So, I attended the European SharePoint Conference 2013 and I have to say I ultimately found it to be very useful.
It didn’t start off that way though. Not being a developer I found the opening keynote “Apps Everywhere:The New Office and SharePoint Store. Why Building a Vibrant Ecosystem Makes Great Business Sense” to be disappointing. I understand why Microsoft felt the need to build an “App Store” for their products to get micro-transactions out of customers but I can also see how your regular vendors would be put off by it. I also do not see the point of the App Store for businesses. It totally goes against the governance that I am trying to put in place. I would certainly not let any users download apps to their workspaces. I know the App Store can be restricted to just enterprise apps but even so, it is restricting what a Business Analyst can do and you are relying on a developer to create these apps.
The next keynote was by Mirjam van Olst and Spencer Harbar, two very distinguished MVPs and bloggers. They are very good speakers and made the keynote interesting, however it was sharePoint 2013 again and I got worried this was going to be the format for the whole exhibition.
Thankfully this was not the case and there were some fantastic seminars over the 3 days focussing on a variety of technologies and business angles.
The standout seminars for me were:
- “Getting the Most Out of Your Content in SharePoint with Enterprise Search” by Agnes Molnar
- “The Four Facets of SharePoint Productivity” by Christian Buckley (Axceler)
- “Risk Free Collaboration:Unleash Information with Visibility and Control” by James Fowell (Axceler)
- “Looking Under the Hood: How Your Metadata Strategy Impacts Everything You Do by Christian Buckley” (Axceler)
But the best seminar of the 3 days, for me, was by Erica Toelle (InfoShare).
The topic was “Create an End User Adoption Strategy”. Erica nailed the subject matter completely and if anyone has the chance to learn from her, do it.
Erica has posted her slides here if you are interested.
In terms of the people attending I thought it strange that hardly anyone was using the online discussion forum or Twitter to network with other attendees, especially as this was a conference about collaboration and sharing!! And I think the organisers could have organised some SharePints like they said they were going to do. So I was disappointed by that side of the event. I did meet a handful of decent blokes though.
I took a few photos of my time there, which are below. I would have loved to have seen Copenhagen but I never got the chance with so many seminars to attend, so the closest I got was a view from my hotel room.