Sixth! Who would have thought, on that April day in 2012, in a small café on the Croatian cost, when Nenad suggested an idea to Toni and me to have a SharePoint and Microsoft Project conference in Croatia, that it would be such a success and that it would be still be happening six years later. True, a lot of things have changed since then (did anybody say ‘cloud’?). We have also been changing the technologies included in the programme, last year we changed the name to European Collaboration Summit, and this year we even changed the host country. But the spirit of the conference, which was established in those first days, remained. The conference was initiated by the community, organised by the community, and held for the community.
This year, in Mainz, 1605 people attended attend 103 sessions in six tracks. Delivered by 70 speakers, among them 67 Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), seven Microsoft corporate speakers, four AWS corporate speakers, eight Microsoft Regional Directors and 11 Microsoft Certified Masters. This speaker lineup was unique in Europe this year, and we can with say with certainty that if you wanted the best content, delivered by a stellar speaker lineup, Mainz is where you had to be!
But, enough of the dry facts. Collabbers! Yes, that’s the term our Rodrigo Pinto, one of our speakers, overheard attendees in Mainz using to describe us. It’s a little funny-sounding, but it definitely describes the vibe we had among the 1605 of us: learning, doing business, having fun. Community, friendship and family. So “Collabbers” it is, from now on.
Aleks Drašković made little something which shows some of that vibe.
And in 2019?
As you might suspect, we’re already working on 2019 event! We will be back in Mainz the next year, June 3-5. There are ongoing renovations going on in the Rheingoldhalle that require us to make some changes to the layout – but some of those renovations open up new opportunities for us as well.
PLEASE – book your tickets early! This year collabsummit was sold out by the beginning of May and had more than 250 people on the waiting list. Don’t let that happen to you next year. We will open ticket registration this autumn, so be alert for that. Early registrations help us a lot with budgeting and planning, so we will also make it interesting to you by making it financially attractive to register early.
And until then?
You don’t have to go twelve months without your fellow Collabbers! Our friends in the Slovenian Office 365 and SharePoint community are organizing a great two-day event – Thrive (4th – 5th December) – which shares our vibe. It will take place in Lubljana, which is one of the most stunning old European cities, close to all major European destinations (Central Europe!), and easy to reach by plane. You’ll see a lot of collabsummit speakers delivering new content, some of which will refer to things announced at Microsoft Ignite. Their ticket registrations are open, so use your chance and book the tickets now (early bird tickets are still available).
There are some of the photos that our awesome Anna Imm has been taking. We will be gradually publishing them on our facebook page, as she is processing them. I would like to use this opportunity to invite you to like our facebook page, join our facebook group, and follow our twitter account, since those will be our main methods of communication for the #collabsummit 2019 (who said GDPR?!) That way you can be sure that you will not miss anything important.
I wanted to upload the slides into GitHub, but Fitz wouldn’t let me do that. So, he uploaded the slide decks to our SlideShare account. The 50 slide decks we already have are uploaded, and we’ll add more as we receive them from the speakers.
I would again like to thank you for being a part of the community, a part of our collaboration family. This would never work without you.
This would also never work without people who devoted their free time to make this non-profit event work. This would never work without Matt, who brilliantly managed the venue, without Margit and Nenad making our back-office work perfectly. Toni, who was picking up all the loose ends and making sure we didn’t forget anything important. Spence, who was handling the content team (Martina, Fitz, Vesku and himself) plus communication with all the speakers. Of course, the speakers – these people who invested their time and money to travel to Mainz (often flying oversees) to deliver the sessions.
Humble and honored does not even begin to describe how I feel working with those people and being able to rely on them whenever I needed them.
Thank you. And see you the next year.