Experts Live is a non-profit organization based in The Netherlands that has a mission to “enable sharing of knowledge and experience about Microsoft technologies worldwide” and was founded by Maarten Goet (MVP, RD).
The current board members are Bert Wolters (chairman), Brenda Kager (treasurer) and Maarten Goet (vice chairman). The steering committee consists of the leads of Experts Live events worldwide: Raymond Chou (Asia), Marcel Zehner (Switzerland & Europe), Stefan Koell (Austria), Daniel Mar (Australia) and Pete Zerger (USA).
We started in 2009 as a one-time user group style gathering in The Netherlands with around 60 attendees and 3 speakers. Born out of the idea that Maarten Goet had together with Raymond Comvalius (MVP) during a local community meet up (generously organized by Gerard Verbrugge of Microsoft) to get as much MVP’s together as we could to share their insights. First dubbed as “MVP live” (working title), Maarten later came up with the name Experts Live.
It was held again in 2010 by popular demand and grew to around 120 attendees with 2 parallel tracks. In 2011, it was already 250+ attendees and 4 parallel tracks and a keynote. In 2012, we took the time to register the non-profit organization and think about the mission going forward. In 2013, we were back and had 650+ attendees, 30+ sessions and a keynote with an astronaut! In 2014 and 2015 we had 1100+ attendees, 45+ sessions, two keynotes and many international speakers and attendees.
In 2016, we had our biggest year to date: sold out at 1400 attendees (max capacity for the building), 50+ sessions, 9 tracks, 2 keynotes, and record of 20+ MVP’s sharing their knowledge and experience.
2017 Is the year where we started helping Microsoft communities around the world. Some existing events such as System Center Universe rebranded to Experts Live and adopted the format. Others, like Austria, started from scratch. The non-profit organization helps them with logistics, learnings and other valuable assistance. In return, we ask the leads of these regional or continental events to participate in the Steering Committee to help guide & shape Experts Live events around the world going forward.
In our mission to “enable sharing of knowledge and experience about Microsoft technologies worldwide” we are very proud where we are today. On 4 continents around the world at least 7 international Experts Live events are happening reaching over 5000+ people. In the meantime, we are in talks with others to join the movement in 2018 and we expected to reach the other 2 continents next year already. Through our online means (ExpertsLive TV, etc.) we are reaching thousands more people.