Most of the intrepid Sharing the Point (STP) travelers arrived at the Microsoft office in Beijing early Thursday afternoon, having come straight from the airport and our flight from Sydney (including a brief but memorable layover in Guangzhou). The team was met by Dux Raymond Sy, who had spent the morning with a local SharePoint User Group and, just prior to the start of the event, was joined by Michael Noel, who was just in from a flight that brought him from TechEd Middle East. At last, the STP team was fully assembled, and ready to formally launch the Sharing the Point Asian tour.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The story of Sharing the Point Beijing truly begins when we walked in the door of the Microsoft building and quickly became aware of a group of teenage girls in the lobby, all of whom were wearing visitor badges, and all of whom were seemingly fascinated to the point of giggling over the group of Westerners who had just arrived. Mark, always one for a photo op, introduced himself and asked if we could get a picture with them. More giggling ensued, followed by many rounds of photos. Alas, I don’t have any of those pictures on my camera, so will have to add a representative shot to the post as soon as I can get one from Mark.
The funny thing was that, while we assumed that the group of teens was there for a school trip to Microsoft, what we couldn’t have known was that they were, in fact, there for our Sharing the Point event … and many of them were serious SharePoint users who were already employed in jobs working with the product! Needless to say, even more photos were taken in the conference room prior to the start of the event, and one of my favorites is this one, which I like to think of as “Paul Swider, SharePoint Rock Star”:
And yes, you’re seeing exactly what you think you’re seeing: Paul’s signing autographs for fans.
Just prior to the beginning of the event itself, we took a group photo with many of the attendees... something we'll definitely be making a tradition of in Manila and Ho Chi Minh City in the days ahead:
At the start of the event, our gracious host at Microsoft Beijing, Peter Hu, provided an introduction (in Chinese) to the event, and then handed the mic over to Dux, who (also in Chinese … Dux is fluent … who knew?!) spoke for a few minutes before bringing up each of the STP tour members in turn to provide an introduction. Heck, Dux even got me up there to babble on, hopefully at least semi-coherently, with some unprepared remarks for a minute or two.
Rather than leave you with an image of the writer attempting to speak, however, I’ll leave you instead with a shot of our gracious host, Microsoft’s Peter Hu:
Thanks to Peter and everyone at Microsoft Beijing for being such generous hosts, and to everyone who came out for the event!
See all of Mark Miller's Beijing photos (including trips to the Forbidden City and Great Wall) at: http://on.fb.me/hx81cE.