A while back on the Twitter, I posted a question that started a few ripples. Has SharePoint Saturday jumped the shark? (Millions of parrotheads will tell you that fins to the left are never a bad thing!)
I did not originate the question, but I do admit to giving it a very public position. But I think the time is right for such a discussion. The SharePoint world is growing, there will be another "official" SharePoint conference from Microsoft for the second year in a row, and the SPS movement has matured.
On the "Yes" side of the answer are two complaints I’ve heard often:
- It is a clique and it is the same speakers over and over. Those speakers just want to visit places for free.
- It is all about vendors
I would like to respond with a few questions of my own:
- Do you want to speak? Have you done so before? If a dozen people give up their weekend to come listen to you, will they feel it worthwhile?
- Did you know that local user groups are desperate for speakers, and are great for learning how to prepare and give a presentation?
- Can you afford the travel costs to SPS events? Did you know that you can register in the INETA Regional Speaker program and get reimbursed for travel to user groups?
- Do you work at a company that can provide meeting rooms for free? Do you work at a company that can feed 100 people for free? Do you work at a company that does not need customers and profits?
- Do you want to only take from the community and not give back?
For the record, I think SharePoint Saturday is a great idea. I believe the regional nature of the events should be highlighted, and speakers be from those regions. I spoke at many of the early SPS events, but now only speak occasionally. That does not mean SPS is bad, it is just not conducive to *my* thoughts about community and *my* schedule.
No, SPS has not jumped the shark.
And since I mentioned schedules, my speaking schedule is now posted on this site. (That’s right, I am a capitalist just like every other vendor in the SharePoint ecosystem.)