Pretty Prague, a diamond among the pearls, a wrap-up from European SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Conference

For the past nine years, the European SharePoint, Office 365, and Azure Conference has been produced in various European cities. This year was my fifth European SharePoint Conference and it did not disappoint. I was proud to be among the more than 30 speakers from Microsoft, Redmond, MVPs, and influencers. 

Technical Highlights from ESPC 

News and Announcements direct from Microsoft: ESPC19 Microsoft-led sessions

Keynote speaker and father of SharePoint, Jeff Teper, CVP, Microsoft Office, SharePoint, and Stream and team shared many new updates. The team shared how more native SharePoint capabilities are showing up in Teams, the enhancements of lists and libraries, and the apps surrounding them. He and the team shared improvements for intranets, the SharePoint LookBook, and overall UI as well as extended multi-lingual support.  

By far the big buzz was about Project Cortex, announced at Microsoft Ignite (blog post here). 

Sean Squires and Adam Harmetz, Group Product Manager for SharePoint and Microsoft, went deep into Project Cortex, which uses advanced AI to deliver insights and expertise in the apps you use every day.  Project Cortex harnesses collective knowledge to empower people and teams to learn, upskill, and innovate faster. Project Cortex blends AI and ML to make a “Wikipedia,” linking it into all Microsoft 365 experiences.   

Sketch note artist and Microsoft MVP Luise Freese created a sketch of and Sean and Adam’s session, generating this great cheat sheet on what Project Cortex is and how it works: 

Karuana Gatimu’s Microsoft Teams session (What’s New with Microsoft Teams: the hub for teamwork in Microsoft 365) taught us the availability of creating and duplicating Teams and Planner templates. This capability is super exciting for those of us creating multiple teams for all those repeat event production projects.  

Sue Hanley’s governance session (Introduction to Information Architecture: How to Plan and Organize your Intranet) was so popular it was repeated during the event. If you want to learn about governance, do follow and check out Sue’s sessions – on-demand and wherever she speaks.  

Personal and Career Development 

Presenting alongside Karuana at ESPC19

This year I co-presented with Karuana Gatimu on three personal and career development sessions addressing leadership, mentorship, and networking. We had a blast and I always love speaking with her. Thank you to all who attended and gave us feedback on our sessions. What a pleasure to meet you! Our slides for all three events are up on the ESPC site and on my SlideShare: https://www.slideshare.net/HeatherNewman 

ESCP19 Live Stream & Community Reporters 

I was a community reporter for ESPC for the second time, and interviewed five awesome colleagues: Spencer HarbarAdis JugoJohn Patrick WhiteLaurent St Pierre, and Karuana Gatimu on our live stream. The ESPC Community Reporter Team recorded 32 interviews over the week. Mine are on a playlist on the Content Panda YouTube channel.  

Women in Technology Luncheon Session 

I was happy to again support our ESPC Women in Technology Lunch program, this year hosted by speaker Miri Rodriguez, Storyteller, and head of the Global Internship Program at Microsoft. Miri is a dynamic force of nature. I interviewed her post-event about her sessions and her new book, and I’m looking forward to cooking something up with her in the near future – sisters unite

“Choose your audience, choose your stories, choose your channel, choose yourself. Your brand is also how you make people feel.”

Miri Rodriguez, Storyteller, Microsoft 

WITGirls Podcast 

I was also a featured guest on the ESPC19 WITGirls podcast during the event. I love hosts Lise Rasmussen and Christina Gibson. The WITGirls podcast has fun guests and has been around a long time, covering Office 365 news from events they attend – ESPC19 WITGirls Podcast. Lise and Christina have also been guests on my Mavens Do It Better podcast. 

Coming Soon – Elanie Van Bergen – Mavens Do It Better Podcast 

I also recorded a podcast with the wonderful Elaine van Bergen for the next season of my Mavens Do It Better podcast, starting up again in January 2020.  

The Beautiful City of Prague 

I spent the weekend wandering with colleagues and enjoying some solo time. I highly recommend visiting Prague; it is a gorgeous city. The Christmas markets, old-world charm, yummy goulash, excellent speakeasies, and sweet friendly people make the city a pure delight.  Highlights: Prague Castle and the 300+ steps in St. Vitas Cathedral for the spectacular view, Charles Bridge, John Lennon Wall, the Astronomical Clock Tower, Mucha Museum, Old Jewish Quarter, Misenska Café, Hemmingway’s Bar, and my Art Deco Imperial Hotel. Shopping, wandering, and watching the world go by in cafes was lovely.  

Thank Yous 

Thank you to Tracy O’Connell, the Conference Program Team, and the entire ESPC team – you produce a gorgeous event and I always love attending. And thank you to our whole community – you are terrific and it is always a treat to spend time with old friends and make new ones.  

Cheers, and I look forward to next year! 

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