Well, it’s back to the office and the ‘9 to 5’ that at no times ever involves a cheeky gamble during your midday break. Yes, Vegas is in the rear view but the splash effect of all the hard work and meet-and-greets that took place at SPC12 is still rippling across our thoughts and business.
Maybe it was the location. Maybe it was the return of Boothzilla. Maybe it was the ‘social’-tastic keynote. Maybe it was Microsoft’s timing with new products to get excited about. Maybe it was the bright lights of a conference hall during the day being replaced with the bright lights of a city that doesn’t sleep at night. But for whatever reason, this SharePoint Conference was outstanding!
We won’t gripe about the Wi-Fi connection (or lack-thereof) and how it stretched our 3G data plans out a bit… because at least it forced us to keep our heads above computer and engage the SharePoint Community as they passed before our eyes. How often do you get all the SharePoint peeps in the same room at the same time? And everyone, for the most part, seemed to be there! So thanks again for taking the time to swing by our booth and say hello to the Fpweb.net Team. It was great seeing you all!
Let’s break it down, shall we?
The Welcome Reception on Sunday:
A personal favorite, this event was sponsored by Fpweb.net and threw two wild cards into the mix: Our signature cocktail, the Cloud-tini and the Photobooth. One often involved the other. People seemed to really enjoy the open bar as well as making funny faces with coworkers and friends for a unique souvenir. It was a great opportunity to start the conversation with potential clients but also to take the conversation with a lot of friends off Twitter and meet face to face. An absolute great time.
The SPC12 Keynote:
When you have 10,000 attendees and over 200 sponsors to entertain, you better step up, and Microsoft did. There are some great reviews of the SharePoint Conference 2012 Keynote, but I’ll keep it short. Basically, Microsoft pushed the cloud (all demos were done on O365) and the new app model. They addressed the Yammer acquisition and its integration with SharePoint (Enterprise Social push). Microsoft has adopted a faster release cycle for products so we don’t have to wait three years for updates and that, of course, led to details of the vast improvements found in SharePoint 2013! People seemed very pleased with the social side of SharePoint as well as the cloud love – I know we were!
Back for round two, our two-story booth was once more causing heads to slowly rise and wonder ‘What the heck is up there?!” It proved to be a perfect headquarters for the seven Fpwebbers (Rob, Chris, Ellie, Peter, Andy, Jesse and Joe) that worked Booth #711 and also an optimal resting place during the slower times. I was very pleased with our graphic work on the booth this year as well as all the printed collateral we had available to attendees. We even found out that competitors had referred to our booth as ‘The Death Star’… success.
Microsoft has helped make our job a lot easier by pushing the benefits of the Cloud at every chance. It was much more evident this year that people were comfortable with the Cloud and having a hosted infrastructure. Lots of conversations steered towards what sets us apart from Office 365. It’s a fun conversation to have because, often times, people aren’t aware of the limitations Microsoft’s product has. It becomes a simple question of how much control do you want over your infrastructure? If you want total administrative and server control with 100% customization capabilities, then you want to be in our SharePoint Cloud. We were also excited to release our SharePoint 2013 Private Cloud Hosting Plans during the conference! Each solution begins with a free customized architecture consultation and ends with 24/7 SharePoint Admin Support in the SharePoint 2013 Private Cloud.
Now, without going into too much detail here – the parties certainly added some spice to the conference. Many vendors sponsored great parties throughout the week. Fpweb.net had the Welcome Reception to start it off and the next days were filled with CloudSPC, LoungeSPC, the Attendee Party, Ask the Experts, the Red Party, the SharePoint City Party, and so many more official and unofficial get togethers that were enjoyed by many and remembered by few. The SharePoint Community is no stranger to enjoying SharePoint by day and SharePint by night and these conferences give them just the ammunition they need to work hard and then play hard.
The Bon Jovi Attendee Party:
I hope you didn’t miss this one. As always, the Attendee Party needs to be a big deal and while Disneyland last year would be hard to top, a rock concert exclusively for SharePointers was a pretty awesome try. Jon Bon Jovi mixed covers with classics while lifeguards manned the pool in case this happened. Fpweb.net had a Cabana that we used to entertain guests and friends so it is very safe to say that we had an amazing time rocking out all night with our blow-up guitars and foam microphones. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again to Bon Jovi though, don’t go acoustic on Livin’ on a Prayer. Just don’t do it. You’re better than that. The night finished with an unexpected, spectacular fireworks display. A brilliant touch.
The SharePoint Community:
Microsoft is doing a great job of recognizing the most important part of SharePoint! This year, Microsoft gave a lot of attention to the SharePoint Community which even meant dedicating a section of the conference hall to community engagement. Fpweb.net enjoyed signing a SharePoint Timeline to show when we each began using SharePoint and the SharePoint mural was very nicely done. Microsoft even went so far as to give Dux Raymond Sy the stage as the opening act for Bon Jovi where he involved a handful of SharePoint influencers in a medley of SharePoint-injected songs before going around asking questions to the community like “If you’re a SharePoint feature, what would you be?” and “What would you do if SharePoint never existed?” The parties and get-togethers and even a booth dedicated to Community all added to the important concept of community within SharePoint.
There was a lot of this. Let’s just say that Dux knows how to get the people dancing…
All in all, Fpweb.net had a fantastic time and although Vegas can be an overwhelming place to stay for five days, we survived. Sure, we may have needed foot massages and copious amounts of sleep after the long days at the booth, but we feel that SPC12 was an absolute success and we look forward to continuing a lot of the relationships we started last week. Thanks to Microsoft and all of the workers and presenters who helped make it possible!
Let us know what your favorite part of SPC12 was!
And stay tuned to the Fpweb.net SharePoint YouTube Channel for upcoming SharePoint 2013 tutorial videos!