Community was the Superpower Behind the First Annual DynamicsCon
The first-ever DynamicsCon was held on September 9-10, 2020. This free, virtual learning conference for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform users and professionals of all levels including expert speakers and engaging educational sessions, networking opportunities. DynamicsCon’s Liz Hallen contributed this blog recapping the highlights of the event.
The mission behind DynamicsCon, a community driven event that was held for the first time in 2020, was the basis for the agenda: “Making learning convenient, free, and fun for all Microsoft product professionals. For the community, by the community.”
The big hurdle, however, was pulling an event of that magnitude together—and doing it well—in just 3-1/2 months. But that did not deter; we took on the challenge, applying what we call a “superhero approach” to make it happen.
The first rule: When introducing a new concept, be open-minded, ready to listen to differing opinions. So, we put together an “all-star” Committee of professionals—along with anyone who wanted to submit a suggestion—representing a wide variety of opinions and experiences to provide the perspective and value needed to determine the right structure for the event. Yes, we had some pushback on things like the comic book theme, our somewhat unconventional marketing tactics, and other, but we listened and kept moving forward.
Power in Numbers
One of the biggest concerns shared by committee members was concerning our ambitious registration goals. While we certainly appreciated their concern and took it into consideration, we felt we were on target. We were right—as the numbers will attest:
- Registration: Out of a goal of 10,000, the final number was 6,650
- Conference attendance: Day 1 – 5,400 virtual guests; Day 2 – 3,500 virtual guests
- Sponsorship funds raised: $284,900
- Session submittals: 231 sessions in just over one month!
- COVID-19 donation to Direct Relief: $15,000! A big Thank You goes out to our Speakers for donating their speaking fees to the fund…and to Jon Stypula and Jake Roder for MATCHING those contributions!
A Success Even Before the Start
Before we go into the highlights of the conference, we wanted to share the amazing connections that were either formed or renewed leading up to and during the event. Check out our Twitter page to see examples of how this amazing community came together to make DynamicsCon a success.
These connections have continued on through the Dynamics User Group (DUG). Please take a moment to visit and consider joining so you can enjoy the benefits of a group whose members have the common goal of being successful with Dynamics. We try to keep the environment fun as well as beneficial, welcoming everyone to share their stories, both good and not so good! And guess what? DUG is free regardless of your level and degree of participation.
What attendees did not see was the effort behind the scenes. Hundreds of volunteer hours went into session content and preparation, moderation, live Q&A greenrooms, and encouragement as we all felt our way through the new world of virtual conferencing. We also appreciate the Sponsors that believed in DynamicsCon even when we were just a landing page! These individuals and businesses are the true heroes of this story—taking a chance on and believing in us and our vision.
Conference Highlights: Action-Packed, Knowledge-Filled!
As for the event itself, due to the sponsors’ and community’s dedication to the event and to one another, it was a great success—going from a big idea to reality in just a few weeks.
The keynote speakers set the tone. Dona Sarkar, a 15-year Microsoft veteran who heads up the advocacy team for the Power Platform and named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Productive People and Cosmopolitan magazine’s Business Person of the Year, and Jon Levesque, Jon Levesque, Senior Platform Evangelist for the Microsoft Power Platform, kicked off the conference with energy and enthusiasm.
Nearly 20 technical and functional sessions followed, including: Power Automate Tips, Tricks and Real-Life Examples; 8½ Power BI Concepts I Wish I Knew When I Started; and Preparing your Business Central Upgrade (led by ArcherPoint’s Microsoft MVP Saurav Dhyani!). In short, these two, action-packed days came off beautifully.
Get Ready for 2021!
With the success of this year’s event, we’re already planning for DynamicsCon 2021, scheduled for March 16-18, 2021 (still virtual!). If you want to submit a session, volunteer, or sponsor, visit our Next Up page or connect with Molly Fuchsel to share your super powers with the community.