The friendship of three MVPs led to the one and only Microsoft SharePoint and Project conference in the Adriatic region, featuring MVPs from around the world.
Since there was no SharePoint, Office 365, and Microsoft Project-related conferences in the Adriatic region several MVPs decided to hold a community-organized conference. The three MVPs from Central and Eastern Europe – Nenad Trajkovski, Toni Frankola and Adis Jugo – have known each other for several years through various Microsoft community activities in the Adriatic region, including being Microsoft WinDays speakers. Adis explained, “Being MVPs sure helped us to get noticed by each other, and that soon turned to a great personal friendship and professional respect.” “The very idea for the conference, came to us during a coffee break at the WinDays 2012 conference, in a beautiful Croatian town, Rovinj,” continued Adis. “We agreed the conference should take place during the late autumn, and immediately started working on it. Zagreb was quickly chosen as a venue, because of the good logistics and infrastructure options. The first conference was a one-day event on November 27th, 2012. There were more than 150 participants who could choose from 26 sessions in four tracks - Business, IT Pro, Development, and Cloud. We were supported by a number of world-famous SharePoint MVPs - experts and speakers - from all over the world, who came to Zagreb to hold a session, without any payment other than travel costs.” All top five speakers (of total 20) on that very first SharePoint and Project conference 2012 were MVPs. That success inspired them to hold another in November: SharePoint and Project Conference Adriatics 2013. “The venue remained the same, Zagreb, but the number of sessions and speakers doubled. We planned and projected a conference for 200 people, and we had 230 attendees! Again, some of the most famous SharePoint and Project speakers, from all over the world – most of them Microsoft MVPs – came to Zagreb without any payment to deliver their sessions,” said Adis.
There were 30 speakers from the USA, Canada, India, South Africa, Germany, Austria, UK, Slovenia, Hungary, Macedonia, and of course, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Half of them were MVPs! According to Adis, “Being MVPs helped us enormously in attracting speakers. And, of course, the word-of-mouth marketing, which fellow MVPs from all over the world have done for us. We are very thankful for that. It took some convincing in the first year to attract the MVPs from all over the world to speak at the conference in Croatia for no money. This is where Toni’s, Nenad’s and my MVP status and influence in the community have helped a great deal. In 2013, after having success from 2012, this was already much easier. For 2014, we are already receiving email messages from fellow MVPs approaching us on their own with the offer to come to Croatia for the next year’s SPC Adriatics. It is sure a sign that we didn’t do such a bad job with with SPC Adriatic organization which makes us really proud.”