Testing 3 methods to get an invitation for Knowledge 2020

You’re most probably aware of Knowledge, the largest annual ServiceNow event. It’s the place to be for ServiceNow experts. From a professional development point of view, it’s a very valuable event. From an individual point of view, it’s also a very expensive event… USD 800$ a day, or 1800$ for the full week! This is not even including transportation nor accommodations.

In the past, several of my managers told me “If you’re invited, we may pay for travel and hotel, but if you’re not, we have too many budget restrictions to get you a ticket”. 

⚠️😷 Knowledge 2020 was to happen in Orlando, Florida. Due to the CoVid-19 crisis, it will be re-invented as an online event. I wrote this article prior to that announcement, so it’s relevance may be affected by how K20 it will reorganized.

As this experience may be useful to you, I’ll share here how I managed to be invited by ServiceNow… not once, not twice, but thrice… for the same year!

One method that did not work for me…

Sponsors receive free invitations, as well as selected large customers and partners. But those comes in very limited numbers. The only time I was invited by an employer was for Knowledge 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany. That explain why I decided to take this matter in my own hands.

Online Achievement’s Method: Sharing is Caring

Both Now Community and Developers web sites, owned by ServiceNow, reward the most helpful individuals that share publicly their knowledge and experience. You can achieve this, either via useful blog articles targeted toward developers, or by answering questions asked by individuals.

I’m very fond of the “Sharing is Caring” moto. I’m frequently using the Community to find answers, and I decided three years ago to reciprocate as much as possible. When I have time, I try to answer one question a day in the Now Community web site.

Every year, ServiceNow grants a few individuals the MVP status. This award, valid for one year, grant you a free invitation to the next Knowledge event, along with a few other perks, that may include a physical trophy.

After three years, I’ve received an email from ServiceNow announcing that I had been selected as one of MVP for the year 2020 and was eligible for a Knowledge registration code.

"I am thrilled to let you know you’ve been selected to be a part of the 2020 ServiceNow MVP Program.  You have made significant contributions in 2019 to the ServiceNow community so it’s well deserved.  As you know this distinction is only given to a select group of ServiceNow community members.  Without the support of members like you sharing your technical expertise our community wouldn’t be the success it is today."

Frustratingly, ServiceNow chooses not to communicate information over eligibility criteria.

How can you attempt this? Go to the Now Community web site, register if needed, and share your expertise by helping other. You can also propose blog articles on the ServiceNow Developers web site, but I did not try that one.

Skill Achievement’s Method: Becoming a Certified Master Architect

I received that MVP email the evening before my Master Architect’s capstone exam. You may be aware that last year, ServiceNow initiated a training and certification for ServiceNow Master Architects. Such certified experts are able to lead the implementations of the most challenging ServiceNow instances, and to create governance programs to ensure they will continue to growth peacefully.

I already wrote about the step requirements needed to apply for the CMA program. But, if you’re able to take this rewarding path, you’ll be able to prove that you master every ServiceNow solutions and can be counted within the limited list of the most elite ServiceNow experts.

I applied for CMA in 2019, as soon as the inscriptions opened, and was able to be part of the second cohort, as an early alumni and tester.

After completing the program, including its very difficult capstone exam (see my exam review), I was pleasantly surprised by a complementary free Knowledge registration code, amongst other perks.

"You passed the Final Board Review and you may now call yourself a ServiceNow Certified Master Architect. You have achieved the pinnacle certification at ServiceNow. Wear that badge with pride!
We’ve travelled a long way in the last 6 months, you have completed 49 webinar sessions, including 2 intense and fun in-person events!
Thank you for your contributions and efforts throughout our program, and we look forward to all of your continued successes and accomplishments in the ServiceNow ecosystem. You are now part of the CMA Alumni and we have plans to get the group more active and involved."

How can you attempt the same method? The CMA FAQ from ServiceNow is the best way to get information. You can also check my two articles linked above. Be aware that this certification is only available to Partners and ServiceNow employees.

Public Speaking Achievement’s Method: Submitting a Conference for Knowledge

The third method, probably the most used one, that I tested was to submit conference topics for the next Knowledge. I tried that unsuccessfully for several years, but in March I received a new mail from ServiceNow to inform me that this time, my topic had been accepted.

"We are thrilled to have you join us as a presenter at Knowledge this year. As the lead speaker, you are entitled to a complimentary registration for Knowledge."

While reading that last email, my family throwed me some weird glances, as I was quacking madly from self-satisfaction and glee.

How can you attempt the same method? Somewhere between December and January, ServiceNow add a link to theirKnowledge web site, so you can propose topics. I’ve been told that success stories presented by, or with, customers, may receive a higher chance of acceptance.

Training Expert’s Method: Register in the ServiceNow Authorized Training Partner Program

I did not try this method, but another method available to ServiceNow, and Partners,  employees is to register to ServiceNow ATP Program. If you’re selected to give a pre-knowledge training, I’ve been told that you will be invited to the event itself.

Conclusion

If you’re trying to get an invite for the next Knowledge event, now you’re better prepared. If you experimented with other methods, I would be delighted to hear about your experience in the comments’ section.

On a grimmer side, due to the current Coronavirus epidemic, Knowledge 2020 will have to re-invent itself, possibly as an online event. (See the Official information page and a Community discussion)

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