SharePoint Conference Number Five

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I’ve checked into my room here at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay, about to make my way down to registration for SharePoint Conference 2012 (#SPC12), which will be my 5th SPC since getting involved with the platform back in 2005. Part of me is excited, part of me concerned that I won’t be able to get all the work done this week that needs to happen. Don’t get me wrong — it’s a fantastic event, and I am really looking forward to seeing a huge number of my team members (Axceler’s Los Angeles office will be here in large numbers), 120 of my fellow MVPs (check out the MVP wall over in the community hub to see who is here), and hundreds of my passionate fellow SharePointers who have found their way down to the desert for another drink from the fire hose.

If this is your first time at SPC, let me warn you — this is not your typical conference. People don’t sleep here (nor should they). Business cards will be flowing like water. It is probably the single best place for networking for anything related to SharePoint. The keynotes always come with some kind of major announcement and/or demonstration, so be sure to attend. And figure out your schedule early so that you don’t miss all of the great content. Last year I was unable to make it down every aisle of the exhibition floor because every time I ventured away from the Axceler booth, I ran into too many people I had not seen for a while. It was an amazing reunion of people I usually see at far flung locations around the world….but all in one place. I fully expect this to happen again, but plan to do my best to walk the hall and get introduced to all of the new vendors.

What I’m wondering about this year is: what will be the "big adventure" this time around? In 2009, we drove out to Area 51. Last year some folks made their way out to the beach in limos. I hear there is talk about another Area 51 run, as well as visits to the Pawn Stars and some other interesting locations. In these cases, I am much more of a "go with the flow" kind of guy, with camera ready in hand at any moment. Rest assured, something interest will happen this week.

Now, if you’re unable to attend the conference, don’t fret. You will see a steady stream of tweets, blog posts, press releases, and video content coming out of the conference as quickly as the wi-fi signal will allow (please please please Microsoft, beef up the wi-fi this year!) so that everyone, everywhere will know, as it happens, what good things are coming out of SPC12. If you’re watching things from afar, be sure to participate as much as possible by re-tweeting, liking, and rating content as it is created, and make sure you are asking questions and providing follow up to the Vegas dialog. You can still get a ton out of the event from where you are.

Also — those in the New England area will have an opportunity to see some of the great content at SPC12 in early December when several of the SPC speakers will be organizing a Best Of event in Boston. Organized by Chris Bortlik from Microsoft and other members of the local community, this is yet another great opportunity to hear from some of your favorite SPC speakers and Microsoft team members like Bob German, Ryan Sockalosky, Travis Nielsen, Ben Wilde, Matt Feczko, Richard Sgro, and Lidiane Jones. You can register here with event code FBC9CA.

Hope to see many of you at the event this week. Don’t be a stranger. Come say hello.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Servers and Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and CMO of revealit.io, a blockchain-based video technology company.