If there’s one thing MVP Award events manager Paulette Suddarth knows, it’s how to throw a party.
MVP Award events manager Paulette Suddarth has just wrapped up the November 2013 MVP Global Summit.
You would think now she could relax. But now is when she starts reviewing all the feedback from the event and developing creative ideas for the 2014 MVP Global Summit, an event she started planning before this last one even officially started.
Paulette takes continuous improvement to a new level and finds every opportunity to involve the MVP community along the way. From each MVP Global Summit’s signature apparel item to menu tasting events to venue walk-throughs—to MVPs who pick up the phone when she calls with a new idea—Paulette is passionate about ensuring MVPs have a say as she works to make the next MVP Global Summit better than the last.
“By partnering with MVPs,” she explained, “I’m able to deliver an event that continually gets better in the eyes of MVPs.”
She points to the issue with campus wifi during past MVP Global Summits. “For many years MVPs could not get reliable access to our guest wifi. So three years ago we implemented a solution which boosted our wifi. It takes a lot of extra equipment and a lot of people to ensure the bandwidth can be met. That first year, which was about three Summits ago, our bandwidth was even able to support a Visual Studio launch and hundreds of MVPs downloaded it from our event wifi,” recalled Paulette.
“I like making people happy,” she continued. “With an event like the Summit, I get to plan elements that people enjoy and provides them with great value, and luckily I get to work with people who will tell me what they want and help make it better.”
Paulette is currently celebrating her 25-year anniversary with Microsoft. In 1988, she began working with Microsoft’s Sales Training organization, handling logistics and communications to help train what was then a sale force of about 800 people. Her work began to evolve more towards event planning, including Microsoft’s largest employee event, and in 2006 she joined the MVP Award program and began managing one of the largest community events in the world.
“What’s cool is MVPs are not the average audience—they are highly sophisticated. The transition from working with technical sales to MVPs was easy,” Paulette explained.
Now, after having orchestrated nine MVP Global Summits and managed MVP engagements at events such as Tech-Ed, Paulette has built a lot of friendships in the MVP community. “I love this community and they are like family, because there’s a shared passion. You know you can call on each other, because you both want the other to be successful.”