The SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference – ‘Three Days of Fulfillment & Awesomeness’: A Promise Delivered

If you read my post on the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference keynote, you already know that Conference organizer Steve Smith promised “three days of absolute fulfillment and awesomeness.” Steve and his entire team at Combined Knowledge delivered on that promise in spades over the course of three days (and two nights of official after-hours activities). All of which is even more impressive given that with the London airports closed from the Thursday prior to the Monday start of the Conference, and remain closed until late Tuesday night, a significant number of not only attendees and exhibitors were unable to make it to the Conference, but a significant number of speakers were also grounded.

Thanks to the herculean efforts of Steve and his team, however, the logistics of the Conference went off without a hitch for those of us who were fortunate enough to have made it to London. The SharePoint community rallied together as it always does, and one form this generosity of spirit took was that speakers who were onsite volunteered to present the sessions of absent speakers. Whenever possible, this was done from the slides of the original speaker, and in cases where existing sessions couldn’t be covered, speakers onsite scrambled to assemble replacement sessions with very little notice. The Combined Knowledge team staffed the booths of exhibitors who were unable to make it, and the replacement booth staffers were able to capture the contact information of those attendees who stopped by those booths so that the exhibitor could follow up and not miss out on a prospect. As an exhibitor, I’d especially like to thank Combined Knowledge’s Zoe Watson for her attentiveness and generosity to exhibitors throughout the event.

The exhibit hall during Monday night's welcome reception at the SharePoint 2010 Evolution ConferenceIf you’ve been following my own adventures at the conference this week, you know that I was the only one (of what was meant to be four Bamboo staffers) to make it to London due to the volcanic ash cloud.  As a result, the one Bamboo staffer who wasn’t scheduled to work in the booth ended up becoming the only Bamboo staffer to work the booth, pretty much from setup Sunday evening to breakdown Wednesday evening. And you know what? It was an invigorating, exhilarating experience to do so. I really can’t overstate just how nice Bamboo customers are. Several regulars would stop by the booth each day to see how I was bearing up, to check on the status of my wife’s flight home, or just to chat. In addition to existing customers, I also met a number of folks who were new to Bamboo, though most of these newcomers had heard of us and were aware of our reputation for making indispensable Web Parts. Other than the most popular questions (“what’s the status of your product line for 2010?,” “what shiny new products do you have planned for 2010?,” and the more general, “what’s new with Bamboo?”), by far the most popular request was for a demo of PM Central. It was at this point that I’d have to apologize and explain that the folks who would’ve been handling demos were victims of the London airport closures, but that I’d be happy to send along links to sign up for our free, one-hour webinars on PM Central if I could have their email address. I don’t know how many of those emails I ended up sending out over the course of three days, but it was a lot.

During the Conference, quite a few folks were also interested in hearing more about Workflow Conductor, and our hosted solutions. We also received some product enhancement suggestions, and some new product suggestions, both of which we’re always delighted to hear from our customers. I’ve already shared some of those requests with our product team and will be reviewing my notes and passing the remainder of them on to the team over the coming days.

Bamboo’s Jonas Nilsson and his famous WSSonVista hack continue to draw praise (two years after the fact!), with a couple of developers stopping by the booth at different points during the day yesterday to express their admiration for Jonas and his world-beater of a “little hack.” Bamboo Nation, and SharePoint Daily, in particular, received hearty praise throughout the week, which I was quite pleased to hear.

I was also happy to meet with Bamboo Partners, friendly Bamboo competitors, and more than a few SharePoint consultants who expressed a keen interest in becoming a Bamboo Partner and reseller of our products. One genial consultant would even bring clients to our booth and recommend specific Bamboo products to ease their particular SharePoint pain. And since I don’t think we can ever possibly say it frequently enough, let me say again for the record that, in addition to how much we love our customers and Partners at Bamboo, we also love all of our friends in the SharePoint consulting business who regularly recommend Bamboo products to their clients. Cheers to you all, and I hope to see you again next year!

Look for one last Evolution Conference post from me, which will be dedicated to the official Conference party that was held on Tuesday night, and which featured a certain X-Factor star fronting a band in a hot new London nightspot near Picadilly Circus…

Read our complete coverage of the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference:

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