I attend and speak at many different Microsoft Dynamics conferences. This article is a living summary of my experiences from those conferences so you know the pros and cons of each of the events and can make a decision of which one to attend or avoid.
Microsoft Dynamics is a really large ecosystem. It gets confusing when someone's talking about Microsoft Dynamics because they could be referring to Dynamics CE/CRM, Finance and Operations, Business Central, GP, NAV and to add to that conundrum, there are on premises and online versions of Dynamics as well.
My reference to Dynamics in this article is all of it but with a special focus on Dynamics CRM, Business Central and Finance & Operations which are the major modern components of Dynamics anyway. And while many organizations are still on Dynamics on premises, most have already made the transition to online or are actively thinking about it. Most of these conferences cater to both on premises and online Dynamics.
Let's now dig into each conference and the pros and cons of each.
DynamicsCon brand is owned by the folks from the Dynamics User Group (DUG). The DynamicsCon live is held once a year and it's in a different city each time. It's an intimate conference (yes, I mean small 😊) but because of that fact, it is also the type of conference where you can build lasting bonds with others like you.
Each Dynamics application has a separate room assigned to it: CE, BC, F&O, GP, etc. So you end up spending your entire time in one room if you are there for a specific Dynamics application. Or you can hop between the rooms for each track if you want.
The end effect ends up being that you see the same people again and again in your rooms because of your similar interest. You start talking to others in the room, learning from them and sharing your stories about your adventures in the Dynamics ecosystem.
In addition, the speakers at this conference are extremely approachable especially because of this intimate setting that we are all in together. There speakers at this conference are all 100% MVPs. They hold multiple ‘Ask the Experts’ sessions at the conference where you can ask whatever that is on your mind in a small gathering. The speakers also intermingle freely with the attendees in-between sessions, in the hallways and at lunch. As I said, the Best feature about this conference is its intimate nature.
The conference attendance is about 400 on average.
DynamicsCon Online is presented by the same folks as DynamicsCon Live .
As the name says, it's all "online". Presentations are from folks around the world. The good thing being that you get access to knowledge from speakers around the world. The not so good thing being that it's not in-person which, in my humble opinion, is always a better experience.
This conference is completely free to attend which is a huge plus obviously for the attendees. The cost of the conference is completely supported by the sponsors of the conference.
One very cool thing to note about the DynamicsCon brand is that it utilizes a superheroes theme to set itself apart from others. A really cool way to acknowledge the superheroes in the Dynamics community and to identify itself as a unique brand.
The conference attendance is about 3,500 on average.
The Dynamics Summit is undisputedly the largest independent Microsoft Dynamics conference in the world. No contest. On average, it hosts more than 4,000 people at the conference (including attendees, speakers, and partners).
This conference attracts majority of Business Applications MVPs focused on Microsoft Dynamics and the Power Platform. Not as many sessions are presented by Microsoft employees - which in my opinion presents an unbiased view of what is really happening in the field and what you should be looking out for.
They record most sessions at the conference and make them available to attendees within 30 days of the conference. That's a Big plus and something that no other Dynamics or Power Platform conference does unfortunately.
The conference attendance is about 4,000 on average.
This is currently the largest Power Platform focused conference driven mostly by Microsoft folks themselves. This conference made the list for this article because it does have a few Dynamics specific sessions.
The conference is cohosted by another third party that jointly runs the conference but majority of the decisions on sessions and programming are made by Microsoft folks.
Lots of Microsoft employees presenting at this conference. The good thing is that you get the latest and greatest of what's here and what's coming down the pipeline directly from the horse's mouth. The bad thing is that it's a lot of marketing and a biased view of Microsoft products and services.
The conference attendance is about 4,000 on average.
The EduCon folks mainly focus on Microsoft 365 topics. The amount of sessions related to the Power Platform and Microsoft Dynamics is still very small. Around 5 to 7 sessions at the entire conference. And even that is only when EduCon is held in Seattle.
You want to attend this conference if you want a good mixture of mostly Microsoft 365 content and some Dynamics and Power Platform content.
The conference attendance is about 300 on average.
The above experiences are mine alone so take it for what it's worth. Your mileage may vary. Hope it helps!