Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference 2014 is almost at the midway point and, other than sleep, there’s quite a bit to show for it.
With Sunday’s winter storm threatening to delay our arrival, the Fpweb.net Road Crew was forced to change flights from an early Sunday departure to Saturday afternoon, landing us at the Venetian reception right before dinner.
And dinner ended up being a tasty Manhattan at the Bourbon Room followed by a Makers Mark with Ginger Ale for dessert. The conference kicked off the second we walked into that unofficial SPC meeting space where we were greeted by old friends and new ones as everyone began arriving to Sin City.
We would have to wait until Sunday to meet the new Fpweb.net booth. And while our old booth, Boothzilla, is gone but not forgotten, our new booth has some pretty useful features that made it a popular attraction at Sunday evening’s Welcome Reception. Specifically the Charging Station.
One guarantee at these conferences is that your phone battery is going to suffer from all the texts to see where everyone’s at, selfies and group pics and, of course, live tweeting your every move at SPC14. The Charging Station offers a bunch of outlets and cords so you can add some juice while on the go.
Welcome Receptions are always a strong night for SPC because they offer a casual setting (with an open bar) to meet with vendors and the rest of the SharePoint Community before entering full on conference mode.
And I was ready to pat myself on the back Monday morning as I got up, despite limited sleep, to see Mr. Bill Clinton at the Keynote. And after trekking my way across the Venetian without even a drop of coffee in my system, I was stopped at the door and told that with my Exhibit Hall only pass, I would not be seeing the former President this day. (pause for collective audience gasp)
To add insult to injury, they wouldn’t even let me grab a coffee…
But after drowning my sorrows in some delicious Huervos Rancheros at a nearby restaurant, I headed back to booth #2014 for a full day of activities.
Monday introduced SPC14’s attendees to our resident caricature artist, Doug, who, in less than five minutes, can knock out a funny rendition of you that prints out and can be worn on your conference lanyard. He remained popular throughout the day, and for those of you that haven’t had a chance to get drawn yet, he’ll be back again today.
Attendees were in and out of sessions all day and most of the Fpweb.net team remained at the booth cancelling out feet pain with some great conversations with people interested in a dedicated cloud solution for their SharePoint needs.
And while we were explaining how Fpweb.net’s private cloud gives you the full functionality that shared solutions cannot, our CEO Rob LaMear was in his session “The Tipping Point Between On-Premises and the Cloud” explaining the risks and rewards of both sides.
Our swag options seemed to go over well with the attendees (which makes sense since the community voted on them) and the emergency phone charger, hand sanitizers and coffee tumblers remain popular items to take home.
Eventually the main exhibit hours concluded and, in one broad stroke, the room was transformed from a comfortable place to have casual conversations with interested parties to “Club SPC” – a dark, laser lit rave space where pulsating music and strobe lighting (and an open bar again) take precedence over being able to hear the person you’re talking to.
It ended up being a great time where our booth remained filled with attendees gathering information, chilling with a drink in the lounge area that spills into the charging station, and, of course, forming a long line for their personal caricature.
Fun was had by all as, once again, the SharePoint Community artfully blended a great social feel to a work conference.
And with a few days left, there’s still plenty of conversations to be had, sessions and parties to attend, casino donations to make, and information/swag to collect. Fpweb.net’s Partner Luncheon on Wednesday afternoon is steadily approaching so please RSVP as space is limited and it’s first come-first served.
With plenty of SPC events and sessions still on the horizon, be sure to grab your sleep when you can and keep a 5-Hour energy on your person at all times. Follow @fpweb for conference updates and more.
I hope you get a chance to swing by Booth 2014 if you haven’t already. We look forward to seeing you. Enjoy the rest of the conference and feel free to follow me on Twitter @PeterCarti3r to hear about more of my missed opportunities to see Bill Clinton.