It’s been a few days since returning from Copenhagen for the 9th in-person European SharePoint, Office 365 & Azure Conference, held at the Bella Center Copenhagen in Denmark November 28th through December 1st. If you count the 2 years of the event being held online, this was my 11th year participating as a speaker, and 4th year as a Community Reporter. My oh my, how time flies…
I’m not going into a detailed walkthrough of my ESPC experience, but wanted to call out a few takeaways and people in a short(er) post. Highlights for me this year at #ESPC22 included:
Seeing people in person.
The greatest value of attending these kinds of events is the face-to-face interaction. I was able to see friends, partners, co-workers and community members that I’ve known since the SharePoint Conference in 2009 — and even a couple before then from my Microsoft years — who are still active in the community. Whether seeing people in the expo hall, as they stopped by the AvePoint booth, or in the halls between sessions and keynotes, or up in the speaker room, the personal relationships you create and develop through in-person events is the greatest value driver, both personally and professionally. If you’re not planning to attend ESPC23 in Amsterdam next year, or a similar event in another region, make your plans now.
Spending quality time with my fellow Community Reporters.
Thank you again to Michael Greth (@mysharepoint) for coordinating all of the behind-the-scenes activities and programming, to my co-MC, Tracy van der Schyff (@tracyvds) who was “tricked” into participating (will it work again next year?), and to the MVP+RD team including Eric Overfield (@ericoverfield), Vesa Nopanen (@vesanopanen), Karoliina Kettukuri (@kettukari), Chirag Patel (@techChirag), and Anoop Tatti (@anooptells) for helping pull together a successful program! Also to Maarten Visser (@mvisser) for standing in last-minute when my session overlapped our program plans, and participating in other interviews. And, of course, to all of our other guests and speakers who participated in the on-air and recorded interviews which we’ll see shared on the ESPC YouTube page over the next few weeks.
Interviewing Jeff Teper.
The last time ESPC was in Copenhagen back in 2018, I was able to interview Jeff Teper, then CVP of SharePoint, OneDrive and Yammer at Microsoft. This time around, Jeff is President of Collaborative Apps & Platforms, which includes leading all product, design, and engineering teams for Microsoft 365, including Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, Viva, and more. I asked Jeff about the changes in his role and priorities, what he is focusing on for FY23 and beyond, and Microsoft’s increased support around community events and activities. Looking forward to seeing the final product, which should be published on the ESPC YouTube page sometime soon.
Interacting with the ESPC22 organizing team.
So grateful to Kevin Monahan, Sarah McNamara, Orla Spencer, Ella Murphy, and the rest of the QualTech team for putting on a quality event and continuing to invite me to participate 11 times. Hoping to round that out to a dozen with next year’s event 🙂
Meeting all of the Viva Explorers (#VivaExplorers).
This is my new crew — a passionate cohort of Microsoft MVPs who are all focused on different aspects of the Employee Experience (#EXP) and Microsoft Viva solutions. Great interactions with Kevin McDonnell, Lesley Crook, Zoe Wilson, Amanda Sterner, Sara Fennah, Chirag Patel, Emily Mancini, Vesa Nopanen, Anoop Tatti, Merethe Stave, Eric Overfield, Mark Rackley, Sue Hanley, Ragnar Heil, Stale Hansen, Marijn Somers, Stephanie Donahue, Karoliina Kettukari, and (of course) Tracy van der Schyff and others (sorry if I missed anyone). If you’re interested in Viva, be sure to follow this group (via this Twitter list)!
Sharing with my session participants.
Thank you to everyone who attended my session “How Organizations Can Prepare for Microsoft Viva” where I provided an overview of the employee experience category, and some of the planning and preparation required for these solutions. Not sure of the final number, but somewhere over 150 in the theater. My deck was made available to ESPC attendees through the event app, but for those who may be interested, I am also working on an ebook where I’ll share some of this great content, as well as important resources from Microsoft and the community at large. Look for that in January!
Spending time with the AvePoint team.
New faces, long-time friends, and now all peers. What I love most about spending time with team members at these events is to check-in on the different perspectives they have on some of our marketing campaigns, feedback from customers, and their community interactions. I took notes on my conversations in the booth about blog ideas, some forthcoming channel content that I’ll be working on, and where I can help directly and indirectly. Looking forward to these in-person events heating up again so that I can schedule more time with my teams in EMEA, APAC, and across the Americas.
I tried to do that math to figure out how many online and in-person events I’ve attended and presented at over the past 12+ years that I’ve been in this community. I remember back in 2017 that it was over 250, which sounds insane — but at 2-3 events per month for more than a decade, it quickly adds up. As we finalize plans for 2023, I am looking forward to getting back out on the road more often and seeing many of you. I’ll be primarily channel focused, however I am still planning on participating in many of the larger events, so watch for me!
[…] 3rd time at the Bella Center Copenhagen since the event began back in 2011. As I mentioned in my #ESPC22 Takeaways post earlier this month, this was my 9th year as an in-person speaker (2 years online during the […]