Since the very first “CRM Saturday” in Manchester, UK in 2016, hundreds of these events have taken place around the world. Inspired by the successful SQL Saturday (since 2007) and SharePoint Saturday (2008), Microsoft MVP Razwan Choudry (a.k.a. “Raz Dynamics”) saw the concept as an excellent way to spread knowledge and engage the community around the platform we knew as Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The idea and spirit of these events is to share knowledge among your peers, be inspired by each other, and of course making connections within the community, and they are always free of charge for attendees. Anyone should be able to attend these events without having to ask the boss or get a budget. That’s why they are held on Saturdays. Since they are free of charge, these events have sponsors to pay for the venue, hopefully some lunch and coffee, and many times to invite speakers from around the world.
Most attendees come from partners, but it is not unusual to see customers and end users both on stage and in the audience. Recruitment is a big no-no, sponsors do not get access to the attendee list (you will not become a “lead” by attending!) and as Janet Robb at Microsoft (and a huge evangelist for these events) so eloquently puts it: “Leave your egos at the door.”
Clearly the two key factors of these events (free of charge, on a Saturday) are sometimes a problem when it comes to actually showing up for an event – “It’s my day off…. well I didn’t pay anything for it anyway…. and look how nice weather it is, I don’t want to sit in an office all day…”
Unlike SQL and SharePoint, our platform has been challenged with name changes and brand updates from Microsoft, so what started out as “CRM Saturday” has seen a few different names over the years. But it is still the same idea behind, where some of the Saturdays zoom in entirely on CRM, others engage the full Dynamics platform, and many now embrace the entire Power Platform.
Power Platform Saturday Sweden is coming to Stockholm
This event taking place on October 5 has 28 speakers delivering some 25 sessions (at the time of writing, the detailed schedule is still in the works) covering topics from most of the Power Platform. Some intriguing titles are “A bullshitter’s guide to PowerApps”, “Power BI storytelling”, “PCF = Web Resources v2.0?” and “D365 Marketing in Action”.
Topics are covering AI, Flow, Portals, Azure Functions, Talent, Forms Pro (yes, Emojimegs will be there!), 2019 Release Wave 2, Automated testing, Omni Channel, Integrations, Best Practices, Expert Panel and a face-off between Scott (yes, the Scott Durow!) and Sara on the big question: “To Code, or not to Code?”. And of course we are saving the best bits for last – a Pub Quiz moderated by Andrew Bibby with some nice prizes to end the day!
Main organizers behind the event in Stockholm are MVPs Sara Lagerquist, Jonas Rapp and Gustaf Westerlund. Among the 28 speakers there are a stunning 18 (eighteen!) MVPs. Granted, there is no sole purpose in just being able to show off the number of MVPs, but what it does add is a proven value to the event. These guys and gals know what they are talking about, and they know how to share it. The expertise in reaching out is a key part to the success of these events – people with a love of sharing knowledge to the community come together with local speakers and give opportunities for peer to peer conversations in the sessions and over the coffee machine that you rarely get at the huge commercially driven conferences.
As an attendee and speaker at many of these Saturdays, I absolutely recommend attending this type of events. The pure knowledge you soak in, and adding the “networking” (though as a withdrawn Swede I hate that word) you make by sacrificing a Saturday is priceless. Just like the admission.
When I was invited to my first “CRM Saturday” in London in January 2017 I was amazed by the spirit in the room, starstruck by the people, humbled by the group I was feeling part of. And got confused by people coming up to me saying “Wow, I love your tools, use them all the time!”. A very strange experience for this withdrawn Swede.
Current weather forecast for October 5 says 8 degrees and some showers – a perfect day to spend indoors with fellow Power Platformians!