Save the date – this September 10th 2018, in Birmingham, UK, it’s the Evolve Conference. Evolve is the new name for UC and Cloud Day UK, which from 2015 has been a yearly one-day conference for IT Professionals focused on Microsoft technologies. This year the name has changed but our mission remains the same – the provide IT pros with the knowledge they need to succeed in the year ahead.
A bit of history, and why we organize Evolve Conference
When we started out around 4 years ago what we found was missing was an independent conference in the UK that aimed to bring some of the world’s experts on Microsoft technology to one place to share their knowledge in the same way a large conference like Microsoft Ignite does. Often travel expenses and conference ticket cost can be a massive barrier to being able to take a week out of the day job to go to a large Microsoft conference, and even when employers do send people it’s not en-mass – it’s just one or two select individuals. So, we decided to do something about it.
Outside of Microsoft technology, I’d attended events like the VMUG UK conference and found them really useful, and it made sense to do the same for Microsoft IT pros. Out of that, UC Day was born and we decided to put on a free conference and set the bar high. Rather than just an all-day user group meeting, we decided we’d bring MVPs and other experts to somewhere accessible for most people in the UK – Birmingham- to present international conference level sessions.
Now on our fourth year we are back and as we announced last year, we renamed UC Day to Evolve. The cloud has changed the way we as IT Professionals have to learn about new technologies. It’s no longer sufficient to train up on the latest version of whatever Windows Servers are released every three years. Instead technology changes very rapidly, in an agile way where technology you worked with just six months ago can be very different today. New products and features arrive very rapidly, and not only do IT Pros need to understand them at a high level very quickly, but also need to know how to implement them should they provide a business benefit or cost saving. Your skills need to evolve over time rather than just level-up every few years – continuous developments is the only way to succeed.
What’s in store?
This year we had a record number of sessions submitted from all over the world to Evolve from MVPs, Microsoft staff, well known experts and first time conference speakers who know their subject well. Not only did we need to pick the best sessions, we needed to pick the right sessions. For the conference schedule you will see we’ve picked sessions that focus on Microsoft 365 – including Office 365 & Teams, EMS and Windows and we’ve also picked sessions focused on Microsoft Azure.
We want to make sure should you be just starting your journey into learning these technologies or if you have done it before, and need to understand some of the more complex or new technologies there is something for you. Therefore you’ll find sessions like Stale Hansen’s Microsoft 365 Explained and Azure PaaS for the Server Engineer from Aiden Finn (two amazing speakers right there!) but also sessions focused on a variety of areas that will be important to you.
If you are looking at how you can use Microsoft 365 to deploy and manage Windows, Peter Egerton has two sessions covering both Conf Manager and Windows Autopilot. If Security and Compliance is your thing, we’ve got sessions on securing your cloud environment in various ways from Johan Dahlbom, Stefan Schörling and Matt Fooks, understanding compliance from Stefanie Jacobs and Azure Governance from Sarah Lean.
You can learn about automating all of Office 365 from MVPs Paul Robichaux and Tony Redmond alongside new speaker Veronique Langelle. Tom Morgan will help you understand how to develop Teams apps.. The list goes on – there are too many great sessions to mention in just a single post.
Not only have we got a ton of great content from amazing speakers, we’ve also got free breakfast, free lunch and we’ll keep you hydrated through the day too. For a free conference that’s not bad at all. For that we can thank our sponsors – a range of amazing tech companies in the Microsoft 365 arena, who’ll all be present in our expo area so you can see and play with their latest kit.
When and where is it?
Block out Monday, September 10th to your calendar!
For the fourth year we are at the National Conference Centre, which is at the National Motorcycle Museum, just over the road from the NEC, Birmingham. That mean we have free parking, and great train, plane and road connections for the whole of the UK.
As many people choose to travel down the night before we also have an informal networking evening on Sunday the 9th September at the Windmill Village Hotel, just up the road. Many speakers and attendees stay the night before and in previous years we’ve even had a tech quiz to break the ice. If you are registered and stay at the hotel we’ll let you know soon what is planned.
How do I find out more and register?
Registration is easy! We need a few details to reserve your spot and make sure you’ve got a conference badge and lanyard when you arrive at Evolve.
I hope to see you in September 😃