As if the recently concluded SuiteWorld didn't already pack enough content into its tight three-day schedule, customers and partners alike had a golden opportunity to squeeze even more value out of the week by elevating their NetSuite skills before the opening keynote kicked off.

For the sixth consecutive year, NetSuite Education Services hosted Pre-Event Training and Certification during the two days leading up to SuiteWorld, and this year's was our biggest and most exciting gathering yet.

Some 375 attendees—the largest number in the event's history—partook of a dozen different courses designed to help them expand their NetSuite skill sets and even establish themselves as certified NetSuite power users.

“We were delighted to see that at our most successful event to date, customers and partners used the SuiteWorld Pre-Event Training to learn from our NetSuite experts, exchange best practice ideas, and develop their network connections," said Dean Sprankling, Vice President of Education Services. "It was an extremely positive experience for all involved.”

Attendees of the training and certification event packed seven two-day courses, including the new Finance Fundamentals course, which made its first appearance at Pre-Event, as well as returning courses such as Advanced Workflows, a SuiteWorld exclusive and accelerated version of the standard three-day Workflows for Developers course.

There were also four new one-day courses focusing on best practices and techniques for optimizing and extending NetSuite environments. Topics of these special courses  included Sales Force Automation, Inventory Item Costing, Revenue Management, and SuiteScript 2.0 for experienced developers.

Judging from the amazing feedback attendees provided, the courses were praised across the board for their value.

From a course review, one attendee said of the SuiteAnalytics: Reports and Searches course, "For someone only a few months into NetSuite, this was perfect for me. It started from the beginning and built on everything I knew, and taught me much more."

Meanwhile, another student who took the NetSuite: Administrator Fundamentals course was similarly impressed with the way the content built on one's existing knowledge.

From a course review, the student said, "Even though I'm familiar with NetSuite, it showed me a lot of additional features and explained basic functionality in a very organized way, so that I was finally able to put the pieces together."

In addition to walking away with new skills, attendees of Pre-Event Training and Certification also had an opportunity to validate their NetSuite chops and enhance their professional development by taking advantage of our new SuiteFoundation Exam Prep course.

Joanne Coleman, Director of Certification, said that the course offered attendees "great strategies" for passing the SuiteFoundation exam.

Some 54 NetSuite users tapped those strategies when they sat for the exam on Monday, May 16, with 33 of them passing the exam, thus enabling them to promote their newly certified status throughout SuiteWorld and beyond. (Find more information on SuiteFoundation Certification.)

Of all the folks who attended the training and certification event, however, there was one who no doubt left with the biggest smile: William Rollo, director of ERP for New York-based nonprofit Hellen Keller International. That's because Rollo claimed our big raffle prize, a Self-Study Annual Pass that entitles him to unlimited online access to all of NetSuite's publicly offered courses for one year, a value of $10,000.

If the promise of compelling courses, on-the-spot training and generous raffle prizes wasn't enough to attract you this year, consider this: Next year's SuiteWorld Pre-Event Training and Certification event will feature more new courses, additional opportunities to get certified in hands-on fashion, and even more networking opportunities as registration grows.

And yes, there might be an even bigger and better raffle prize. Of course, if you can't wait that long, you can always learn more about SuiteTraining options and opportunities now. There's no time like the present!

 For real-time updates on promotions, new courses, training webinars, NetSuite tips and tricks, follow @SuiteTraining on Twitter.