This past week, Snowbound Software exhibited at the SharePoint Tech Conference in Cambridge, MA and we were formally introduced to this juggernaut industry known as SharePoint solution providers. I had the unique pleasure of working the Snowbound booth during the conference and got to spend two glorious days rep-ing our “soon-to-be-released VirtualViewer AJAX integration for SharePoint 2010”, yes that is a mouthful. Just imagine saying that phrase several hundred times a day while wearing an unflattering company button-down and talking to SharePoint fanatics. In the tradition of our newly minted blog I thought I would take the time to compile a brief Top 5 list of reasons to attend SPTechCon 2010.
1. All News Is Good News: Snowbound is new to the SharePoint world and we were in dire need of some serious knowledge on the subject and SPTechCon provided us with several resources. We sent a flotilla of developers and engineers to the dozens of classes and seminars held throughout the conference so they could hone their skills and become the best keyboard cowboys out there. In the exhibit hall there was a smorgasbord of exhibitors, displaying a wide range of products and services to improve the SharePoint user experience. We got to walk around to all of these vendors and identify the many solutions available to the SharePoint User. Our booth was one of the popular destinations for conference attendees because of versatile product demonstrations, the numerous product leaflets, and the three presenter’s devilishly good looks.
2. Competition Is a Dish Best Served Cold: We got to sit and shoot dirty looks at the other companies that could be considered our “competitors”. I was all for corporate espionage but wearing both a Snowbound shirt and badge made that nearly impossible. However, it was nice to see what other companies in our industry are doing to address the needs of SharePoint users. We got to see a variety of differing document viewers and ECM technology.
3. The Good Kind Of Traffic: We estimated that there was around 300-400 attendees throughout the show and the foot traffic during exhibit hours was always steady. The conference organizers did a great job at providing attendees with numerous incentives for stopping by all of the booths and our iPod Nano giveaway was a huge draw. We were barely able to keep up with the amount of people trying to see our AJAX viewer in action. At times it reminded me of bar tending weddings in college…. with a similar amount of tips….zero.
4. Communication Is The Seed Of A Fruitful Relationship: Being so new to the SharePoint space, we were really hoping to get a feel for our customer’s needs and pains when it comes to document imaging. This conference provided us with just that, we all had informative and engaging conversations with the people that would be using our products every day. They brought up issues from headaches with native file formats and crowded desktops to back-end design and decreased speed.
5. There Was a Ninja At The Show….I’m not sure if he was a promotional character or this elite fighting force from Japan circa 1600 is looking for a dedicated workflow tool, either way it was awesome.