It's been a bit of a whirlwind experience here at the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference, what with little ol' me attempting to do the work of four people (four being the total number of Bamboo staffers who were meant to be here before Iceland's pesky volcano announced rather spectacularly that it had other plans): manning the booth as a one man show; managing to pop into one session per day; and blogging whenever booth traffic allows.
The first day of the Conference went quite well yesterday, with Conference organizers, speakers, exhibitors, and attendees alike rolling with the volcano-induced changes of plans. One event which required no change, however, was the welcome reception which occurred yesterday evening from 6-8 in the exhibit hall. Attendees were given two free drink tickets and informed that they were meant to win additional tickets at the games of chance that had been set up throughout the exhibit hall. What wasn't mentioned (somewhat oddly) was that the exhibitors had each been given a stack of drink tickets to bequeath to customers, prospects, and colleagues, so lucky visitors to the Bamboo booth during the reception were pleased to walk away not only with some information on our product line, but also with drink tickets in hand.
Speaking of lucky, there were drawings held at the end of the reception for various prizes which all of the various exhibitors had provided for the occasion. Bamboo offered up a $500 gift certificate, and Jo Vaeremans, an Analyst with Siemens NV was the lucky winner that gift certificate. Jo was quite pleased to hear that the certificate could be used towards any Web Part in our online store. Congratulations, Jo, and enjoy your Bamboo Web Part!
While I'm on the topic of luck (albeit in this case good luck for me, and luck of, shall we say, debatable merit for her), my wife was stranded here with me in London when her flight home was canceled yesterday, so with the kind permission of the Conference organizers, I drafted her to join me in the booth during the reception yesterday evening. Since Amanda is not "just" my wife, but is also a Bamboo customer as her company has purchased our SharePoint Project Management Suite, she was an invaluable backup in the booth during the reception, as PM Central is among the most asked about products in our product line. Since I'm not set up to provide demos here at the Conference, however, I have been able to recommend our free PM Central webinars to interested parties throughout the Conference.
By far the most popular question I've received here at the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference (and appropriately so), involves the timeline for when existing Bamboo products will be available for SharePoint 2010. The short answer is that all of the Web Parts included in PM Central will be 2010-ready in time for the official launch of SharePoint 2010 on May 12, and the remainder of our products will all be 2010-ready not later than 60 days of the May 12 launch. The more detailed response to the question is available in a pair of blog posts by our Product Strategist, Wes Bryan. Along with the more general, "what's new with Bamboo?" question, a runner-up for most popular question is, "what new products will you be offering for SharePoint 2010?" The answer to that one is that we're still evaluating SharePoint 2010 for the product opportunities it presents, as our primary 2010 focus has been (and remains) bringing the existing product line into 2010 compliance.
As I was beginning to write my blog post on Brett Lonsdale's 'Utilizing Roll Up Web Parts in SharePoint 2010' session yesterday afternoon, none other than Brett's Lightning Tools colleague, Richard Young stopped by the booth for a "friendly competitive chat." During our chat, Brett himself happened to wander by and joined us for a few minutes after having snapped a picture (which I suspect will turn up in a tweet or blog post, most likely with an amusing caption, if indeed it hasn't already) of this most momentous meeting of competitors, with Brett quipping to Richard, "have we lost you to Bamboo then?"
As I've been hearing for years from my colleagues at Bamboo who regularly staff the booth at conferences, the overwhelming majority of visitors to our booth are already familiar with us, and the vast majority of them have either purchased, trialed, or downloaded a free Web Part from our store or Labs. In addition to our for-sale products, our free SharePoint World Clock and Weather Web Part has gotten more than few positive comments, with several booth visitors mentioning that it's through World Clock and Weather that they came to know of Bamboo.
It is indeed a pleasure and a privilege to meet our customers whenever possible, and conferences provide a perfect opportunity to do just that (as well as allowing us to meet new friends, potential customers, friendly competitors, and Partners, examples of all of whom have been stopping by the booth over the last two days), and there's another full day to look foward to tomorrow … after the official Conference party tonight, that is.
Read our complete coverage of the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference:
- Steve Smith is Joined by Brett Lonsdale, Eric Shupps & Spencer Harbar for the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference Keynote
- Brett Lonsdale on 'Utilizing Roll Up Web Parts in SharePoint 2010'
- 'Ello from the Bamboo Booth at the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference in London!
- Matt Groves Answers the Question, 'What Does Web 2.0 and Social Networking Mean to the User?'
- 'Three Days of Fulfillment & Awesomeness': A Promise Delivered
- Daniel Pearce Rocks the Official SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference Party