My Journey at the INTEGRATE Conference and why should you attend this event

INTEGRATE 2024 was recently announced, and although we still don’t have a list of speakers, I’m super excited about it. The event will occur between 10 & 11 June 2024 at Kings Place, London. You can do an early register and know more about the event here:

This is one of my favorite tech conferences, and talking about it is like taking a memory lane full of great memories, and it all started because of a pizza! At a time when there weren’t too many international tech events, a group of 5 tech guys from different countries in Europe – Nino Crudele (Italy), Saravana Kumar (UK), Steef-Jan Wiggers (Netherlands), Tord Glad Nordahl (Norway) and me (Portugal) – decided to gather in Piacenza to eat a pizza and since we were there why not do an event about integration. At least this way, we had an excuse/reason to go. And that, my friends, was the premise and the real reason behind one of the world’s biggest events on integration!

That pizza reunion gave birth to what we call “The BizTalk Crew” and our first event on May 24, 2012, in the OVERNET office in Milan, Italy (check this blog post). Four months later, we were traveling again, this time To Stavanger, Norway, to do our second event, where we had our first guest speaker, Lex Hegt. (see blog post). We call these events BID’s (BizTalk Innovation Day)!

As the UK was a more central and strategic country, Saravana convinced us to do a major event that we would call the BizTalk Summit (now known as INTEGRATE), and on January 16, 2013, we did our first BizTalk Summit at Microsoft Office in London, Victoria where we had 128 attendees, more than 70 different companies across 16 countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, India, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA), more than 10 Microsoft Integration MVP’s present (speakers, Q&A members and attendees) and 3 members of Microsoft Product group.

Fact: I was the first speaker to speak about cloud integration technologies at INTEGRATE in a session about BizTalk Azure Service EAI/EDI capabilities

We made this round trip in several countries (Portugal, Italy, the UK, and Norway) for a few years until we dedicated it to this single event: INTEGRATE. Saravana and his team took charge of this event and put it to another level! The rest is the story that most of us already know.

Here is a glimpse of my story on the INTEGRATE conference:

Why should you attend this event?

Learn from the experts in the field.

The #1 reason people should come to this event is to make themselves more valuable to their companies by learning new ideas and techniques from experts in the field. I’m not only talking about the speakers but also the attendees, your peers with real-world implementation experience from around the world, with similar or different approaches and needs. This conference will provide valuable information on integration topics, new trends, and technologies that will benefit your firm and your clients.

As I usually say, this conference has a 360 coverage on enterprise integration topics! There is something for everyone regardless of job role: developers, administrators, architects, decision-makers, and so on, both on brand new topics on the cloud and more legacy components on-premise like BizTalk Server and Host Integration Server.

Last year, over 700 people worldwide joined INTEGRATE, so get insight and answers to your questions from these real-world experts.

The knowledge and experience of all the attendees, speakers, and product group members at these events was unreal!!! You will not find an opportunity like this every day.

At these events, speakers are usually available to chat and answer questions. And if you are bold, remember to pull out your camera and ask if you can take a photo with them.

Take this opportunity to connect face-to-face with experts and peers who will give you valuable insight into industry trends, meet influential colleagues, and generate new solutions to common problems, like increasing profitability and solving staffing challenges.

I love being around great thinkers…it can really get your mind flowing. We always have something new to learn from one another and take back with us.

Interact with Microsoft Product Group and Most Value Professionals.

There is no other Integration conference in the world with 12+ Microsoft Product Group members and 13+ Microsoft Most Value Professionals (MVPs) focused on Integration in a single conference.

DO NOT BE SHY and take this opportunity to have one-on-one inspiring conversations with the product group – they are eager to get your feedback – and with MVPs,

Network, Connect, and Reconnect with Colleagues.

Take this fantastic opportunity to meet the people you have been following on Twitter and blogs and network with others interested in the same things you are. This is another chance for return attendees to hang out with the most intelligent people you know – and I’m not talking about the speakers! – and meet new ones.

Please don’t be afraid or shy, don’t wait for them and take your chances. Engage the people you want to meet by easily saying, “Hi, my name is… “. This experience can be a great morale booster for you. Lifelong friendships and connections have evolved from such conferences – I’m speaking from personal experience!

The next big thing…

What we can expect for the future… Connect directly with the Microsoft Product Team to gain exclusive insights into Microsoft’s upcoming plans. Engage in conversation and ask your burning questions. Discover how Microsoft is shaping the future.

Refresh and recharge… and have some fun.

This will be two days off busy work schedules to learn, refresh, and recharge. And most importantly, have some fun!

Once you’ve soaked in all the knowledge from the speakers and breakout sessions, your day will be far from over. Use the evenings to connect with colleagues and experts in a relaxed, fun environment like a Bar, speaker dinner, or restaurant. Sometimes, the most interesting conversations happen at the end of each day in the Lobby Bar.

And then return to work reinvigorated.

This is one conference you can’t afford to miss! What are you waiting for? Go ahead and book it!

I will be there… and don’t hesitate to reach me and say hi! It doesn’t matter that it is to say hi to get to know each other, to ask a question, or a business opportunity.

See you there!

Hope you find this helpful! So, if you liked the content or found it useful and want to help me write more, you can help us buy a Star Wars Lego for Sandro’s son! 

Author: Sandro Pereira

Sandro Pereira lives in Portugal and works as a consultant at DevScope. In the past years, he has been working on implementing Integration scenarios both on-premises and cloud for various clients, each with different scenarios from a technical point of view, size, and criticality, using Microsoft Azure, Microsoft BizTalk Server and different technologies like AS2, EDI, RosettaNet, SAP, TIBCO etc. He is a regular blogger, international speaker, and technical reviewer of several BizTalk books all focused on Integration. He is also the author of the book “BizTalk Mapping Patterns & Best Practices”. He has been awarded MVP since 2011 for his contributions to the integration community.

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