SharePoint Conference 2012 … my tips

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There are quite a few “SharePoint Conferences” around the world each year, but there is only one SPC.

I attend quite a few conferences that are SharePoint related each year and enjoy many of them.  But there are only a couple I really truly look forward to.  SPC is one of those.  It’s just different.  It’s huge, it’s a big reunion of everyone in the SharePoint industry and many friends.  I am also kind of bias about this conference since I used to help run it and I am still involved in parts of it.  Provoke built the MySPC attendee experience along with the companion MySPC for WP7 app.(more on that a little later).

People go to SPC for a lot of varying reasons.  Some go to party, others go for the sessions, others go to network and some just go because they were told to.  I go for the people. It’s the one time each year I know almost everyone I value talking to about SharePoint will be in one place at the same time.

Here are a couple of tips that I think will really help enhance your conference experience.

Picking Content
I am very selective about what sessions I go to.  There are so many on at one time that you will miss out on things … so pick which ones you want to attend in person and make a like of the others to watch the videos afterwards. Instead of picking what to attend based on content alone I tend to pick based on who the speaker is first, then topic and then relevance to me.  Some of the best sessions I have been to have been about topics that are not core to my skills.  I learn the most of out those and broaden my horizons.

Peaking early
SPC is a marathon not a sprint. Noobs will hit the conference running and peak too early.  Too many late nights out at parties to early in the week. Basically my rule of thumb to survive the week is to not hit it hard until the attendee party. No all nighters Sunday or Monday kids 🙂

Networking
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I personally find wandering the expo hall and community areas talking to people a very valuable use of time. I meet all sorts of people and end up connecting with loads people.  It’s really valuable to me.  MySPC has a feature where you can find out who from your social networks is attending the conference and that is a good way to see who you might want to set up some time with to talk. 

Jump on MySPC and head into the Favorites section.  Connect up your social networks and it will find others from your networks that have done the same.

SharePint
SharePint is always a highlight at SPC.  It’s a great social event that shouldn’t be missed.  It’s a SharePoint tradition and its in the EyeCandy sound and lounge bar from 7pm on Sunday.  This is SharePoint community at its best.

imageNavigating while you are there.
If you have a Windows Phone then MySPC for WP7 is a must have.  If not then use myspc.mssharepointconference.com and it should redirect you to the mobile web experience. This way you can see your schedule, update it & check out what else is on etc…

If you are heading to the conference this year be sure to get in touch with me on twitter (@LoungeFlyZ), we can meet up and talk SharePoint.

See you there!

-CJ

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