Directions EMEA 2021 - Recap

Directions EMEA 2021 - Milan, Italy

Keynote room. Photo credit: Peter Steffek

How I got here...

By a plane of course. But in all seriousness, it all started on June 24th with an email from Frank Maier. His ask was simple, was there any MVPs in the US that was willing to travel to Milan and share their knowledge with the community. Although it was a simple ask there was lots to consider of course and during the decision process content ideas was never a concern. The real concern was COVID and was the conference actually going to happen. I submitted a session with Shannon Mullins and later learned that it was accepted along with a total of 16 other MVPs from the US and Europe. Shock set in and I was trying to then figure out if I purchase a flight at that point or wait a few weeks, I decided to wait. COVID was still a concern for many weeks, and I didn't book my flight until mid-September. By this time, I had a good feeling that the conference was going to happen. 

Directions EMEA kicked off on October 26th in the evening. Registration opened and there was a networking hour in the expo hall. I met up with Shannon Mullins and we headed over to get our conference badges and to network some. Upon arrival at the conference center, we had temperature checks and provided our CDC vaccination cards, then were finally able to enter the building. Up two floors are where the conference was being held and we entered the registration area right away. We got our badges and then proceeded to walk around the small expo hall in hopes of finding someone we knew. By this time, we had already seen a few people in the hotel lobby, so we were just looking for some familiar faces. First person we saw was Stefan Maron from Germany. He wasn’t hard to miss since he towers over me by just a few inches. 

Stefan is working on a community project where he created a repository of code changes that Microsoft makes every update. You can learn more about this project on his blog site

Session Highlights

Top 20 tips to do (or not) to do during an implementation

I made my international speaking debut the last day of the conference. I co-presented with Shannon Mullins, and we had a good size audience. We have presented a similar session in the United States specific to Dynamics GP, but this was our first specific to Dynamics 365 Business Central.  
Photo credit: Krzysztof Bialowas, Johannes Littschwager, and Arend-Jan Kauffmann

Town Hall: Meet the MVPs

What an amazing experience it was to stand with this group in a Meet the MVPs session. There are only an estimated 30 people worldwide that can call themselves an MVP for Business Central at this time and we had more than half of them at Directions EMEA. Unfortunately, there were a few of them that couldn't attend the town hall session as they were leading a session of their own. 

Freddy Kristiansen (Microsoft), Renato Fajdiga, Steven Renders, Kamil Sacek, Alexander Ermakov, Andrey Baludin, Krzysztof Bialowas, Arend-Jan Kauffmann, Shannon Mullins, Viekoslav Babic, AJ Ansari, Tobias Fenster
Front row: Tatiana Pupko, Kristen Hosman, Mary Thompson
Not pictured: Stefano Demiliani, Eric Wauters (Waldo)


BC Beerinar Live

Krzysztof Bialowas, the founder of BC Beerinar hosted a live event at a local pub. Krzysztof created Business Central Beerinars so Dynamics professionals could share ideas and network with each other. This was a great event to get to know everyone and catch up since everything has been virtually for the past two years. To learn more about Business Central Beerinars join the Meetup group and follow along on social media with hashtag #BCBeerinar. 

After the #BCBeerinar the “Scooter Gang” was born. This was our preferred method of transportation during the conference. 

Shannon Mullins and Peter Steffek

MVP’s dinner with Microsoft

I was invited to a dinner with Microsoft with other fellow Microsoft MVPs. This was a chance for us to get to know one another and share ideas and thoughts about Business Central. I was pretty lucky to share a table with Jesper Schulz-Wedde, Renato Fajdiga, and Steven Renders.

Photo credit: Waldo

The BIG Party

All I can say about this night was it was one that I'll NEVER forget. 

Peter and I road scooters quite far from the hotel to the party

Shannon and I got Mike Morton out on the dance floor


Was a trip I won’t forget. Spent a week prior to the conference in Italy with my husband and traveled to Venice as well as Milan. Here are some of my favorite pics. 

Written by: Kristen Hosman, Microsoft MVP


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