The European Collaboration Summit 2019 takes place in Wiesbaden, Germany on May 27-29.
The event is unique in that it is user-organized, so attending the three days is very much cheaper than signing up for an event organized by companies, like Microsoft Ignite or IT/DEV Connections.
Right now, you can buy a ticket for EUR160. If you leave it until May 2019, the same ticket will cost EUR350. The reason for the pricing difference is that the conference organizers try to have people sign up as quickly as possible so that they know what budget they have to play with, which makes sense when you don’t have the resources of a company backing the conference.
I attended and spoke at this year’s event and believe that ECS offers people real value, even if you have to pay full price because your company can’t make travel plans so far in advance. Where else will you get to attend a 3-day technology conference for so little?
The Need for Better Office 365 Coverage
ECS comes from a background of events organized by the SharePoint community and the agenda is still somewhat dominated by SharePoint, as are the technology exhibition and sponsors who support ECS. It would be nice to see a more balanced Office 365 agenda at the 2019 event that represents the full spectrum of technology that exists within and around Office 365, including Azure Active Directory and Microsoft 365.
In saying this, I understand that the event organizers are restricted by the session proposals they receive from speakers. However, they can take action to encourage submission from across the Office 365 technical community to build out a more balanced and comprehensive agenda.
Of course, the Office 365 for IT Pros team will try and help to expand the agenda… if our sessions are accepted. For the record, you can meet us at the UK Evolve conference on September 10 and at Microsoft Ignite from September 24-28.
Not Unusual for Conferences
ECS is not unusual in this respect. All conferences have histories and preferences that influence their session and speaker selection. I see other conferences proclaim that they cover Office 365 only to discover that the coverage is neither broad nor deep. Putting Office 365 on a slide and then focusing on a single aspect of a huge multi-dimensional cloud service was possibly acceptable in the early days of Office 365, when the only things that you could talk about were Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. It’s definitely unacceptable today.
Let’s hope that ECS 2019 has a great agenda and sets new records for user-driven Office 365 conferences. Knowing the folks involved in the organizing committee, I think they’ll do just that.
Of course, Office 365 for IT Pros takes a holistic view of the complete service. At least, we think we do.