This year (2016), I received my first Microsoft MVP award and attended my first MVP summit at Redmond, Seattle from Nov 6 to Nov 10. From the first day, until my last day, I met many new friends and learned several new things from Summit. I was really glad and happy to meet Mahesh Chand for the first time. He’s such a simple and friendly person. I got a chance to meet many C# Corner friends at Microsoft MVP Summit and we had such a great time with lots of fun and discussion.
What is MVP Summit?
The MVP Global Summit is a multi-day event hosted in Bellevue and at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. With a large catalog of technical sessions (offered only in English) and a variety of networking opportunities, MVP Global Summit enables MVPs to connect with other MVPs, build relationships with Microsoft Product Managers, and provide feedback on Microsoft products and technologies. Every year, Microsoft arranges the MVP Summit during October end or November.
If you receive your first-time MVP during 2017, don’t forget to attend the MVP Summit.
Why should we need to attend MVP Summit?
By attending MVP Summit, you can learn new technologies from the experts like Scott Hanselman, Miguel de Icaza, etc. You will get more ideas for upcoming years. You get to meet all technology leaders and experts in one place, meet many new and old friends globally in one place, give your feedback or ideas directly to Microsoft .NET teams and you can meet many community friends and extend your knowledge globally.
Here we are. Me with my C #Corner friends Vincent Maverick Durano and Chervine Bhiwooat, having fun at the nearby Microsoft Store.
Here is another photo, taken at C #Corner MVP Meetup, during MVP Summit 2016 at Moksha Indian Restaurant, Bellevue. Thank you Mahesh Chand and team for arranging a nice dinner for the entire C# Corner MVP family.
Indian MVPs in this group photo at MVP Summit 2016 are shown below.
How to Economically make your MVP Summit Plan.
This is a simple tip and I hope this blog will be useful for future "first time Microsoft MVPs" who are planning to visit MVP Summit for the first time. A few of my friends told me that they are not attending MVP Summit this time as they don’t have the budget to travel etc. Here are a few tips for all first time visiting friends. The MVP Summit is very important. If you are an MVP, then don’t avoid joining the MVP Summit. You can gain more new ideas, which will lead you to the next level.
- Applying for the US VISA
Once you get your MVP award, don’t hurry to apply for the US Visa. Wait until you get official mail from Microsoft for MVP Summit registration. Whether you are going to the Summit or not, first register for MVP Summit.
Once you register, you will get a Visa document from Microsoft Team. Prepare all other necessary documents and apply for the US Visa with the Visa letter you got from Microsoft. Answer positively to the Visa officer and tell him confidently that you will come back after the MVP Summit. Hopefully, within a week, you will get US Visa. For a few friends, it takes more than 2 weeks too. So, always be confident and wait for your US Visa. In my case, I got it within 2 days.
- Registration and Microsoft Hotel Booking
As I told you in point 1, after receiving your MVP award, wait for the official mail for MVP Summit registration. Hopefully, you will get the registration mail from Microsoft from mid August to mid September. Microsoft will provide rooms for 4 summit days. You can get all this information from the registration link and also from the official Microsoft MVP website (https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-US/Summit). First, book your rooms from Microsoft listed hotels. When I registered, Microsoft offered me a twin sharing room with one more MVP. The room was free of cost. Yes! we don't have to pay any amount if we share a room with another MVP. We can also prefer the roommate to be from the same country we are from. All the Microsoft provided hotels offer free breakfast. So, we have no need to spend money on our breakfast for 4 days or on the lunch either. However, the dinner is not free but it is awesome daily because daily, there will be a party and you will be having lots of fun in addition to meeting many new friends.
- Flight Tickets
After registeration and visa process, check for the flights within your budget range and book as early as possible. If you like to stay only for 4 days and do not want to visit any nearby places in Seattle, you need to spend only for flight ticket and Microsoft will give you hotel along with food in addition to free shuttle bus service from hotel to Microsoft campus for all the four days; i.e, in the morning and evening.
Moreover, if you want economic travel and like to avoid other extra expenses like taxi, then take the bus because that is cheaper and you can get a bus to all places within $3 for one way travel. From airport to the place provided by Microsoft, buses are available to you for only $3. But, if you take a taxi, it will cost more than $50 and even shuttle express will take more than $20.To avoid unnecessary expenses, use bus service which will save your wallet.
- Hotel Booking for extending your stay
If you intend to visit a few places in Seattle and shop around, then try to find other MVP friends first, who all are visiting for MVP Summit. Talk to them and try to book a hotel for your extended stay with the group of friends. Check for the hotels that provide free breakfast, hotel drop, and are located at the center place. There is a facility to travel Seattle Downtown by bus or by metro train. Metro train is better to reach downtown Seattle. This time, I stayed with five of my MVP friends after MVP Summit, to visit some places in Seattle.
- Orca Card
If you plan to extend your stay and plan to visit more places in Seattle by bus or by train, then it’s better to buy an Orca Card. In Seattle, we need to give the exact change on the bus -- we don’t get any change. If we take one bus and get down after 2 stops, or take another bus, we will have to pay $3 for each travel because that is the fixed charge to ride on a bus. A better solution to this is Orca card that works in both bus and metro. Additionally, it makes our travel cheaper and more convenient.
If you are planning for shopping for dresses, chocolates, toys, or other basic household items, Walmart and Costco are the best and economically oriented places to visit. Microsoft provides 200$ range vouchers for each MVP. We can use that to purchase any item from Microsoft Store. If you visit downtown Seattle, you can purchase a few more things, like Starbucks Coffee etc.
- Places to visit
Places to visit in Seattle are listed below.
- Snoqualmie Falls (* Salish Lodge & Spa, 6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065)
- Discovery Park (* 3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199, USA)
- Kerry Park (211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119, USA)
- Pike Place Market (Seattle Downtown) +
- Pier 57 (Seattle Downtown) +
- Smith Tower (skyscraper in Pioneer Square in Seattle) +
- Waterfront Park (Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA) +
- Gum Wall (Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101, USA) +
- Seattle great wheel (1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA) +
- Space Needle ( 400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA)
- The Center for Wooden Boats (1010 Valley St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA)
- Chihuly Garden and Glass (305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA)
- Museum of Flight
- Paramount Theatre
- Bicycle Tree on Vashon Island