I have had the pleasure to attend every single one since 2002 in Los Angeles - long before it was called Inspire. The investment in time and money, especially for overseas attendees, is significant so it is important that your decision to attend lies on solid ground.
When I started to attend, I wouldn't miss a session and I tried to capture as much knowledge as I could from the sessions as that gave me great ideas and insights from Microsoft about what was going to happen the coming year. I even held coaching sessions back home at my company in order to share the knowledge. But what happened for me was that after a few years, my network was so big and so vibrant so that I started to focus on meeting people - both scheduled and ad hoc meetings which gave me an even higher return than when I only focused on sessions.
My answer to the question 'Why Inspire?' is that this is indeed the perfect opportunity to learn from Microsoft about what the future holds, learn from other partners about their secret sauce and to forge relationships with both partners and Microsoftees. I believe that it is important to mix all components as that gives you the best value.
Imagine that the top people from our ecosystem will be in the same building for a week. If you want to build Partner-to-Partner relationships, you can meet all the 'movers and shakers' in Las Vegas instead of spending time and money on traveling to multiple geographies meeting partners.
Inspire is simply a unique opportunity to make all this happen - and for me it has always been super-easy to justify spending the time and money for this wonderful conference! Inspire is Xmas coming early for me!