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After Envision 2016: Will New Event Strategy Thrive After Slow Start?

by Jason Gumpert

Microsoft Envision 2016 

Microsoft was looking for a change to its event landscape with the launch of Envision, and after this week's conference there is little doubt that they created something different.

For Microsoft's own brand goals there may be positives to point to in terms of firming up and unifying the company's identity in the business world. If the event achieved that goal - if enough people were there to hear that message - then Envision 2016 may give the company something to build on going into the next fiscal year.

For most veterans of Microsoft conferences, it was the numbers that really stood out this week. If the faces of exhibitors were any indication of the event's current and future success, then the conclusion was clear: the event failed to deliver the customer audience that everyone had hoped for. Larger exhibitors voiced disappointment, describing the lack of exhibit hall traffic as embarrassing. But smaller exhibitors viewed the results as a serious risk to their year's plans.

Replacing an event with more than ten thousand attendees (Convergence) with this year's quieter Envision event "cuts us off at the knees," one exhibitor said, referring to his sales strategy for the year. Even free drinks in the evening hadn't been enough to create good booth traffic, he said as he looked out at the thin lunch crowd on Tuesday.

Microsoft chief marketing officer Chris Caposella explained in an interview with reporters that one of the company's goals in bringing together executives in charge of sales, marketing, HR, and other departments was to get them thinking of their businesses as digital business that will be operating in a different ...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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