Frequently Asked Questions

Registration
How do I register for Convergence?

You may register online for the event, as well as reserve a hotel room at special negotiated prices. For more details on registration and hotels, visit their respective pages.

What does my registration include?

Full conference registration includes access to all keynotes, sessions, meals, Convergence Experience Center (which includes the Expo Experience, Microsoft Solutions Experience, and Community Experience areas), exclusive attendee tools & resources such as Schedule Builder, and evening events. For specific information on alternative passes, including Day Passes, Convergence Experience Center Only passes and Convergence Celebration Only passes, please visit the registration information page.

We will have both offsite and onsite community outreach opportunities. Registration is required for the offsite opportunity only. You will be able to register to volunteer during the event registration process. We know your time is limited but we hope you’ll plan to spend at least a portion of your day helping the New Orleans community. No experience necessary—there is something for everyone!

How do I reserve a hotel room?

You may reserve a hotel room through the registration site when it goes live on November 14. Convergence has secured special negotiated hotel rates for the event dates (from $148-239 USD per night), and all hotels within the Convergence block are conveniently located within two miles of the Convention Center.

Are spouses and/or kids allowed to attend conference activities?

The event and all related conference activities are for registered attendees only. Convergence Celebration Guest passes are available for purchase for guests that are 21 years old and older (the Convergence Celebration, featuring a concert with Matchbox Twenty, takes place Thursday, March 21 from 7:00-11:00pm). No children or infants are allowed at any conference-sponsored activities or receptions. If child care is needed, please check with your hotel.

What if I have a special need or request?

You will be able to indicate any special needs you may have through the registration process. Or you may also contact the Convergence registration team.

Content
Where can I find an overall Convergence agenda?

Visit the agenda page for a high-level agenda with conference times and activities.

How can I find specific session information?

The Session Catalog includes a listing of Keynote Sessions, General Sessions, Concurrent Sessions, Deep Dive Sessions, Interactive Discussions, User Group Sessions, and Roundtable Discussions, and allows attendees to search on sessions by a variety of different tags (such as track, level, audience, etc.). Schedule Builder is now available for registered attendees to build their own personal session schedule prior to arriving onsite.

We’re also introducing a new Convergence Theater within the Convergence Experience Center area. This theater will feature 20-minute presentations around industry-focused topics and other areas to give you bite-sized pieces of information.

Networking
Is there an easy way to find other attendees that may have similar interests or businesses?

The Convergence Experience Center is literally the hub of the conference and offers a variety of activities and opportunities to meet other attendees. Roundtable Discussions are informal discussions for attendees with like interests or roles. Topic listings are now listed in the Session Catalog. You can also spend some time with fellow attendees who are using the same Microsoft Dynamics products as you through our user group communities. The user groups are located in the Community Building area of the Microsoft Solutions Experience. The International Lounge, located in the Atrium of the NOMCC, will also allow attendees from similar geographies to network with one another.

Will there be areas at the Convention Center where I can easily meet-up with colleagues?

Yes, there will be multiple ‘Meeting Point’ locations in the Convention Center that will include tables and chairs, wireless internet connectivity, and power for your convenience. There will also be a Convergence Café, complete with tables and couches where you can meet-up with others, utilize the Wi-Fi and recharge your devices, and consume fun refreshments showcasing some of our Microsoft Dynamics customers. The Convergence Café is located in the Convergence Experience Center (CEC), Hall C.

Is there available space at any nearby hotels to hold side meetings?

A Side Meeting Request Tool assists registered Convergence attendees plan ancillary meetings. The tool offers meeting and event space between the dates of March 15 - 22 at several venues within the Convergence conference block. All meeting requests are approved and confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis. Requestors are responsible for organizing and funding all aspects of their side meeting and will work directly with the venues on applicable payments.

After February 22nd, the Convergence side meeting tool will be closed to allow venues to finalize contracts. All space will be released, and any additional side meeting requests need to be sent to Kari Riley. Venues will review any additional requests on a case by case basis, and will determine if they will accommodate the request.

Logistics
Where in New Orleans will the event be held?

The primary location for Convergence 2013 will be the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center(NOMCC), located at 900 Convention Center Boulevard in New Orleans, LA.

Is there an opportunity to earn CPE credits for my attendance?

A CPE Tracking Form, allowing attendees to track their session attendance and hours, will be available on the website around mid-February. Award of official CPE credits will be determined by the requirements of each local State Board of Accountancy. Please note: Microsoft cannot guarantee compliance with the official requirements of the NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) or individual State Accountancy Boards and cannot be held responsible for any CPE credits that are not awarded due to our inactive sponsorship with the NASBA. Please contact the MBS Events team if you have any questions.

Will you have any volunteer opportunities again at Convergence?

Yes, we will have both offsite and onsite community outreach opportunities. Registration is required for the offsite opportunity only (on Monday, March 18), and you will be able to do so during the event registration process. We know your time is limited but we hope you’ll plan to spend at least a portion of your day helping the New Orleans community. No experience necessary!

Is there recommended dress attire while attending Convergence?

Business casual is appropriate attire while attending sessions at Convergence. Please note that it can be cool within the meeting rooms at the convention center; please plan to bring a sweater or jacket for your personal comfort level. Casual evening attire is appropriate for the Convergence Reception.

What meals will be provided at Convergence?

Conference meals include breakfast and lunch and will be served in the Attendee Meal Hall located in the Convergence Experience Center at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, over the dates of March 19 -21, 2013. Lunch will also be provided on March 18. Food & beverage will also be provided at the Convergence Celebration and the Experience Reception.

Will there be shuttle transportation available?

Complimentary conference shuttle transportation will run in the morning and in the afternoon between Convergence hotels and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Shuttle transportation will also be provided from Convergence hotels to the Convergence Celebration. The following hotels in the Convergence hotel block are within walking distance of NOMCC and no shuttle service will be provided: Marriott New Orleans at Convention Center, Hyatt Place New Orleans Convention Center, Hampton Inn and Suites Convention Center, and the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Convention Center. Shuttle hours will be posted prior to the event. All other transportation (including airport transportation) will be the responsibility of each attendee.

Will business services be available?

The NOMCC has a Business Center operated by UPS with onsite services for all your business needs. They are located in Lobby F. A wide range of supplies and services including shipping, high volume copying, faxing and more is available.

Will luggage check be available?

Although Convergence recommends leaving personal belongings at your hotel, Convergence will offer limited luggage check at the NOMCC during the event within posted conference hours. Laptops and coats/jackets will not be accepted. Convergence luggage check is free to attendees. Hours will be posted prior to the event.

Can I use my cell phone or camera?

Yes, but we do ask that you be considerate of other attendees. Please turn your cell phone to the silent mode while you are in sessions and do not use cell phones in the session rooms. Out of respect for our presenters, we ask that no flash photography, video and/or audio recorders, or laser pointers be used during any session.

Will there be a first aid station?

For routine medical assistance, there will be two first aid stations at the NOMCC. These stations will be open during conference hours only.

Will there be a location where I can meditate/pray?

Yes. Convergence has set aside a room dedicated for this purpose, and will be available during conference hours. The location is in room 208-209 at the NOMCC.

Will there be a private location available for nursing mothers?

Yes. This room will be open during conference hours only. It will be located in room 210 at the NOMCC.

Is smoking permitted in the facilities?

Smoking is not allowed throughout the Convention Center. Please utilize designated smoking areas outside the facilities.

Where can I find more about what New Orleans has to offer?

You can find additional information about New Orleans (including restaurants, nightlife, maps, transportation, and much more) on this special website sponsored by the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau. There will also be concierge services available onsite at the NOMCC that can assist with restaurant reservations and other city information.