TeamsFest is coming soon – here’s 10 reasons why you should join us

When? Wednesday, April 1st 2020
Time: 8 AM – 6 PM GMT (Please adjust to your time zone)
Where? Online (Virtual)
Cost? 100% Free
Sessions: 42
Hours of content: 17

Join us by logging in or downloading the ICS Files: here

I can’t believe that TeamsFest is nearly here – I really can’t. It seems like only yesterday that Adam, Vesa and I started the call for speakers. This was back in december when we all felt like there was a certain luxury of time. Yet this year has been insanely busy – and I guess we should have known better given we did this back in October for Oktoberfest!

Organising a conference has been one of the most rewarding things we’ve ever done. It’s exhausting! – but there’s nothing quite like it. That’s why we wanted to do it again. We love Teams, we love the community, and we really wanted to bring some of the most passionate and best minds in the field together for a day of celebrating what it is that we love doing. If you love teams, love community and are thinking about joining us then here is 10 reasons why I think you should join us

Come and help us make TeamsFest a success!

1. It’s Virtual

Nothing is a substituion for an event live and in person. I’ve spoken at Microsoft Ignite, and SharePoint Saturday. I’ll be speaking at Commsverse in April and at many other events throughout 2020. I like to meet people and be there with them at the event. However, a virtual conference like TeamsFest has the advantage of not having to travel, which saves significantly on time and on cost. You can simply join from home or work and enjoy the show without having to be away from family or massively change your daily routine

2. It’s Free

We wanted TeamsFest to be about the community, we wanted it to be based upon the principles of our user group and the democratisation of knowledge of Teams, so we have decided against corporate sponsors and to run the event for free. Running it for free means we have greater control over the content without being forced to field sessions by the parties sponsoring the event – this means more technical content on Teams and more of what people tell us they want to see. Running it for free also means that it gives those who can’t afford an in person event an opportunity to see great speakers in a conference atmosphere which, for many, is priceless

3. We have world class speakers

We are incredibly lucky this time around in that we have managed to assemble a world class lineup of speakers, who are taking time out from their daily roles to do this for the community and their love of Teams. These are all consultants and architects who would be priced out at many thousands of euros/dollars for a single engagement in the corporate world. I encourage you to have a look at their bios when you link with them on LinkedIn, or follow their Twitter feeds which are often in the many thousands. I am not stretching the truth when I say this really is one of the best pound-for-pound lineups that you will see this year at any Microsoft conference.

4. We are sponsored by Microsoft Teams and the Microsoft Tech Community

Whilst TeamsFest does not have any corporate sponsors, it is being sponsored by both Microsoft Teams and the Microsoft Tech Community. It was important to us to make the event legimate, recognised and backed by Microsoft, who fully support what we are doing and gives us a mandate moving forward with future events. As several of us began our community careers – and are still active – in the Microsoft Tech Community, it is extremely important for us to pay homage to it and to call out how much free advice has helped us in the course of our careers

5. We have great content

We are not partisan – we love all of Teams – whether it’s development, security, adoption, governance, voice, meetings, integration with the Power Platform or Frontline and Mobile. Have a look at the sessions. We have organised the rooms into five subject areas so there should be something for everyone who attends. Like Oktoberfest last year, we wanted to ensure that the event wasn’t unevenly weighted in a certain direction and that we could appeal to the broadest possible audience

6. We care

Adam, Vesa and I are all Teams MVP’s within the Office Apps and Services category. MVP’s are awarded their MVP status on the basis of community work. We do this because it is something we love doing, not because we are made to do it, or because we receive some kind of remunearation for it. We want everyone to have the best possible experience at TeamsFest and to have – first and foremost – an enjoyable day. All that we hope for is that people come away knowing something more about Teams than they did at the beginning and are empowered to either start using Teams, or use Teams in a new way. If that is the case, the day will be a complete success for us

7. We’ll make sessions on demand later on so you can catch up on what you missed

A few people have asked us if recordings will be available later on as it won’t be possible to see all of the sessions as several take place at the same time. The answer is yes! Every single session, including the keynotes, will be recorded and the recordings will all be available on our Youtube channel within a few weeks after the event. We aim at having these available within two weeks, but the size of the recordings and editing may make this a bit longer – as in two to four. Rest assured that we’ll try to add them as quickly as possible after a bit of a breather

8. We listen

Feedback from the last event was really in two areas: the first is that attendees wanted ICS files to add to calendars and the second more on development. We are happy that this time around, we have both. Feedback is really important to us. We chose to do an event in this way because we spoke to a lot of people at conferences, or had been to other online conferences, and tried to do something that maximised the good and cut out the bad. We don’t want to push products. We don’t believe that the highlighted sessions should be by who pays for them. This is fundamentally a grassroots event, and the most positive feedback we had from Oktoberfest was on this different approach

9. We hope it gives you the confidence to come speak at our next event

Given everything goes well, we will look to hold another conference in the Autumn, probably in October similar to Oktoberfest last year. We also hold a monthly user group event. A principle of our user groups and events is that we want to give everyone the opportunity to speak about Teams – not just MVP’s or subject matter experts. Many of us started out speaking by attending user groups or community conferences just like this. We want to give you the platform and opportunity to come and show your passion about Teams and to take that step into speaking. If you are unsure please don’t hesitate to reach out to Adam, Vesa or myself and we’ll be happy to talk it through

10. You will access a whole community

TeamsFest is just a single event – but through the event and through the speakers you will be able to go on and access a lot more of the Teams Community. The speakers often run their own user groups or their own events. We’ll be calling out a few of them in the welcome, and I imagine that speakers will signpost a few of them in their own sessions. We actively encourage it, and it’s a fantastic opportunity if you have a passion for Teams to get involved. Many of us know each other from speaking, or blogging, or social, and the Teams community is truly global. I truly hope to be speaking alongside you one day at an event like Microsoft Ignite