A SharePoint Saturday on Monday #SPConfRU

June 23, 2011

It was a very pleasant and unusual experience for me this week to speak at the SharePoint Conference Russia – 2011. The conference was awesome and the crowd was much more interested in SharePoint than I was expecting. My session was the last before conference wrap up, and we stayed for almost half hour after the session for Q&A! The biggest challenge for me – surprisingly – was to keep speaking Russian, and not switch to English completely when using all the SharePoint terminology.

Having been to a number of different industry events in the US and Europe before, I cannot help comparing this conference to some of those. As far as I can tell, SharePoint Conference Russia is very close to the SharePoint Saturdays. The event is completely driven by community, in this case – Russian SharePoint User Group, and it is completely free to attend. (Thanks to the sponsors, and I am happy that my employer participated as the sponsor as well!)

There are some differences from the few of the SharePoint Saturdays I’ve seen:
  • SPConfRu had simultaneous live stream online from all 3 concurrent sessions. Never seen this at any other SharePoint event really.
  • The food was absolutely awesome :-) I’m not complaining about the food at other events, but here it was way better than one can expect to get a free event.
  • Unlike other SharePoint Saturdays, good part of the attendees were seriously looking people in good suits – IT directors and CIO’s, not a typical attendee for a free event. I think this shows there is a lack of (and the need for) SharePoint-centric events targeted more at the business users and IT decision makers in Russia. There are no SPTechCon or SharePoint Best Practices here.
  • Finally, the event was on Monday – so they had to call it SharePoint Conference instead of SharePoint Saturday :-)

So once again I’d like to say thank you to the SPConfRU organizersOksana and the team did absolutely great job, and I really look forward to more events from the user group in Russia.

BTW, here’re the slides from my “Planning SharePoint 2010 backup and recovery – where do I start?” session

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