#SHARE2012 Conference Recap

Last week I was in Atlanta at the SHARE conference. There aren’t many events that would inspire a 3:30 am wake-up call to catch a flight, but SHARE conferences are the exception! Designed strictly for SharePoint business users, SHARE provides a unique opportunity to learn from SharePoint practitioners embedded in active business teams.

While The Eventful Group has had great success holding SHARE conferences in Australia and South Africa, this was the first U.S.-based SHARE event. To ensure the mix of sessions and topics was bang-on, The Eventful Group hosted a series of focus groups and information gathering sessions. Based on the feedback they received, The Eventful Group built the SHARE conference around several key topic areas:

  • Governance
  • Information Architecture
  • Search
  • Training
  • User Adoption
  • Realizing the Value of SharePoint (my personal favorite)
  • Executive Sponsorship
  • Culture & Enterprise Change Management
  • Enterprise Content Management
  • etc.

While the conference included fabulous industry experts (Ruven Gotz, Dux Raymond Sy, Sue Hanley, Jeremy Thake, Richard Harbridge, Adam Quinn, Christian Buckley, Ramin Mobasseri, Bonnie Surma, Michael Sampson, etc.), it also afforded the opportunity to meet new SharePoint business folks from across the country. With case studies from companies like Siemens, Del Monte, eBay, Turner Broadcasting, Nielsen, Diebold and National Gypsum, I was able to see and learn how many of my peers are implementing SharePoint successfully at their organizations.

Here are some of my favorite one-liners & key messages from the event:

  • “Start with a solution that solves a problem” – Sue Hanley
  • Governance in 3 words: “No Sharp Edges” – Sue Hanley
  • It’s not enough to have a governance plan. It must be CONSUMABLE – Sue Hanley
  • Executives vs. SharePoint believers: We don’t talk the same language and we have different goals. – Michael Sampson
  • “Success is 90% people, 10% technology.” – Michael Sampson
  • You have to build credibility with your executives. Stop being the excited teenager.  – Michael Sampson
  • You have to earn the right to talk to your executives about SharePoint – Michael Sampson
  • Make user adoption FUN: “SharePointober-fest! (Inebriate while you Collaborate)” – Scott Smith
  • Blogs are the breeding ground for thought leadership. Read and comment on other’s blogs. – Jonathan Lightfoot
  • “Governance = Balance. Balance between the wants of end users and the regulations of how to use the tool.” – Adam Quinn
  • “Aim to provide Order and Enablement.” – Adam Quinn

I also had the good fortune to present a few sessions at this event. My track session “Turning the Tide: From Chaos to Clarity” went very well–right up until I nearly killed myself (and everyone else) by getting too close to the audio speaker. I still have a faint ringing in my right ear…

The governance panel I participated in with Richard Harbridge, Sue Hanley and Adam Quinn was also well-received. Jeremy Thake did a GREAT job moderating the discussion and several of the attendees commented afterwards that the session was very useful.

My last session was the event’s closing keynote. While I love the topic (session title = “It Doesn’t Take A Miracle: Driving Successful User Adoption”), I quickly realized it isn’t easy being the happy hour prequel. The attendees were fantastic, though. By the close of the session, we were all looking to find the “first follower” that would transform us from being the lone SharePoint nut to the SharePoint leader at our organization!

A big thank you to The Eventful Group for including me in this event. It was great to meet, connect and learn from new friends (Ryan Mattison, Wendy Neal, Zuri Stanback, Charles McCann, Jovan Breckenridge, Daniel Patton, et. al.). And with a hotel room on the 45th floor of the Marriott Marquis, the conference even afforded me some time to work on my fear of heights!

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