In fact, it gets stronger each time I view the pictures or talk with people about the trip. Even this morning while walking the kids to school, neighbors were surrounding us, asking questions and listening in awe as I described some of the scenarios of the journey through South America and Antarctica. My six year old’s first grade class is studying foods of the world, so I’ve even been invited to give a presentation at PS 41 in New York City, showing our food pictures from the trip.
I was able to visit six locations near the “end of the world”, as they call it in Ushuaia, speaking with people about their use of SharePoint, what their projects look like and what their plans are for the future. Along the way there were food adventures, unexpected changes in travel plans and hospitality that made us feel welcome wherever we went.
This is the first in a series of articles reliving moments from our tour, explaining why we do what we do and talking about future plans for Sharing the Point.
Sharing the Point: History and Cast of Characters
We started the Sharing the Point Tour idea last year when most of us were in Australia and New Zealand for Debbie Ireland’s conferences. There were nine days between conference dates, so we talked about what we could do in that time. The discussion centered around underserved markets where there was little to no activity around SharePoint Saturdays, SharePoint user groups or SharePoint conferences.
Dux Raymond Sy was part of the original entourage, and he had deep connections in Asia. The first tour in March of 2011 was to Beijing China, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam and Manila Philippines. With locations set, we contacted Rob LaMear at Fpweb.net for sponsorship. He gladly helped out and joined us as a speaker on the tour. From a visibility and marketing perspective, the first STP Tour was a huge success, leading us to this year’s leg in South America and Antarctica.
Sharing the Point: South America and Antarctica
This year’s tour was set for South America and Antarctica. Several of the team had participated in events in Peru and Costa Rica, discovering that they were wonderful cultures to visit, with small SharePoint communities who very much appreciated being recognized for their efforts. With Michael Noel coordinating travel logistics, we decided on the locations for the upcoming tour.
Fpweb.net again joined us as a sponsor, but we needed more support in order to make the jump to Antarctica. That’s when AvePoint stepped in. Not only did they become the second global sponsor, they added Dan Holme as one of the speakers on the tour.
With the global sponsors in place, we needed a regional coordinator to manage the logistics of the tour. Joel had met Ricardo Munoz at a SharePoint conference in Costa Rica. Ricardo jumped at the chance to help us, offering the full resources of his company, LatinShare, to find local venues and sponsors for each of our locations.
I won’t bore you with the months of planning it took from this point, but be assured, if you are going to try to setup something like this in your region of the world, you will need a regional director and local sponsors in order to pull it off. We can’t say enough about the time and effort LatinShare and the local sponsors put in. The tour logistics would have been impossible without them.
That sets the stage for a series of articles, each one covering a stop on the tour. In the next article, I’ll cover the first stop in our itinerary: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Mark Miller, @EUSP
Director of Global Strategy and Senior Storyteller