Fellow director Craig and I travelled to Toronto to attend the Microsoft World Partner Conference 2016 (#WPC16). The trip here took two flights from Johannesburg via Zurich. Long trip but the excitement for the week ahead made it worth it.
In true Microsoft style, we were welcomed at the airport with a registration desk, where our registration was handled quickly and efficiently. Talk about using technology; one quick scan of my passport and I was registered. We received our conference passes at the airport and they immediately identified that it was my first time attending. Along with the warm welcome came some useful tips and tricks for first time attendees. I was very impressed with the efficiency and treatment. It just makes the whole journey so much easier and a welcome experience.
We had to transfer from the airport to our accommodation – the copy of the free transfer shuttle service which had been emailed to us was shown on our mobile phones. We were able to jump right on to the UP express train and got off at Union Station, which was within walking distance of our accommodation. Speed and efficiency once again was the name of the game.
We were fortunate enough to squeeze in a day trip to the famous Niagara Falls. If you have travelled this far to get to Canada, this visit is an absolute must! We met a couple of people on the tour who asked why there were so many people walking around their hotel with the same T-shirts – it was exciting to tell them about WPC16 and to be a part of it. Amazing to think that there were 16 000 attendees from all over the globe. I would not want to be the one who had to plan the logistics of this conference.
The magnificence of Niagara Falls left us speechless … and a tad wet after our boat cruise right into the heart of the falls. A highly recommended experience for anyone travelling to Canada.
We ended our first day by meeting with a number of people from South Africa for the pre-conference kick-off. We were able to enjoy some snacks and drinks the night before the conference started. It was a great way to connect and plan for the four busy days ahead, with back-to-back sessions planned. So far everything was running smoothly, which just made it all the more exciting as you got to enjoy the lead-up to the conference.