Comms vNext Returns, this Time, Bigger & Better
Conference Co-Founder and organizer Josh Blalock shared his vision for 2019’s event in Denver, CO
I caught up with Josh Blalock, one-third Co-Founder and organizer of Comms vNext, ahead of this year’s two-day conference in Denver, Colorado, June 5-6 at the Renaissance Stapleton Hotel Conference Center. 2019’s event is two days, and gearing up for 250+ attendees, over 20 third-party vendors and partners from the Microsoft UC space.
“Last year, was a different dynamic altogether, we tested the waters to see how things would go. Obviously, things went well, and we returned this year with an expanded lineup of speakers. Our sponsor list has beefed up and we’re headed to a larger venue,” Blalock said.
The organizers’ approach to attendee experience is non-commercial, so for those looking for that atmosphere, Comms vNext is for you. Sessions range from deep technical ‘how-tos’ designed to teach UC experts the ins and outs of deploying solutions that fit the unique specifications of their organization.
A conference is born
From the amount of chatter in the Twittersphere and on LinkedIn after UCDayUK’s Microsoft Office 365 community-run conference, Blalock and fellow co-organizers convinced themselves they needed to plan the first iteration of Comms vNext. Together Blalock, Adam Ball, and Pat Richard filled what they saw as a gap in the tech conference space, erecting a conference centered around applications and technologies popular with Lync and Microsoft Skype for Business lovers.
Co-Founder and Organizer, Comms vNext, Josh Blalock said:
“I’d been to almost every Microsoft Ignite, and immediately after the conference ended, I saw chatter by people longing for the days of the Lync Conference.”
“They missed the smaller intimate atmosphere where attendees were someone you knew or worked in the same space as. We wanted to build a conference where each session and its content were why you wanted to attend”
What’s in store for attendees?
Last year, Comms vNext was one day and attracted an intimate crowd of UC lovers from across the globe, this year, Blalock said, they’ve stepped up their game and there are some heavy hitters from the world of UC expected to attend. As organizers, Blalock shared, their goal is to provide hyper-focused sessions, and there’s no better indication of that than the conference’s second-year speaker lineup.
“We’re expecting MVPs and MCMs, familiar with Microsoft’s Product Group, including Heidi Gloudemans, Jamie Stark, Sean Wilson, and Ilya Bukshteyn. We also have other known industry experts scheduled to attend. We’re looking to do more than just scratch the surface, offering four content tracks for intermediate and advanced professionals – deep-dive kind of stuff,” said Blalock.
Also, in store for conference-goers, a Microsoft Store Device Bar, geared toward the conference’s Microsoft Teams theme. In line with Comms vNexts’ theme, MS expert Tom Arbuthnot is, too, set to arrive from across the pond and deliver a session called ‘Microsoft Teams as a Phone System, Real-World Experience.’
It’s not too late to register for Comms vNext, and you can find out more about pricing, speakers, as well as the venue on the event website.