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Apr 14

European SharePoint Best Practices Conference

Well last week saw the first European SharePoint Best practices conference organised by Combined Knowledge here in London.

The event, located at the QEII Conference centre in Westminster was exceptionally well run by Combined Knowledge, Steve and the gang certainly know how to run a user event and all of the staff from CK and the red coats were exceptional. Zoe as always had all the information needed to hand and is my personal favorite for saving me from the Headache from hell!

As to the sessions themselves, I followed the dev track religiously as there are several areas that I’ve been keen to improve on.

The first session featuring the somewhat ‘manic’ Todd Bleeker was exceptionally entertaining and enlightening and set the scene for the conference to come. Todd manages to bring his love of SharePoint and desire to spread the word of development joy to the world with the enthusiasm of a Baptist Revival Minister. A throughly engaging man, I had the pleasure to spend an hour during one of the sessions with Todd showing me how to use his none ajax method of preventing full page post backs using the ICallBackEventHandler, something that I will be making use of in some of my webparts this very week to fully understand it.

Further sessions from such well known US based speakers as Andrew Connell (on Field controls and webparts in publishing sites, Star Wars references were a hoot!!), Eric Schupps (on Custom Site definitions and High Performance applications.. I used a method from this at a client last week and decreased page load times by 20%!)

And our very own home grown talent in the form of Chris O’Brien (Deployment methodologies), Andrew Woodward (TDD and SharePoint in education) and Ben Robb (Customising the Search UI)

And the final sessions of day 2 and 3 were the open mike Ask the Experts panel. Judging by the comments received from people in the other sessions, ours was the best attended and certainly the most fun. Each of the speakers were happy to be challenged by the audience and I gained an great insight into some of the subjects discussed.

Overall, for my first ever Conference, I found this event to be possibly the most value for money training event I’ve attended, with a great return on investment!!

Regards

Paul.

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