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For those of you SharePoint enthusiasts, you know that next week’s SharePoint Conference 2011 (or SPC) is the key conference for all of you SharePoint professionals out there—from the business, to the IT Pro, to the developer. It’s where you want to be. The conference kicks off on Sunday evening with a Welcome reception from 6-9pm. There is a keynote  on Monday morning at 8:30AM, after which the games will really get going. (High-level agenda for the conference is here: http://www.mssharepointconference.com/pages/agendapage.aspx.)

Breakouts, Exhibition Hall, HOLs, etc.

There are a ton of breakout sessions from which you can choose to attend. There will also be an amazing amount of hands-on training through the Hands-on Lab (HOL) stations in the Exhibition Hall. I would also encourage you to check out the Exhibitor’s Hall, as there will be many companies out there pitching some pretty interesting products. You can get sponsor and exhibitor information here: http://www.mssharepointconference.com/pages/sponsor-exhibitorspage.aspx. There are of course a ton of breakout sessions, chalk-talks and so on that you can find before you attend by searching here: http://www.mssharepointconference.com/pages/sessionspage.aspx.

What about SharePoint & Windows Azure?

One of the key areas that I’ve been focusing on is SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint Online and Windows Azure (and more generally cloud solutions). This is a growth area, and you’re going to see quite a few sessions and coverage in this area at SPC 2011. I would argue you’ve got a small end-to-end track that you can attend and learn all about this area. That said, if you want to ramp up you’ll want to make sure you catch the following sessions:

I’ve created a 1-page PDF print-out for those of you who want to have these handy: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=40a717fc7fcd7e40&sc=documents&uc=2&id=40A717FC7FCD7E40%212437#.

SharePoint and Windows Azure Post-Conference (Thursday Afternoon)

You can also attend the SharePoint and Azure post-con workshop on Thursday afternoon, where Andrew Connell, Girish Raja and I will be walking through the fundamentals of how you bring SharePoint and Windows Azure together. You can register by going here: http://www.mssharepointconference.com/pages/activitiespage.aspx.

What About the Social Events?

At SPC, it’s not just about technical discussions; it’s also about the networking and fun social events. This year’s SPC 2011 is shaping up to be quite busy!! You will definitely not be asking yourself what you should be doing, as the social events will be plenty, and you’ll be occupied every night with a party of some sort. For example, here’s just a sampling of social events to which I have on my calendar:

  1. Sunday – Welcome Reception (6pm)
  2. Monday – SharePoint MVP Meet n Greet (7pm) | AvePoint RED Party (8pm)
  3. Tuesday – Attendee Part at Disney (8pm)
  4. Wednesday – OktoberFiesta (7:30pm) | SharePint @ ESPNZone (8pm)
  5. Thursday – Cloud Social (6:30pm)

As with any SPC, there are a ton of events that are happening. So, be sure to get there early and get your schedule teed up and ready to go. Be sure you’re following #SPConf to get regular updates on events, updates, news, and other important (social) information.

I’ll be heading this weekend to try and get some sleep ahead of time! Hope to see you all in Anaheim.

Get ready for a great SPC 2011!

Steve