Top 5 Microsoft 365 Conferences I am Looking Forward to in 2020
The new year is almost here, and with the cloud and IT in general always changing, staying up to date is now a challenge for every IT person in the world. Conferences offer a great way to get the latest knowledge out there from both Microsoft, as well as the community. Most conference also have dedicated times such as “Ask the Experts” where you can sit down and ask your questions to an expert in the field. Furthermore, conferences are a great way to network with your peers in the community and discover what other organizations are doing to get the best out of Microsoft 365! I know there are a ton of conferences out there, and especially a ton in the “other parts” of Microsoft 365 that I am not necessarily the expert in, but from a SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Yammer, Stream perspective, those are the top of my list for 2020, in no particular order!
SharePoint Conference 2020 – Las Vegas, NV, USA
One of the first ones that comes to mind is the SharePoint Conference, happening May 19-21 in Las Vegas, Nevada. One of the great things about the SharePoint Conference is that it’s one of the events that Microsoft uses the announce things in the spring, and there is a big Microsoft presence there, allowing anyone to talk directly to Microsoft Product Managers and get their questions answered directly from the source. The conference has 3 days of sessions, as well as 3 days of optional, full day workshops you can sign up for to deep dive into certain topics. To learn more, check out the following links:
- Conference Home Page: https://sharepointna.com/#!/
- Conference Registration: https://sharepointna.com/#!/register?utm_term=VLAD
- My Sessions at SharePoint Conference: https://vladtalkstech.com/2019/12/speaking-at-the-sharepoint-conference-2020-discount-code-included.html
- Discount Code: Use discount code VLAD at checkout to save 50$ off your registration!
SharePoint Fest – Washington DC, Seattle, and Chicago
SharePoint Fest is probably the conference that I have been the most at, and there’s a reason for that, they’re awesome! SharePoint Fest puts on 3 different conferences every year, one in DC in the spring, Seattle in the late Summer and Chicago during the winter. The dates for this year’s events are:
- Washington DC: April 13th – April 17th, 2020 > https://www.sharepointfest.com/DC/ (Read about my sessions here)
- Seattle: August 24th – 28th, 2020 > https://www.sharepointfest.com/Seattle/
- Chicago: December 7th-11th, 2020 > https://www.sharepointfest.com/Chicago/
SharePoint Fest has 3 days of sessions, with 2 days of conferences. This event is a bit smaller in nature (~500-700 attendees) but this makes it easier for attendees to spend time with the speakers and get their specific questions answered, which is awesome. Another cool thing about the SharePoint Fest workshops is that there are both Full Day, and Half Day workshops for you to choose from, allowing you to cover two topics in the same day.
- Discount Code for SharePoint Fest DC 2020: CATRINESCU100
European SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Conference 2020 – TBD
The European SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure conference (commonly referred to as ESPC) is by far the top conference in Europe for everything SharePoint and Office 365. Another awesome thing is that every year, they organize it in a new city in Europe. So far, I have spoken at this conference in Stockholm, Vienna, Dublin, Copenhagen, and Prague! The conference has 3 days of sessions, and 1 day of full-day workshops! So far, they have not yet announced the dates/location for next year, but make sure you keep an eye out as it’s guaranteed to be awesome!
- ESPC 2020 > https://www.sharepointeurope.com/
Microsoft Ignite 2020 – September 21–25, 2020 New Orleans, LA
Microsoft Ignite is the biggest Microsoft conference in the world with over 30,000 attendees! This is Microsoft’s flagship event, and this is where the biggest announcements are made. There is also a huge part of the expo hall dedicated for Microsoft Product Managers and Engineers that are there and available to answer any questions you might have on the product. There are thousands of sessions to choose from over a 5-day period, and an optional pre-day of workshops that you can attend. This conference is very heavily focused towards announcements on what Microsoft will just have announced, but there are also sessions by Microsoft MVPs and MCTs on how to use those tools in the real world.
- Microsoft Ignite 2020 > https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ignite
Live! 360 2020 – Orlando
Live 360 is an amazing conference that I spoke at a while back, but I unfortunately couldn’t make it in the past few years! The amazing thing about Live! 360 Orlando is that it’s kind of a 6 conference into a single event, in November, in Orlando, on a Universal resort!
- Visual Studio Live!
- SQL Server Live!
- TechMentor (training for IT Pros)
- Artificial Intelligence Live!
- Office & SharePoint Live!
- Cloud & Containers Live!
Having this many events in one, allows you to really switch around from all kinds of session to learn everything you want from Dev, IT Pro , Office 365, and even go outside your normal focus area and look at things you might not work as much with, such as Artificial Intelligence. Another awesome thing about this event is that it’s “anti-marketing” , so all of the sessions are really about the tech, and not about marketing, which makes it awesome for people looking for awesome hands on sessions. The conference is November 15th to the 20th, with optional pre-day workshops before! Make sure to check it out;
- Live! 360 Orlando > https://live360events.com/home.aspx
Other Amazing Microsoft 365 Conferences you should look at:
- Microsoft Ignite The Tour (30 events around the globe) > https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/ignite-the-tour/
- North American Collaboration Summit (Branson, Missouri) > https://www.collabsummit.org/
- SPTechCon (San Francisco, CA and Myrtle Beach, SC) > https://www.sptechcon.com/SharePointandOffice365Conference
- SharePoint Saturday Events (around the globe) > http://www.spsevents.org/events
Which events do you plan to attend in 2020?
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