[Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]
Partner conferences are an element of large tech companies that smaller firms don’t have the resources to maintain. The interesting things about them include insight into how seriously the vendor takes its partner ecosystem, the balance between direct sales and partner efforts.
Partner conferences also are where the partners go to get a heads-up on where the firm’s priorities will be in the future. Done right, these are like sales events with lots of energy and programs focused on driving sales, partner and customer engagement, and lots of recognition for those that generate the most revenue and can showcase unusually high customer loyalty.