If you are a business user – you need to attend a Best Practices Conference. The value for money cannot be measured. While there are some technical tracks, the majority of the conference is aimed at business users and the management of the platform. With 72 top of the food chain speakers, 137 sessions, 5 ask the experts sessions and full day workshops – you will not get better value for money anywhere.
Not only that, but because the event is relatively small, (300 – 400 people), you get to hang out with the speakers as much as you like and pick their brains and just have a good time … specially at SharePint!
I met all my SharePoint hero’s and you won’t find a nicer bunch of people anywhere else. The SharePoint community must surely be one of a kind. (If you’re looking for a new “home” then look no further than SharePoint).
It was kinda hard not to act like a groupie at an Adam Lambert concert when you’re surrounded by SharePoint rock stars. But once the amazement wears off, you have the most unbelievable time. I was very pleasantly surprised and most flattered to find out the majority of my rock stars already knew who I was!! And apparently everything just sounds better coming from me because of my accent. I have an accent? 🙂
So who did I get to meet and hang out with every day? Publishers, MVP’s, MCM’s, all round legend speakers and event organizers :
Agnes Molnar, Andre Woodward, Ben Curry, Bill English, Brett Lonsdale, Brian Alderman, Brian Culver, Cathy Dew, Christina Wheeler, Dux Raymond Sy, Eric Harlan, Jay O’Hara, Jay Simcox, Jennifer Mason, Joel Oleson, Joy Earles, Laura Rogers, Linda King, Lori Gowin, Mark Miller, Mark Rackley, Michael Doyle, Michael Noel, Michael Mukalian, Pamela James, Paul Swider, Rebecca Isserman, Richard Harbridge, Rick Taylor, Ruven Gotz, Sarah Haase, Stacy Draper, Steve Smith, Tom Resing, Virgil Carroll, Wesley Preston.
Hope I haven’t left anyone out. If you don’t know who all of these people are, Google a few of them to find out, you won’t be sorry. As you learn more about SharePoint, these names will continue to come up. Follow your favourites!
Of course I brought a little South Africa to the event in Washington – some vuvuzelas, some wine and taught everyone how to say “Howzit”. Rick and Dux are naturals at vuvuzela-ing.
A few special thank you’s are in order :
- To Eric Harlan who came to fetch me from the airport, showed me the ropes in DC and took me to my hotel. I toured the place flat after that. It would have taken me a week to figure it out without him.
- To Dux Raymond Sy for taking me to SharePoint Saturday Baltimore and then back to the hotel. And for always mentioning my name in his sessions.
- To Jay O’Hara, Jay Simcox, Ruven Gotz, Matt Gowin, Michael Mukalian, and Richard Harbridge for taking such good care of me and always keeping me company.
- And lastly to Bill English who really took me under his wing for this event and even took me skeet shooting (clay pigeon shooting)! Now that was an experience!! I hit 15 moving targets, not bad considering I’ve never done this before. So much of fun!!!!
Thank you everyone, it was an experience I will never forget.