SharePoint Saturday UK 2012–Roundup

With the appearance of December on the calendars, also saw the return of SharePoint Saturday UK for another year. As professionally run as always, the Id-Live/Lightning Tools team and their sponsors did a smashing job of organising and running the event.

For me it was extra special as it was my first time presenting at a SharePoint Saturday!

We started the weekend on Friday evening with the speaker dinner at the Nottingham Courts of Justice Museum where the Sherriff of Nottingham gave us a guided tour of the courts and the cells beneath. It was a great chance to get dressed up in costume, having a beer or two and meet some of my fellow speakers that I’ve tweeted with in the past but never met!

I decided to end the evening fairly early to try and be in bed before midnight and get a good nights sleep ahead of what would be a full on day of SharePoint fun. Unfortunately my brain had other ideas and the night was not quite as restful as I had hoped.. some last minute presenting nerves methinks!

The morning started with the keynote from Eric Shupps (Actually it started with a full English first!). Something that surprised me during Eric’s talk was the fact that the UK community in terms of membership per capita is larger than most of the US communities combined. Eric paid tribute to some of the big guns of the community, most specifically Steve Smith and Nick Swan, the original community leaders of the SUGUK as well as to the speakers and other volunteers who give up their time to attend and speak at these events, and also to the community members themselves who turn up to listen to us prattling on about some little product called SharePoint.

Some little product it’s turned out to be too, As Eric pointed out, if SharePoint stood on it’s own as a software company, it would be one of the top twelve software companies in the world!

Following the keynote, the sessions started. I skipped the first session myself to catch up with some friends and colleagues in the sponsor exhibit hall, but then attended Chris O’Brien’s talk on the new Apps model followed by Andrew Woodward talking about the need for a SharePoint Centre of excellence.

After a great lunch, I skipped the next session to make sure all of my demos were up and running and make a couple of minor amendments to my slides, Then before I knew it session handover was upon us and I got myself set-up.

Aside from a couple of minor technical gremlins (See lessons learned in a minute) my session went really well, though I think I could squeeze a demo in their about scopes as I finished with 5 minutes to spare despite starting slightly late while waiting for the prize giving in the hall to finish.

I had some great questions to answer and I hope that everyone who asked got the information that they wanted. I know one question I couldn’t answer immediately, but I did tweet the answer after a short bit of post session research.

So, if you were at my session, thank you very much for attending and taking part. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and hope you found it useful. I’m kind of hoping that it wasn’t obvious, but I’m not a seasoned speaker and therefore I would welcome any and all feedback, good or bad to help me in my future speaking engagements.

Lessons Learned

So the final bit.. Lessons learned and one for all would be speakers. As a reward for speaking at SharePoint Saturday, all of the speakers received a gift in the form of a presenters mouse, a very handy clicky pointy tool to free you from the lectern and allow you to walk around and animate your talk, something I like to do.

What you absolutely shouldn’t do, is introduce an unknown variable at the last minute as I did, the result of which was my PowerPoint slides doing a little dance forwards and backwards until we got them under control!

Download the slide deck

As promised, the slides are available from my blog and can be downloaded by clicking here.

SharePoint Saturday UK – Sift Through Search And Deliver More – Fine tuning search



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