We just got back from WPC 2016!

We’ve just got back from WPC 2016 in Toronto! Here’s a recap of our best bits and what we enjoyed the most during our time at the conference.

Chris Wright
3 MIN|July 21, 2016

UPDATE 24/01/2017….
We have just signed on to exhibit at WPC (now Inspire) ’17, and so will be heading to Washington DC in July. We’d love to see you there.


Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 has come to a close, and we had a fantastic time over the course of the four day event. Meeting new faces and making new connections, it was a highly enjoyable and rewarding experience!

Thanks WPC 2016 – we already can’t wait until next year!

WPC 2016 was hosted at the Metro Centre in Toronto from 10th-14th July. A multi-national combination of exhibitors, speakers, mentors, volunteers and attendees from within the Microsoft Partner network, the convention housed nearly 17,000 like-minded people for networking opportunities, industry leading keynotes and even a party or two!

WPC 2016 was an especially big event for Fifty Five and Five, as we released the second edition of our Inbound Marketing excellence report. This year, we ranked over 25,000 Microsoft Partners on their Inbound Marketing efforts – ten times more than we did in 2015. From this Microsoft Partner pool, we narrowed it down to the top 250 based on three key areas of inbound marketing: blogging output, social media presence and website capability.

“None of this would be possible without the partners”

To kick off WPC 2016, the week began with a keynote from Satya Nadella. Satya highlighted the success of Office 365, Windows 10 and Dynamics, with a special focus on the importance of digital transformation and the digital workplace.

During the keynote, Satya welcomed a number of guests including Jeff Immelt from GE to announce the partnership for Predix platform and Microsoft Azure. Microsoft has recapped the whole conference on demand, so those that missed it can catch up on the latest info concerning the direction Microsoft is taking.

The conference was filled with speakers, breakout and engagement sessions with influencers, MVPs and attendees. One such speaking slot was held by Fifty Five and Five’s very own Chris Wright, who spoke about the importance of benchmarking your digital marketing efforts with reference to our new tool, Maya.

Maya is a free benchmarking tool for Microsoft partners – it can analyse your blog (in the same way we analysed partner blogs for our Top 50 report) to provide an ongoing and updated score of your marketing. Highlighting areas you’re doing well in and areas for improvement, Maya gives you a better understanding of how your blog is performing. Why not test your website’s URL and see how you score?

We also managed to grab a seat at David Meerman-Scott’s ‘Marketing lessons from the Grateful Dead’ with five ideas we can take from the band – point number four being the power of a selfie …

Over the three expo days, we met a number of partners who were featured in our Top 50 Report, including the #1 ranked Sharegate. And yes … we got a Sharegate selfie with Microsoft MVP Benjamin Niaulin amongst many other Inbound Marketing Excellence finalists!

“It’s about celebrating what our customers are all doing with technology”

Although we spent most of the week in our fancy green Fifty Five and Five T-shirts, we did get to hang them up in the evenings and get dressed to the nines for the Microsoft UK celebration party on the Tuesday. A fully-fledged James Bond black tie theme, complete with make-up stands, blackjack tables and cabaret singers – we had a sparkling time with champagne under the chandeliers! A huge thank you to the UK Microsoft Partner team for a fantastic party.

We had a brilliant time at WPC 2016; we met so many inspiring individuals and partners with whom we hope to make lasting relationships in the future. And a final shout-out goes to Douglas Gruehl of Gridstore for his never-ending cosmos and invaluable advice on wearing gold-studded footwear to be fabulous!