Treat yourself to a seafood feast at The Crab Pot Seattle.
  • Don’t miss exploring Pike Place Market further, and consider picking up some souvenirs like magnets from the gift stores.
  • If time allows, take a scenic Bainbridge Island Ferry ride for a quick island getaway.
  • Alternatively, embark on an Argosy Cruise from the Seattle Waterfront.
  • Wrap up the day with a visit to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop or a trip up the Space Needle, or opt for an Underground Tour to delve into Seattle’s history.

With this itinerary, you’ll have a fantastic time exploring Seattle and getting ready for the excitement of the MVP Summit ahead!

Exploring the Microsoft Campus

At the Microsoft Redmond Campus, I found some cool spots like the Garage and Microsoft Visitor Center with its store and a section filled with old Microsoft stuff. Outside, there’s a big Microsoft logo, and I also saw the Microsoft Reactor and a Treehouse.

Discovering the Azure Cloud Collaboration Center:

Microsoft MVP Summit 2024 - Azure Cloud Collaboration Center

Azure Cloud Collaboration Center is a proactive approach to serving customers worldwide. This center is crucial for meeting the needs of businesses that rely on Microsoft’s cloud services across 140 countries. By focusing on innovation in Azure services, Microsoft aims to enhance efficiency and connectivity across all levels of the cloud.

The Cloud Collaboration Center provides customers with real-time insights into their data around the clock. It allows multiple teams from across the organization to troubleshoot issues simultaneously. Equipped with a 1,600 square foot video wall, the center offers a comprehensive view of Azure, covering internal processes and customer experiences. This space is designed for collaborative work, enabling teams to utilize data effectively to improve efficiency and address customer needs promptly.

Book your tours:

Make the most of your time at the Microsoft Redmond campus by visiting these must-see spots. Book your tours in advance to ensure availability and don’t forget to snap some photos along the way!

Microsoft MVP wall of fame

Happy to see my name on “Microsoft MVP wall of fame” during Global MVP Summit in Microsoft Office Redmond.

Microsoft MVP wall of fame - Mahmoud ATALLAH

Microsoft Visitor Center and Company Store

We decided to visit the Microsoft Store during the conference, which led us to the nearby Microsoft Visitor Center. It was a nostalgic experience, offering a glimpse into Microsoft’s history, including artifacts from the company’s past and a timeline spanning from 1975 to 2022. We saw everything from the original crew to milestones in technology and diversity initiatives.

Microsoft timeline spanning from 1975 to 2022.
Microsoft timeline spanning from 1975 to 2022

Microsoft Treehouse

On the final day of the conference, I was intrigued to learn about the Microsoft Treehouse. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to explore these office spaces nestled in the woods before heading home. With carefully selected trees and perfect timing for the MVP Summit during spring, the experience was delightful, especially with such great company.

Microsoft MVP Summit 2024 - Treehouse

Microsoft sign

Microsoft Sign Picture

Networking and Connections:

One of the most enriching aspects of the MVP Summit was the opportunity to connect with fellow MVPs and Microsoft product managers. From lively discussions over the morning to meetups between sessions, I cherished the chance to build new relationships and deepen existing connections. Meeting online acquaintances in person and engaging with Microsoft insiders provided valuable insights and perspectives that enriched my experience.

Memorable Moments and Learnings:

Meeting and connecting with influential figures like Mark Russinovich, Azure CTO, Erin Chapple, CVP – Azure Infrastructure, Scott Hanselman, VP of Developer Community, Christiaan Brinkhoff, AVD and W365 Principal Product Manager, and Fabian Uhse, Principal Product Manager, was definitely a highlight of the summit.

Moreover, interacting with outstanding MVPs and community influencers such as Travis Roberts, Tiago Costa, Magnus Mårtensson, Ahmed Nabil Mahmoud, Hejer KRICHENE, Ahmed Salih, Jonah Andersson, Maurice Daly, Marcel Meurer, Mahammad Kubaib, Ahmad Uzair, Neil McLoughlin, Johan Vanneuville, Yongkang, Christian Glessner, Alan Kinane, Jeffrey Su, and Zaid Zaim added immensely to the memorable moments and learnings from the summit.

Conclusion:

The MVP Summit 2024 was truly a journey of discovery, learning, and connection. From forging new friendships to exploring the vibrant city of Seattle, every aspect of the experience enriched my understanding of technology and its potential to drive positive change. As I return home, I carry with me not only memories of an unforgettable event but also a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration to continue making a difference in the world of technology.

Thank you, MVP Summit 2024, for an incredible experience! Here’s to many more years of innovation, collaboration, and growth.

Share:

administrator

Microsoft MVP & MCT | Azure Service Delivery Lead with over 12 years of experience in Microsoft solutions and Professional services, Leading the Azure team to help our customers to build successful Azure practices, Blogger, Speaker, and Community leader. Focus on Azure, Cloud Security, Modern Workspace, AVD, Infrastructure as Code, Endpoint Management, Office 365, EMS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *