As a founder of the European Teams User Group and TeamsFest, I am incredibly proud that we were chosen as community sponsors for the inaugural Commsverse conference, which takes place at Mecedes-Benz world in Weybridge, Surrey over the course of the 29th and 30th of April
When it comes to Teams? Well – this is simply an event which cannot be missed.
Having spoken recently at the pre-event, Commsverse In-store (See photo below), I was asked by a few of the delegates why Commsverse was so important, and what business justifications I could provide which would help them attend. As I reeled off reasons and whilst they later confirmed they had brought tickets, it made me think that I want to give as many people who are thinking of attending ready-to-hand reasons to go ahead and pull the trigger
So here we go. Tickets can be brought here (and don’t forget to use my discount below!)
1. The cost is exceptional
It is £49 for a ticket. £49. And if you enter code ‘Chris’ then you will get 20% off that price. For a two day event that has over 45 breakout sessions, a vendor expo, a pre event party, hands on labs, food and refreshements, and prizes after the breakouts that is exceptional value. If you look at the speakers who are at the event, most of them would be charged on a business rate of over £1,000 a day for a consultative engagement. To have personal access to so many over two that is easily worth fifty times what you are paying for an actual ticket.
2. The content is broad and deep
The sessions are not skewed towards a specific area of Teams – it is not, for example, a repackaged UC event. This is truly agnostic and covers the full spectrum to illustrate the power of Teams – collaboration, productivity, governance, adoption, voice, development. You’ll see sessions discussing frontline workers, and apps, and sessions on integration with the Power Platform. Whatever you are interested in – whether that is starting to learn a new area or simply knowing more – there will be something for you and sessions are designed so you can take this back to your business and get hands on. If you do want to focus on a specific area then the Commsverse Team have linked sessions together as learning paths. The choice is yours.
3. The speakers are some of the best in the business
This is, without any doubt, a fantastic lineup of speakers. You are going to see and interact with some of the rockstars of the Teams world. I urge you to check them out on LinkedIn and Twitter. Combined, they probably have in excess of over a quarter of a million followers via their social channels. They all have many years of practical experience, of speaking experience from industry events such as Ignite, the European Collaboration Summit and SharePoint Saturday. What’s best? They are all friendly, approachable, have a passion for Teams and are all very active within the global Teams community. Some speakers are coming from as far out as the US West Coast to speak. Many are doing it on their own dime. It’s highly unlikely to see such a concentration of high level technical Teams speakers outside of Microsoft Ignite in the US: for those who have never been that roughly costs around £3000 for a ticket, accomodation and flights. Get to know them, learn from them, take what they know back
4. It is the first in the UK of it’s kind
To have a dedicated in person event for Teams in the UK is very special. Microsoft has events in the UK such as Ignite the Tour – yet these are about the whole Microsoft portfolio. For example, at Microsoft Ignite the Tour London 2020 there was only 16 of around 160 sessions on Teams. There wasn’t even Teams in the Hub area as the principle focus this year was on PowerApps and Azure. For those whose passion is Teams, or who are looking to implement it in their business this gives them two dedicated days of content and experiences they can immerse themselves in, repurpose, and reuse. Any one of these sessions could potentially revolutionise how you use teams and further its return on investment. Whilst more and more conferences are going virtual for reasons such as time and travel, there is no substituion for meeting in person, for being there and being able to focus without distractions or compromise.
5. It has a strong vendor line up
Jabra, Yealink, Poly, Sennheiser, Pexip – whether its peripherals, meeting room systems or contact centres, the expo will be filled with top line vendors where you can get hands on with the latest devices. Events where all of these vendors get together are rare. Events where you get all of these great vendors on Teams is rarer still. Events where you get all of these vendors on Teams to a set number of attendees (400) is pretty much bordering on unique. It’s a massive opportunity to see, test and evaluate certified devices in person. Finding the right devices and peripherals can have a massive impact on the success of Teams in your environment
6. The location is awesome
Take a look. Mark, Randy and Martin – the organisers of Commsverse, take you on a tour of Mercedes Benz world. The Wikipedia article will tell you more. It is in a place called Weybridge, Surrey which is 20 minutes in a taxi to Heathrow airport. It’s a 1 hour train from the nearby station of Byfleet to Waterloo in the epicentre of London. Its open to the south via the A3. Go visit the Brooklands museum nearby which is the birthplace of British motor sport. Go visit Hampton Court palace of Henry VIII. Go visit Denbies Wine estate which is England’s largest wineyard. For everyone coming from outside of the UK its only a 1 hour drive from Stonehenge, a 1 hour drive to Winchester which is the old capital of England and houses King Arthur’s round table. It is an hour’s drive from Petworth and one of the largest private collections of Turner’s in the world. Events should be experiences and enjoying some of the sites are a reward for all that learning in the sessions
7. It is all about the community
Many technology events are commercially led, and others are product led, and others are vendor led. Commsverse is a community led event meaning that it isn’t about money, it isn’t about KPI’s or acheiving specific business objectives. It is bout coming together as a community to celebrate and learn about Teams, but more importantly coming together to learn from each other as members of the community. Most of us work for different businesses in our daily lives but you will discover many of us know each other from speaking at events, doing user groups, working together on forums such as the Microsoft Tech Community outside of work. Everyone who comes to Commsverse has a voice and is a part of a very special community. I can honestly say that as a speaker – and I can speak for others – we are looking forward to meeting and learning from you! This passion is what makes us always strive to bring you the best, so the quality of the sessions will be amazing
8. The event organisers care
Further to the last point, the three organisers of Commsverse are Mark Vale, Randy Chapman and Martin Boam. I hope you get to meet them personally over the course of the event as they are all fantastic – and they have put a tremendous amount of effort in making this event a reality. I have a little insight into the amount of time that is required as I myself organise Teamsfest with Adam Deltinger and Vesa Nopanen – but I take my hat off to them as this is another level considering the premises, the vendors, the logistics and the entertainment involved. They don’t do this in order to make money or to push an agenda or for career development. They do it because they love Teams, are a big part of the community and wanted to bring this kind of experience to the UK. It’s going to be so good because these guys care and its going to reflect that in the mood of the event. If you love Teams, and it plays an important part in your business, I can’t advocate to come down and help make this a success
9. It has the full backing of Microsoft
It makes a statement when Microsoft Teams endorses, sponsors and sends some of their very best. Laurie Pottmeyer, Sean Wilson, Aaron Steele and Jon Levesque will all be speaking. Seeing them in action close up in such a personalised setting is worth the price tag alone
10. It may very well be the start of a perennial event
Commsverse has all the makings of a perennial event, and its already being earmarked as a seminal event to go to if you are involved in Teams. Over the year, there are hundreds of events all around the world. However, specific events become key in the calendar because they embody a product or an aspect of the technology. I fully expect Commsverse to be right up there with CommsVNext and the European Collaboration Summit as a major annual event to go to on the Teams Calendar. You are going to get the big speakers, the best vendors and the top pros – its like going to the Masters in the Golf or the Tennis. It won’t just be an event, it’ll be an experience – and because we all love Teams we’ll be able to dive right in and indulge our passion – and talk for a solid two days with friends who share the same excitement as we do