It’s been a week already since the SharePoint Conference Southeast Asia kicked off! Truly one of the best non-Microsoft SharePoint Conference events I have been to and the first in the Southeast Asia Region held in Singapore.

The turnout at the conference was phenomenal. I will get the exact statistics from SPEvents team, but I am sure it wasn’t less then 550 plus! If you know anything about Asia, then that’s a great number!

Kudos goes to Debbie Ireland, Randy Williams and Steve Sofian for setting expectations for the region and now the pressure – if you will – is on them to do this every year…  so we heard amongst the delegates and the sponsors.

Delegates

Yes, as you would expect, Singapore had the largest representation of delegates, but then other regions from Southeast Asia were well represented as well. Again, I will get the exact statistics from Debbie. From what was seen at the keynote, Thailand was possibly the second largest represented – largely due to the efforts of Microsoft Thailand. Microsoft subs – you have a lesson to learn from Microsoft Thailand sub. Microsoft Thailand actually bought a  bulk of the tickets and then did whatever was to be done to promote this event. I am not privy to the process, but I know Microsoft Thailand’s strategy worked.

Sponsors

Again an event of this magnitude could not have been possible without the sponsors and kudos goes to them for the support they have extended for this event. Overall I saw that delegates were genuinely interacting with the sponsors and not scrambling the booths for swags.

Venue

Ask anyone and they will second this – the venue was exceptional! Excellent facilities – be it the ballroom where the keynote and the closing was held, audio video facilities, wireless access for sponsors and speakers – were well received.

Speakers

What an amazing mix of speakers from all over the world!! Representation from Sweden, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore! WOW! When doing these slides with the flags representing the nations from where the speakers were coming, I knew they’d be a hit and Debbie added the photos – icing on the cake!

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Social Aspects

Plenty of opportunity to network at speaker dinner, in speaker room, at breakfast [with Milan Gross], at lunch [Wictor Wilen], drinks [Daniel McPherson, Suyog, TJ (AvePoint), Steve Sofian, Randy Williams, Debbie Ireland, post –conference party – Mike Fitzmaurice, Brendan Singh, Suyog, Wictor and Daniel!

Given that I am all over the social circuit and my profile picture is the one you see on my blog and everywhere, it seems to have become my brand image and few people failed to recognise me without the cap! Hence the cap in my sessions!

It was great to  meet all of the above face to face for first time! Not to forget it was great to meet Dux once again!

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My Sessions

Personally would like to thank Michael Noel for letting me co-present with him at the Backup and Restore Session – which happens to be the chapter I wrote for Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Unleashed book. We had a great session – standing room and an amazing audience.

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My InfoPath 2010 Session was very well received and had standing in there as well with heaps of questions – 30 minutes post session. I would like to thank all the delegates who attended my session and also a big thank you to Randy Williams for his support.

I will have the slides and more photos up soon… I promise.

Conclusion

It was a great experience overall and nice to personally meet each and every one of the above and many more.

Overall it was a success story well directed by Debbie, Randy and Steve, nothing could stop this from being a hit!

Where to next for the SharePoint Conference? Well for starters, next year it’s back in Australia and New Zealand and some rumours indicate that India and South Africa are not far off. Let’s see what happens.

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