Friday, October 29, 2010

SMBNation 2010 Fall round up

I would have liked to do a day by day blow of the conference but alas, my blog server was down so this summary will have to do.

 

I think that this year’s event was certainly a step up from last year’s event. Firstly, the Flamingo Hotel was a far better location. Being in the centre of the strip near all the major hotel is much better. The second major improvement was the WiFi. This year it actually worked and I never had any problems connecting to it while I was at the conference. This is really something when you think of all the people there and all the devices they were connecting to the Internet. I also think that the vendor hall was much better this year. Last year it look pretty bare given the size of the room but this year it seemed much busier.

 

I was a little surprised that the vendor hall was over at the end of day 2. I understand why but I think many others like me expected it to be open till the end of the conference.

 

As for the sessions the stand out was Dana Epp’s on hacking WiFi. I think that everyone in the room can now really appreciate how easy it is to hack even secure WiFi. It was something Dana says that he’ll never present again so it was special to actually see him take over people’s Hotmail and Gmail accounts live.

 

The sessions on the upcoming versions of SBS were well attended as was the MVP panel. There was plenty of stuff on the Cloud with Dave Sobel’s interactive session a very interesting argument for how Cloud solutions can really replace on-site implementations.

 

I didn’t get to many business session this year but heard that it was a bit of a hit and miss affair. Some were very good others left something to be desired.

 

As for my session (Why SharePoint is Critical to SMB), well I am happy to report that it was well attended (as much as I tried to discouraged people from attending they still did). If you want the slides from the presentation they are available at www.ciaops.com/downloads or directly from this link.

 

However, by far the greatest gain you can obtain from being at SMBNation is the ‘hallway networking’. There are just so many smart people here with all different business models and ways of getting results that you’d be mad if you didn’t take advantage of that. Even after the conference day, being here is an opportunity to have dinner with these people and pick their brains.

 

I certainly hope that I get the opportunity to return and thank Harry Brelsford and his dedicated staff for putting on such a great event.