- SPS Events, the organization behind many SharePoint Saturdays, is coming to an end
- The events, however, will continue – as “SharePoint Saturdays” or under new and evolving names (like ours, see below)
Last week – Friday August 20th, 2021 – the SPS Events crew posted announcements on their Facebook page and web site that the SPS Events entity as we know it will be shutting down this coming Fall. Check out the details here:
This is certainly the end of an era – the end of an amazing legacy built and managed by awesome people. Eric Harlan, Susan Lennon, and a ton of folks and organizations behind and alongside them created a community like no other.
SPS Events did a LOT, but two things for me stood out:
They maintained a “master schedule” for our community of events. This was, and is, hugely important and useful. It helped with visibility to folks in a city, in a region, in a geography to find local events. It helped speakers and vendors with locating events outside of their usual regions. It also helped prevent overlaps and confusion in some cases. All of this was good for the community. I’m not sure where this master schedule will be maintained going forward. With SPS events alone this was a pretty big list. Now with SharePoint Saturdays evolving (as we are) to different names, to physical events, virtual events, hybrid events, etc. it seems like a challenge without an owner at the moment.
They also provided a platform, a framework, and support for new and smaller events to get a foothold when they needed it. This is such an important part of our community. Helping new folks, new speakers, new organizers, etc. across the board where and when we can is a cornerstone of what we do. I’ve never seen it in any community – technical or otherwise – as much as I have in our SharePoint, Office, Microsoft community.
There will likely be a lot of chatter and reminiscing about SPS Events this week. A lot of us have “grown up” through this community, found our paths, built careers, and so much more. A huge thanks to Eric, Susan, and all who have been and continue to be a part of this community. I count myself lucky to be a small part of it in our little corner of the world.
SPSTC –> M365TC
We’ve already had folks reach out and want to get ahead of the rest of it… We aren’t going away. Our local organization here in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, the Upper Midwest – is still here. As we mentioned a few months ago, we’re in the midst of renaming and rebranding. That rebranding effort will continue and we do plan on returning to events as you’ve known them as soon as is practical with the pandemic and all the repercussions of it.
Latest on events
I’ve been holding out hope for a Fall/Winter event in 2021, but between COVID’s Delta variant and venue limitations, an event similar to what we normally do twice a year is not looking likely this year. Normandale is closed to events through 2021. My interpretation of this is that we will look to early 2022 for a bigger event – with all the usual “it depends” that comes with pandemic details. We might look at doing some smaller events in the meantime, but that is very TBD.