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October 16, 2011

T -1 (day) – Arrived in Berlin…

by Anders B. Skjønaa (

Arrived in Berlin this weekend – ready for the European SharePoint Conference at the Estrel Convention Center. Berlin is – for me – pretty close to home, and a great place to go on an extended weekend with the family or some of the guys.

This week is actually a public holiday in Denmark, so Berlin will be filled with danish families on shopping vacation. At least 3 of our friends with families are here for the week – and yes, my family also came. Great weather, great shopping, interesting history… and some really cool things to try out… I will recommend the “Trabi” sight-seeing tour . It’s hillarious – and you wont find anything like this ANYWHERE else. Berlin only! Beat’s dining at the rotating restaurant in the TV-tower by a mile…

The photo? Me – trying to have a serious photo taken in front of the TV-tower. But with all the kids around, that’s not going to happen…

So what will be going on this week – for SharePoint people like us?

The European SharePoint Conference 2011 (ESPC11) is the second of it’s kind. The first one was in 2007 and – as far as I remember – it was also in Berlin ESPC11 is not a european re-run of the Microsoft SharePoint Conference, that took place in Anahein, CA just last week.

But you will see some of the same speakers – even giving som of the same speaks – at the ESP11. But on the speakerlist you will also find some of the best european speakers – people who typically not speaking at the US event – and this may turn out to be a very good thing, for relevans and quality; Relevans – because of the differences between the US and European markets. European countries generally have a larger procentage of smaller companies, which does have an influence on the type of challenges people are facing with SharePoint. And Quality – simply because I think that some of the european speakers are at world class level at what they do, and absolutely quailify to speak at the global event. But only a few of them do…

Personally I am looking foward to seeing people like Björn Olstad (NO), Spencer Harbar (UK) (yes – he was in Anaheim too! ), Wictor Wilén (SE), Jan Tielens (NL)  and Miriam van Olst (NL) – and to meet a lot of other brilliant people I dont know yet. But dont miss sessions from always excellent and entertaining Mike Fitzmaurice(US), very experienced Michael Herman(US) and Dan Holme (US) from Avepoint, who (I think) is re-doing his session on creating SharePoint architecture with governance in mind; one of my favorite sessions from Anaheim.  And finally – we can not forget about Joel Olsson, who did NOT speak at the global SharePoint conference (I think this must be the first SharePoint Conference he missed). He WILL be doing a keynote tuesday afternoon in Berlin.

Another thing that is worth noticing, is that the people behing ESPC, have announced that this conference will be a yearly event – looking forward. I think that this is a realistic goal, considering the high market penetration of SharePoint in many european countries, combined with the size of the event which is considerably smaller than the global conference held by Microsoft. I am looking forward to seeing how these plans will turn out. A lot of respect for setting this goal…!

Conference Blog, Twitter, Facebook and other channels…

Another ting I like about this conference is, that there has been put a lot of effort into doing MORE than “just” the onsite sessions. A list of very good web-cast sessions have been held in the months up to the conference. All of these sessions are still available and I expect them to be for a while after the conference too. There is also a  conference blog which has primarily been used by the conference staff so far, but a number of speakers have been asked to post to the conference blog during next week, so you should be able to find additional comments to sessions and topics during and even after the conference is over.

I will be posting a few post on the conference blog my self, primarily in the area of SharePoint governance and adoption. You can find the blog here:

And naturally, there will be “tweet’ing” going on in the ESPC11. The official tags are #EuropeanSP and @EuropeanSP for Twitter, Facebook and other “socials” you may be using.

Events during the conference

Outside of the conference dinner on Wednesday and the Expo drinks on Tuesday, I only know of a single social event during the conference.

This is the “RED PARTY” hosted by AvePoint. These guys also had a party in Anaheim and this was (at least, that’s what I heard) the best party of them all. And I did’nt even go! I happen to know the new VP of Marketing over at AvePoint quite well, and if she had anything to do with this party, it will be rockin’… To go you have to sign-up at the Avepoint website and pick up a wristband at the AvePoint booth in the exibihition area. The Red Party is held at “Kunstschule” (Art School… – but this is a pretty cool place…), Schützenstrasse 6, 10117 Berlin, on Tuesday from 19:30, so you should be able to make it after Expo drinks. Sign up here.

If you know of any other events, feel free to ping me back, and I’ll add them to the list. These types of events are always good; typically free beer and snacks, and a chance to han put with the bunch… I am missing information on #SharePint’s going on…? With the quality of beer in this town, #SharePint should be a given… When and Where?


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