Announcing The MVP Reconnect Program & The 2016 MVP Global Summit

Once again, it is the time of the year when we have the privilege to host thousands of passionate technical leaders for our MVP Global Summit. This is far from a traditional technical conference. Next week our whole Redmond campus is dedicated to over 2,000 MVPs. Across 16 buildings and 55 of our largest meeting spaces, MVPs will attend over 620 deeply technical sessions, roundtables and networking opportunities with our Product Groups.

This year we have added some new, great workshops. The content will feature topics ranging from community leadership (led by Jono Bacon, the author of the critically acclaimed The Art of Community) and personal expression through storytelling (hosted by distinguished Microsoft engineer James Whittaker) to technical hands-on sessions hosted by our product teams. We’ll also host a Diversity and Inclusion event to broaden the conversation on the importance of our collective efforts in Microsoft and the MVP community. Our MVPs will have the opportunity to hack side by side with our engineers to create solutions to real-world problems. And over the course of the entire week, many of our most senior leaders will be speaking with the MVPs. You can learn more about these featured speakers on the MVP Summit website.

One of the best things about the MVP Summit is the community spirit among our MVPs. They always cherish the opportunity to reconnect and learn from each other. Over the years, we have received feedback from former MVPs that they were looking for ways to stay in touch with the program and their peers. We want to make sure the valuable expertise these folks contribute to the community is still recognized and supported.

We are therefore thrilled to announce a new program called MVP Reconnect. This is our way of reconnecting former MVPs and keeping them in touch with Microsoft and the select technical expert community. The program is available to join starting today. All former MVPs, regardless of their technical expertise or award category, are invited to program.

Given all the benefits, access and recognition, lots of people want to know more about how to become an MVP.  I get this question all the time!  While there is no numerical equation for becoming an MVP, the basic formula comes down to distinguishing yourself in both your depth of expertise and your level of contributions that strengthen the technical community. We have highlighted some great examples of real MVPs that showcase the passion, community spirit, and leadership demonstrated by them. I invite you to check out those examples on our new webpage called “What it takes to be an MVP.”

To that end, we are also introducing a new show in our Channel 9 community called The MVP Show. This new format gives everyone the opportunity to see the life of MVPs around the world and how they can do great things for their community and have fun at the same time. In the first episode, we meet Shih-Ming, who is doing some cool bot development in Taiwan. We plan to feature a different MVP from a different place in each episode. Who knows? One day, it might be you!

About a year ago, I announced the new generation of the Microsoft MVP Award Program. This was the first step of a longer journey towards a broader vision: empowering community leaders to achieve more, while providing the special recognition they deserve. As you can see, we are fully committed to the MVP Award Program and its continuous improvement, and providing the best experience for MVPs is what drives us.

Thank you as always for your contributions and feedback. I am looking forward to talking with you in the next few days during the MVP Summit!