#Share2011 – One Conference to Rule Them All

South Africa SharePoint community – you are in for an such treat next year, really excited for all of you.  Don’t think about it anymore, just book.

Share2011 in Sydney, Australia.  The Eventful Group wanted to know (very honestly) what I thought about it, so here it is.

Getting into Australia

The flight wasn’t comfortable.  Like all cattle class flights, they’re designed to increase the fat profits of the airline execs, not care about the clients who use the service. But from the time the wheels touched the ground, till the time I stood outside the airport – 20 minutes.  I have never been through customs that fast in any country nor received my luggage as fast, ever.  Super efficient! LAX could learn a thing or two Sydney.

Getting to the hotel

That took 3 hours, but the ferry trip included fantastic views of the Opera House and bridge, as well as a massive ocean liner that departed that day.

And was well worth the trip to Manly when you get to wake up to this every day!

The Eventful Group

I have never been so spoilt in my life!  The Eventful Group treated me like a goddess every single minute of every single day.  From a sea facing room, welcome letter, to special personalised gifts – including biltong!  To bringing me water in the middle of a session when I had a coughing fit, to arranging my wifi access, to checking on me 10 times a day to see if I needed anything, to dinner … you name it.  Nothing was too much trouble and I wanted for nothing.  Every single staff member made the effort to introduce themselves and chat to us.

The Conference

Seamless, flawless, efficient, well run, attention to detail, special, organised, professional, personal, fun, informative, energetic, unique …. need to whip Thesaurus to find the rest of the words to describe it.

People tend to think that I’m eternally optimistic and that nothing gets me down, ever.  The truth is though, that I’ve been extremely disillusioned with the industry lately and thinking about getting out a lot.  The less-than-great experiences I had at some conferences this year hasn’t helped.  Share2011 was going to be my deciding factor whether I would stay or would I get out; because I just didn’t know why I was doing any of this anymore.

Share2011 has completely restored my faith, energy and motivation in SharePoint, the industry, conferences, people and experiences.  It’s about the users of SharePoint, it always has been. It’s about listening to their challenges and figuring out a way to gently help them.  It’s about a very broad eco-system we all play a part in, and aligning yourself with the right people in that eco-system.  It made me re-focus on what my role is in that system, because I was getting way off track.

The Share Conference series is a much needed breath of fresh air in a stale, complacent society of conferences.  The calibre of sessions and speakers was far superior to any conference I have attended in the past 2 years. Brilliant insights in all of them.  No geek speak in any of them. Every speaker engaging, informed, fun.  (More about the sessions in part 2).

South Africa has it made in 2012.  We have Teched for the techies, and Share for the business people.  We don’t need any more than that.

I am extremely proud to be associated with the Share concept and the professional manner in which The Eventful Group conduct business.  Greg Healy, you can be very proud of your team.

Lets Collaborate supports Share 1000% and will do whatever necessary to make sure  their events are a success.  Thank you Jamie, Ali, Vanessa, Gus in Team Australia!  As well as the countless other team members that attended. Team South Africa – see you real soon! 🙂

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