Planes, Rental Cars, and SPS Virginia Beach

It’s a big night – the last time I’ll be together with my wife and all four kids for the next 2 years. Tomorrow I hit the airport early to catch a flight to Norfolk Virginia, and from there make my way over to the SharePoint Saturday Virginia Beach speaker dinner. But my college junior daughter also flies home from her Christmas vacation tomorrow, with school starting back up next week. With her gone, it’s back to my wife and I and the three boys – but only for the next two months.

At the end of February, my son will begin serving a two-year mission for our church, heading down to the Mesa Arizona area. Once he enters the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on Feb 27th, we say goodbye for two years. From there on, we’ll write him regularly, and talk by phone on Christmas and Mothers Day. That’s it. He’ll be focusing on service. He’ll come back to us in 2 years, with the other boys finishing up their Junior and Freshman years in high school, respectively. It’s going to be an adjustment. But he’s excited, and we’re proud of him.

So as I said at the start, it’s a big night tonight. The boys are wrestling in the bonus room, my wife and daughter are watching something on Netflix, and I’m wrapping up this blog post before going upstairs to pack for a 3:30am departure. It’s been a wonderful holiday break, we’ve had a blast as a family these past couple weeks, but now it’s time to get back to work.sps-vbeach

I’m looking forward to SPSVB this weekend – my third time presenting at the event that started it all. This is the 5th anniversary of SharePoint Saturday, and in commemoration I put together some fun t-shirts that I’ll be handing out at the Axceler booth, so swing on by if you’d like one. I’m a big fan of 80’s pop culture and movies, and had an idea and a great graphic designer friend, and I think it came out rather well.

This year I have two sessions – both at the end of the day (2pm and 3:30pm), both in the main auditorium. First I’ll be presenting ‘The 10 Best Productivity Features in SharePoint 2013 You Need to Know About’. If you’d like an overview of what is in the latest release and how it might help your end users to get more out of the platform, then you’ll definitely want to see this one at 2pm. At 3:30 in the main hall, I’ll present ‘What Governance Looks Like in the Cloud’ which is a great overview of the issues of governance, management, and administration in hybrid and pure cloud environments.

Following Virginia Beach, I’m heading to Axceler headquarters for a week. Aside from meetings with my leadership team and locking down 2013 commitments, I’ll also be participating in some of the (relatively) nearby user group activities. On Tuesday, I’m heading north with my good friend Jason Himmelstein (whose book I am sitting here reviewing) to visit the Portland (Maine) SPUG and hand out some swag. On Wednesday, I’ll be presenting my 10 best productivity features session at the Boston Area SPUG in the Microsoft offices in Cambridge, lovingly referred to as the NERD (New England Research and Development). On Thursday I’ll be participating in a webinar on governance planning and SharePoint reporting with fellow SharePoint MVP Nick Kellett, who is also the CTO of our partner Stoneshare. Finally, on Thursday night I’ll make my way to the Granite State (New Hampshire) SPUG where I’ll once again be talking productivity and 2013, and then home on Friday.

An action-packed trip, for sure. And throughout, I hope to keep the blog posts and articles flowing, with plenty of airplane time, and fully charged laptop and Surface RT batteries for writing while immobilized.

I’m excited about this year. Big changes coming for my family, exciting things from Axceler, and big ideas (content, video, events, shenanigans) that I hope to execute on this year. My schedule is booked – I have a solid schedule through late May, and don’t see how I can squeeze much more in. But that’s me – always happiest when I have a full plate.

See you in Virginia Beach!

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Servers and Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and CMO of, a blockchain-based video technology company.