The past 5 days at the SharePoint conference 2012 in Las Vegas have passed in a blur with over 10,000 attendees from 85 countries, 2,000+ partners exhibiting, hundreds of SharePoint sessions with around 20 running simultaneously.
The conference was at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, spanning 60 acres with over 3,300 rooms. My colleague, Piyush, had his room at the Mandalay booked and strongly recommended booking early and now I know why. By the time I confirmed, the Mandalay was totally sold out and I ended up staying at the Luxor hotel next door in a £50 per night room. The Luxor’s theme is Egyptian of course and my room looked like it was last decorated around the time of the Pharaoh’s. Anyway, guess it focused my mind on the task at hand and ensured I didn’t leave any of the sessions early to get to my room :)
It wasn’t quite all hard work of course, with an AvePoint hosted party at the Hard Rock Hotel and Microsoft bringing in Jon Bon Jovi for a concert at the SharePoint party on the beach
Having resisted the persistent nudging of Piyush over the past 4 years to attend these conferences I decided to take the plunge and make the investment to attend, partly as my fellow director Simon Hudson had attended the UK 5 day conference earlier in the year and got great value from it.
I arrived keen to learn more about SharePoint 2013 and how we could it apply it to business scenarios as well as Hadron 8020. Over the course of the next week or so I’ll look to summarise my thoughts on what has been a tremendously insightful trip, and this for someone who thought he already knew SharePoint inside out having worked with SharePoint since its inception in 2001. The bottom line is that SharePoint 2013 massively raises the bar on end user experience, social, search along with a game changing Business Intelligence strategy. These combined with improvements in Office365 and mobile provide a connected story that no other vendor can touch in the enterprise space. Read part 2 - http://www.cloud2.co.uk/sharepoint-2013-part-2-improvements-in-user-experience/