SharePoint in the High Desert


Traveling down to Bend is an easy trip for me – just a 50 minute direct flight, or, when I’m so inclined (and the passes are open) just a 6 hour drive away. I flew this time.

SharePoint Saturday Bend may be at the smaller end of the SharePoint Saturday spectrum (Twin Cities is bragging about selling out at 610 attendees, with more signing up for the waiting list) but it is one of the more fun SPS events that I attend. There is a thriving SPUG in place with 25 to 30 people showing up at most meetings, and a lot of high tech for an otherwise remote high desert city in central Oregon. But it’s beautiful, a relatively easy trip, and there are great people involved: great reasons to make the annual trek to Bend. And the timing relative to Bend’s Fall Fest is a plus, with live music and great food all weekend long, making downtown a great atmosphere for socializing.

I’m grateful to work with a great team down in Bend: Jason Hamlin and Barb Troyer, who have run the SPUG for years, and Lynn Jesus, who may have energy equaled only by me.

We did have a couple causalities for the event, with the most visible being my co-keynote Ivan Sanders, who got stuck in San Francisco with a cancelled flight (something to do with loose seats on 48 airplanes). We were sad to lose Ivan, but I was able to step in and give my half of the presentation on SharePoint 2013, and feedback from the crowd was good. You can find my slides on SlideShare, and below:

I had one session scheduled, but stood in for one of Ivan’s two sessions, presenting on SharePoint 2013’s 10 Best Productivity Features (you can find my slides here) as well as SPSBEND 017my popular session 10 Best Features in SharePoint 2010 You’ve Never Used (But Should) (which you can find here) that packed the room and included some great dialog with the audience.

And how can you not love our attendee t-shirts with The Most Interesting Man in the World talking about collaboration? That rocked.

Following the event (and a stellar raffle!) we made our way down to the Old Mill part of town to Greg’s Grill where we had one of the best attended SharePint’s that I’ve ever SPSBEND 045seen. Usually its mostly speakers with a handful of attendees, but this time we had a great turnout that went on for a couple hours. And after most had said their goodbyes, a few of us walked downtown to enjoy some of the live music at Bend Fall Fest, which was a great ending to a fun event. Larry and His Flask were fantastic – I am definitely going to download some of their tunes. Fantastic live show.

I’m looking forward to doing this one again next year. Again, thank you to all of our sponsors and speakers for making this a success, and especially thanks to COCC for providing a free venue again this year, up on the hill surrounded by the beautiful trees. Love the location, and I hope we can continue to provide these events there.

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.