Monday, November 12, 2012

SharePoint Conference as an Attendee

SPC as an Attendee

I’m writing this post in the first developer session of the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas. This is the first time I’ve attended SPC and not spent a lot of time either preparing speaker sessions or working booths in the exhibit hall. This year, I’m working the Microsoft booth but most of my time will be spent attending sessions and learning as much about SharePoint 2013 as I can absorb. However, as an MVP, I also want to do something for the SharePoint community at large, so I thought I’d write some posts about SPC as an attendee.


The first thing to note at SPC12 (aside from coffee costing $4 in my hotel room—if I make it that is!) is that the scale is not just as big as ever, but bigger.

- the cool thing about this view (Mix on the 64th floor of The Hotel) is that we could actually see bats flying into the Luxor’s beam—presumably to catch insects attracted to the light

There are roughly 10,000 people here at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The first SharePoint conference I attended had roughly 400 attendees and last year’s event was about 7500. That’s amazing growth.

- excellent to see NCompass Labs mentioned in the SharePoint timeline

- 10,000 people having breakfast

SharePoint Conference Keynote

#spc12 was the top trending tag on Twitter during the keynote this morning. What’s even more impressive about that is that 10.000 attendees from 85 countries can pretty easily overwhelm the network. I couldn’t even get on.

I was wondering about the strong Yammer content at this show (including the keynote), but now it makes sense to me.  Microsoft is working hard on the SharePoint/Yammer integration, so waiting for the next SharePoint conference would be too long. During the keynote, they showed the current integration, talked about the future and demo’d a Windows 8 app for Yammer. Also, they announced that Yammer will be free with SharePoint online (inc. features you'd have to pay for in the paid Yammer subscription today).

I was impressed with the customer video. It featured a Nationwide SharePoint “Spot” solution that uses Yammer today. It looked great. I was also impressed that the keynote Office 365 videos were run out of one of the European data centers. That was a gutsy move for such important demos and they looked great. Microsoft wanted to make the point that performance doesn’t have to suffer because you move to the cloud and that point was clear.


The exhibit hall is about 30% larger and boasts 250 partners. I’ll have to write more about the exhibit hall. There are a number of additions to the exhibit hall this year including the community lounge.


And here’s a random Vegas image for you…

- coolest vine rack in Vegas… baby

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