I am working on my presentation and lab environment in preparation for the Inaugural Office 365 Saturday Event this Saturday, February 25th, in Redmond, WA. I was very honored to be selected as a session presenter for this event! My session is dealing with an Office 365 Hybrid Deployment using the new Hybrid Wizard with Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2. I have previously blogged about my experience with implementing this solution here. What I have been doing is getting the proper slide deck ready for the session (trying very hard not to give a death by PowerPoint presentation) and ensure my LIVE slash lab environment is up to snuff and ready for demonstration (my goal for the majority of the session).

I have friends in the SQL and SharePoint community and have seen the explosion of the "Saturday" events for both technologies. If you are not familiar with these type of event here is a quick intro:

  1. They are Free – Supported by companies within the technology by sponsorship
  2. They are local – The event organizers present the Saturday events at numerous location throughout the US and the world
  3. They bring in the best speakers to talk about the technology
  4. They are great for networking – again these are local events
  5. They are constantly evolving – it is not the same event from location to location; each event is an event onto itself with local input to the speakers, session and criteria and is constantly being updated based on the technology enhancements
  6. They are Free – did I mention this? Completely free for the attendees

So back to this Saturday, a new organization has popped up to bring Office 365 to the masses, http://office365saturday.org/ Go check them out, and if Redmond is too far away for you to attend this Saturday, you can vote on the next location for Office 365 Saturday.

If you are a SQL admin/user please go here to learn about SQL Saturday, http://www.sqlsaturday.com/

And for the SharePoint Saturday org, please go here http://www.sharepointsaturday.org/default.aspx

As mentioned all these organizations rely on the help from the community, sponsors and vendors, helping cover the cost of such great events. Even if you don’t have the time to attend an event but believe in the service and the availability of the training, please review the sites and if appropriate let the sponsors know that you appreciate them making these type of events possible!