Reflections on Best of #Lync Conf Denver #COUCUG

Yesterday, (April 24th), was the Best of Lync Conference Denver. As a leader of the Colorado Unified Communications User Group, I was involved in the planning, setup and execution of putting this event on. I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we accomplished.

First, we had a goal of 40 attendees. We ended up with 48 or 49 plus the sponsors and leaders of the user group for a grand total of 58. We did this with about a months worth of planning and invitations. Based on the amount of effort that was put into just this, I have to say my admiration and and respect (which was already pretty big) for Jamie Start (@nomorephones) and his team has been exponentially magnified. I have no idea how they have pulled off the real LyncConf the past two years without going absolutely crazy. Seriously, that team must be amazing.

Second, we had a pretty major curve thrown at us in that we had to share the Microsoft Offices with the “Microsoft Day of Unity” folks. This means we had approximately another 60 people in the office sharing the already constrained Internet connection (I’ll get to why this is important in a minute). We had to coordinate different food stations and be good neighbors as our rooms were right next to each other.

Since we only ended up with one room that could hold more than 10-12 people, we made a last minute decision to trim some sessions down and deliver everything from the one room instead of breaking things up and having both a business and technical track. This proved to be a wise-decision because everyone was able to get info from all of the sessions.

Remember that whole having to share the Internet thing? Well, we were fortunate enough to be able to have Jeff Schertz (@jdscher) speak to us. He delivered his “Video - What are you doing on my network?” presentation that he gave at the LyncConf. We brought him in via a Lync meeting and used a Polycom LRS unit. The LRS was on the same network as 100+ other people doing nothing but best effort. Our voice quality with him was fantastic! Yes, video was choppy but we were able to hear him and see his presentation the entire time. Huge win and a great job by Jeff. I can’t say how much I appreciated him being able to speak to us. His community focus is awesome.

We had three sponsors (outside of Microsoft). Jabra (@We_are_Jabra), AudioCodes (@audiocodes) and Clarity Consulting (@claritycon) helped us out. Clarity and AudioCodes sponsored the breakfast and lunch meals and then Jabra gave away 4 devices. The help from Claire, Lindsey, and Rose was tremendous. They helped direct people and answer questions. I truly hope people were able to talk with them and see how each of them could help with a company’s UC rollout.

Lastly, I can’t say enough about the team that contributed to the success of the event. We had help from so many places. I really hope everyone who attended got a lot out of the event. I think we had some fantastic content and some outstanding presenters. I’m excited to be entering year 4 of the user group here in May and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Thank you!

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