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SharePoint Conference 2009 – Recap

I had no idea that what to expect in attending the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas this year.  I expected a great place to see my friends and to learn about SharePoint 2010.

What I didn’t expect was the complete, almost overwhelming feeling of being in such a social situation with so many other SharePoint enthusiasts. There were over 7,000 people attending the SharePoint Conference this year. And starting from day 1, we were all excited to be around each other and to try and learn as much as we could from each other in such a short period of time.

I’m going to try and recap what I experienced in being here at the conference.

I got into Las Vegas on Saturday, October 17th.  I wanted to come to town early and experience at least one of the shows on the strip before all the SharePoint started.  So on Saturday when I arrived mid afternoon, I went to the Luxor and checked in.  I then promptly went down to the Luxor pool.  It was so relaxing to leave home and hit a warmer town where I could hang out at the pool again. (okay so I live in Alabama and had been at the pool 2 weeks prior, but it was a chilly 42 degrees F when I left Birmingham that morning)

At the pool, I met up with some of the other SharePoint people who had come to town early. After this I was off to see “O” by Cirque de Soliel at the Bellagio.  So I hopped in a cab and off I went to the Bellagio.  Wow, this show was great.  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to go to a great show in Vegas.  I really loved the mix of circus with water! After the show I headed back to the Luxor to hang with a crew at the bar.

On Sunday we started off the Conference with registration and of course the SharePint event.  There were lots of people there and lots of twitter shirts out in the crowd.  It is so nice when people introduce themselves with their real name and their twitter name.  For those of us who have twitter names that aren’t our real names it is sometimes hard for people to know our actual names. 

On Monday morning, you could feel the excitement for the keynote speeches to start and for the NDA to be lifted on SharePoint 2010. In the main ballroom, people were excited, and even some dancing in the ailses.  What a fun time that was!  The keynote kicked off and the NDA was lifted.  We killed twitter several times throughout the keynote with all the SPC09 tweets.

The rest of the Monday was filled with Overview sessions on all kinds of 2010 topics. I have to say, there were so many wonderful sessions at SPC09 that I had a really hard time picking which ones to attend.  I attended several sessions on Monday, but I won’t go into detail about them.

While at me, it was pleased to be a part of the EndUserSharePoint live blogging team.  Our goal in doing live blogging at these conferences is to give people who can’t attend in person a look into what is being discussed at the conference.  We had a great group of live bloggers this time around. It was a bit of a challenge for us this time with no designated plugs for our laptops in the session rooms, but we did what we could.

Each day  we followed the same schedule, Breakfast, Sessions, Lunch, Sessions, Break, Sessions. I will say that I got quite the workout while at the conference.  The walk from the Luxor to the Conference Center at Mandalay was 1 1/2 miles each way, plus all the additional walking that we did to attend session spread out among 3 floors. It makes me tired just thinking about it and my feet are going to be sore for weeks I think.

Wednesday night was the big conference event with the 80’s Beach Party.  I was sad that I couldn’t stay at this party, but with the stress fractures I had in my foot earlier this year, I can’t walk in sand.  But I did make a quick appearance and got to see Huey Lewis and the News perform the Power of Love.

It was fun to have a birthday at the SharePoint conference and mine was Thursday. I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and to everyone who helped me celebrate my birthday! I told people that it was my birthday and I would SharePoint if I wanted to.  I couldn’t have picked a better location or a better group of people to celebrate with.

Withthe official conference ending on Thursday, it was time to say goodbye to some of my friends both old and new.  I was lucky enough to attend the post conference sessions, so my time in Vegas was not over.  I spent Friday with Todd Klindtand Shane Young in their install and Upgrade session.  Then after I headed out for one last night on the town.

Over all this was a completely overwhelming conference, my feet hurt, I’m tired, and my brain is full of SharePoint 2010.  But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

I met so many people to even mention them by name, but I want you all to know that I enjoyed meeting you all and that I hope to continue to meet new people everywhere I go.

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