SharePoint Saturday UK Wrap Up

Saturday 9th of November saw what i believe was the 4th UK edition of SharePoint Saturday, very ably hosted by Brett,Mark and Tony once more. This year it took place at the Hinckley Island Hotel which I have to say I preferred over the first few years venue in Nottingham, not least because it was a much easier drive for me to get to.. (Even with the M1 and M11 traffic that seemed determined to dog my efforts to make the speaker dinner!)

The speaker dinner was a great affair, with the taxi’s taking us into the restaurant in the middle of nowhere to be served Sangria on arrival and massive steaming plates of Tapas to munch on whilst catching up with old friends on the community circuit and meeting some new ones.

After consuming several hundredweight of tapas, we decamped back to the hotel for a few more bevvies in the bar though I’m afraid I made my excuses and left at 1:30am.. after all I had a stand to set-up at 7am in the morning, for this year SUGUK went professional!

Many thanks to Steve Smith and the guys at Combined Knowledge who sponsored the banners, leaflets and stickers at an event that I attended a few weeks ago, these assets are now available for us to use as the SUGUK on tour along with some very nice polo shirts with the SUGUK decals on.


I think you’ll agree those banners look pretty special!

The stand worked out really well, quite a few people we spoke to throughout the day weren’t really aware of who or what the SharePoint User Group UK (SUGUK) were all about. In fact someone asked why we did it for free.. explaining community can be quite hard sometimes.

But the real reason we were all there was for SharePoint Saturday UK, which kicked off with an entertaining presentation of SharePoint MVP Jeremy Thake who had an interesting take on all things social in the SharePoint world.

After the keynote, 7, yes that’s right 7 tracks of free content kicked off for the attendees, with sessions for the usual ITPro, Dev and Business users, as well as Cloud, Real World, Business Intelligence and End User content from 43 speakers from the UK community and beyond.

My favourite session of the day was good friends Andy Talbot and Andrew Woodward presenting “Collaboration 101”, which due to losing a bet, they had to deliver in Lederhosen! It was a good session with a serious message delivered in an almost slapstick manner..


Not many could get away with starting their session with the song “Lonely Goatherd” from the Sound of Music!

Later that afternoon I had to get ready for my session “A guide to using JSLink & Display Templates with List View Web Parts for ITPros” which looked at the replacements for using the Data view Web Part and SharePoint Designer, or XSLT processing for list views.

Unfortunately, as I was booting my laptop in the speaker room ready to warm up my virtual machine demos the SSD decided at that moment to throw a distinct wobbly and refuse to be recognised. Despite my best efforts it would not surface in Windows 8!

Having been trained from an early age to expect the unexpected, I decided to boot from the backup copies that were sitting on the OS drive.. however the Demo Gods were not smiling on me and the AD box refused to boot!

With barely minutes to go until my session, I had to carry on without my demonstrations and rely just on my slide content. As people came into the room I did explain the situation, luckily Martin Hatch was giving an almost identical session to mine for the developer audience so I suggested some of the ITPros that absolutely had to see live demos should go to his session.

I did have around 30 people stick with me, so thank you all for your support. We carried on just with the slide ware and some screenshots and overall I was happy that I was able to get the message over that I wanted to portray. I’ll be recovering the demo’s over the next week or so and will be posting them on-line here for you. I did also receive some lovely comments on twitter after the session which really made my day, so thank you again.

After the last session we had the prize giving with some wonderful prizes including Beer and Anti-freeze from the SUGUK stand! I also won a copy of Black Magic Solutions for White Hat SharePoint from SharePoint EduTech!

Overall I had a great day although by 10pm i was absolutely shattered, so headed off from SharePint to meet my very comfy hotel bed! A great venue especially with the bedrooms being so close to the bar!


PS My slides are now available on SlideShare, with the videos of the demos coming shortly!

1 ping

  1. […] (@AndrewWoody) and my presentation on ‘Collaboration 101′ (see Paul Hunt’s review of the day and our session here), then I think you’ll agree that we had a lot of fun! Slides from the presentation are now […]

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