August 15
SharePoint Saturday - The Conference #1 - It's a Wrap!

​​Remember your first SharePoint farm? Remember what it took to get it up and running? Remember how thrilled you were when it was finally up? Would you EVER do it that way again?

That sums up my thoughts on SharePoint Saturday - The Conference 2011. By this time you may have read Dux's comments at meetdux, so I'm not going to re-analyze what's already been said. Instead, I'm going to use this final blog post to reflect on the human side of things - what REALLY makes the SharePoint community tick.

First - it's truly humbling to read the response of the community. Over and over again, I read "kudos to the organizers and volunteers" - even though I know many of you lived through our challenges as well... 

I'd like to think we built that first SharePoint farm this past week. We came together as a community, and showed the power of SharePoint. Were there challenges? Heck, yes. Was it always pretty? Heck, no - at times it was downright beastly (insert the word 'schedule' here...).

Was it a success? I'd like to think so - and here's why:

   - Anytime you do something that "can't be done", it's a success on some level. We tried something new - a 3-day SharePoint Saturday conference - and although it wasn't perfect, it did happen. And the lessons we learned will help others do it better.

   - People walked away better, smarter, and more informed. I personally had one attendee tell me she had new confidence in her skills, and was ready to finally update her resume to get out from under a bad job situation. She now knows that as a SharePoint professional, she has value.

    - We learned. A lot. Thursday was our best day - and we had the fewest sessions. Too many cooks spoil the pot - and the same, apparently, is true about speakers...

   - The community gained a new level of recognition. From the keynote by Steve Fox, the session by Mary Jo Foley, and the presence of credentialed media showed that SharePoint is not your parent's geek environment. This community has room for everyone - from the techie to the program manager to the site admin to the requirement professional - practically anyone can find a niche here. And we need all of you!

Finally, I'd like to take a moment and recognize those people who you know - and those you may not - who made this weekend happened. Everyone knows Michael Lotter, the founder of SharePoint Saturday. Here's the rest of the motley crew:

   - Dux: this guy is amazing! He kept us going, even when we were ready to give in. If he ever decides to leave the IT field and becomes a motivational speaker, I'll be the first to sign up!

   - Pamela: Pamela's brand new to SharePoint - having heard the word for the first time 3 months ago! EVERYTHING you saw in the Exhibit Hall was her doing - and she kept up with those of us who have been at it for years. A true peach..

   - Dan: The Speaker Man. If there's anyone out there in the SharePoint community that DOESN'T know Dan, you must have been living under a rock. Dan keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously - and that's a true talent indeed.

   - Isaac. Mr. SWAG - and Mr. Microsoft. Did you check out those bags and USB keys?? SWEET! Isaac also has the ability to step up when something needs to be done - and to get it done before you even notice it's needed.

   - Adam: This guy single handedly took care of the User Groups - and it's because of him that the UG track on Thursday came to be. SharePoint Saturday is a lot stronger today because of his work to unite us - and I, for one, am truly appreciative.

   - Bonnie: Many of you know Bonnie from SharePoint Saturday Richmond. Bonnie took care of registration and the Information booth - and words can't express how amazing that is. As one committee member said - Bonnie always has a smile on her face, and gentleness in her heart. That makes a difference.

   - Melanie:  If you volunteered, you met Melanie.  She's like Bonnie - Melanie truly cares about people, and she made sure that every volunteer was valued and appreciated.  She even brought her mom along for some extra TLC...(Thanks, Mom!)

    - Eric: You probably didn't see much of Eric - but it's because of him that we even had attendees there! Eric took care of communication to and from the attendees - and like Isaac, always stepped in when needed.

   - Drew, Marc, and Nick. Our webmeisters. They kept this site up to date and current. A few more members of the SharePoint community that stepped in and soared - thanks!

I wish I had enough space to list all the volunteers that helped out - there were over 200 of them - but at some point we will list them somewhere. Please know that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU is a winner - and made a difference. We couldn't have done it without you.

Well, that’s it. Thanks again to every attendee, speaker, and sponsor who made the journey and joined us. We built it – you came. And I, for one, will always remember and be grateful.

As they say in Hollywood – it’s a wrap!

See you in the journey,

Jen D (@jensterd)

August 12
Sharepoint Friday - 2 Down, SharePoint Saturday next! #SPSTCDC

Another day of the conference in the books - and again, I say WOW!

The day began like any other SharePoint Saturday - only today was Friday.  Doors opened at 6 AM for registration - coffee wasn't ready until 7 :-( - and by the 8 am keynote it was a packed house.

Sessions, sessions, sessions - a lunch line that moved - Mt. Olympus (aka Speaker Central) losing power after too many hi-power laptops tripped the circuit breaker - the UFO sighting in the Upper Gallery (aka the Liquid Nitrogen tank) - all ended with "Share The Event" - and if you missed it, YOU MISSED IT!

We had Frozen Ice Cream (temp. -390 degrees); cappucinos to DIE for;  SWAG, SWAG and more SWAG; free books and author signings - and of course, SharePoint Got Talent!

Congrats to tonight's winner The SharePoint Muse (aka Marcy Kellar)!  It was a close neck-and-neck race between Marcy and perpetual winner Ms. OfficeOverEasy, Tiffany Songvilay (sorry guys...).  In the end, Marcy's ability to make you forget Carrie Underwood won out.  Of course, MC Dux commanded the show- although there was a call from the audience on voting on Dux's performance!  Let's hope someone got video of the show  - if you email me at [email protected], we'll get it posted here!

So tomorrow is SharePoint Saturday.  For anyone who missed Thursday workshops and Friday sessions, this is your chance to get some of the best training at an incredible price.  Onsite registration (and check-in) starts at 6 AM Saturday, so come on down to the NVCC Annadale campus Ernst center - there's still plenty left to share!

August 12
Introducing #SPSTCDC SharePoint Got Talent Contestants
​The excitement is building for tonight's #SPSTCDC SharePoint Got Talent @ 8.30pm 

It's amazing how much interest we've gotten from #SPSTCDC attendees, speaker & sponsors to be a part of this! 
So without further adieu, here are the contestants for tonight's SharePoint Got Talent:
- Marcy Kellar
- James "Mike" Taylor
- Danny Jessee
- Tiffany Songvilay
- Corey Milliman
- Larry Nisenoff
- Chris McNulty 
- Jeff Willinger
So make sure you join us tonight at the #SPSTCDC Theater and be a part of this amazing event!
August 11
SharePoint Thursday - A Recap


That about sums it up.

The NVCC Ernst Community Center is quiet now, and we've completed the first day of the first SharePoint Saturday - the Conference.  A few moments worth remembering:

-  An army of over 50 volunteers that showed up at 5 AM to get ready for the doors to open at 7 AM.

-  Having to change the entire room schedule to accomadate the above-expected attendance.

-  Dean Halstead's slide deck classic quotes (check it out for yourself here)

-  The dedicated wireless network being PRAISED for its speed and stability

-  Jennifer Mason's session on InfoPath taking up the entire second floor

-  The lunch lines moving quickly and easily - one attendee commented they went so fast, she didn't have time to tweet!

-  The opening of the very first SharePoint Saturday exhibit hall - personally, it was a life-altering moment!  (I know, I need a life...)

-  The speaker dinner AND the SharePoint Users Group DC after-hours party.

-  Attendance of 1182 people.

That's right - 1182 people showed up for SharePoint Thursday.  And ​it's only day one.

If you haven't registered yet, you're missing it.  I mean - you're REALLY missing it!  Come on down and join us - onsite registration is alive and well.

See you tomorrow!

August 11
Screencast: #SPSTCDC Day 1 Keynote "Innovation @ Microsoft" by @deanhalstead

Here's the recording of today's keynote:

Innovation @ Microsoft

Dean Halstead



Slide Deck: Innovation at Microsoft (SPSat Final).pptx

Check out these articles:

ZDNET: How Microsoft Thinks About Innovation These Days

CMSWIRE: Inside Look: How Microsoft Manages Innovation, Collaboration and Social Business



August 11
MVP / MCM Dinner #SPSTCDC Friday


Metalogix is pleased to sponsor a private dinner for all SharePoint MVPs and MCMs attending SharePoint Saturday the Conference. Come join us for an on-site meal, a free polo shirt and some great conversation.

Friday 6-8pm
[On-site location]
Send questions to [email protected]


August 10
C is for - Collaboration, Community & Conference! What to expect tomorrow at #spsdctc

​How many times in life have you come across the phrase "If you're not going to do it right, it's not worth doing"? If you're reading this you probably deal with technology, how many times have you been told or told others that they don't understand how complicated it is to create something that runs as expected?

C is for Collaboration

The SharePoint Infrastructure is about supporting the style of collaborative working that is becoming popular, and required to achieve productivity goals today.

C is for Community

The SharePoint Community is about opening the discussion to as many voices as possible and creating world wide institutional knowledge, voluntarily!

C is for Conference

The SharePoint Saturday Conference was created because there was demand that a group of determined volunteers felt they could meet. I know Washington DC is one of the largest technological centers in the world, and home for a vast amount of SharePoint development, but it surpised me today ... this is a real conference! Watching other volunteers swirling around NVCC today, on top of the months of preparation, I thought about how amazing all of the SharePoint Saturday, community run Code Camps, and other volunteer events really are. As if one day wasn't complicated enough I hope that you'll see that things have "been done right". There will be room for improvement, but don't be surprised when you see these great pieces...




Amazing, real conference boothes

(don't worry Jen told me she's good at negotiating)






An entire Gym turned into an exhibit hall.

Thank You Hollis for all of your great work!



​And ofcourse great bags with a mug, pad, and lots of good stuff



​Image coming soon...

I would've been flogged if I posted it tonight



August 10
A Few Last Minute Thoughts

Well.  It's here - SharePoint Saturday - The Conference is a reality.

As you get ready to travel here by car, plane, train, boat, ​Tardis, starship, LOTR Great Eagle, etc. - you're coming to be a part of an incredible event.  Or, as Greg Hurlman says in his blog SharePoint Saturday - What is It, and Why Do We Do It? - a miracle.

Did you know that this ENTIRE event is being put on by volunteers?  Yes, we did reach out to professional services - but all the manpower to plan this out, set up the website, send out the emails, and work out the nearly 400-session-always-changing-never-seems-to-be-finished schedule was donated by volunteers.   All of the speakers travel on their own dime - people take vacation hours from work to volunteer - and our sponsors have been willing to work with us as we've sometimes been challenged to get answers to them during the business day while working fulltime jobs and keeping our bosses happy.

So when you're going to all-day workshops that would cost thousands of dollars elsewhere - or enjoying a session by a speaker that is invited worldwide to help companies with SharePoint - or visiting our sponsors in the Exhibit Hall (which is AWESOME BTW) - make sure to stop and think about what it took to put this on.  If you are having a great time, tell someone - we'd love to get the feedback.  If you see something that could improve, let us know - we want to continue to make this better.

But most of all - remember that the SharePoint Saturday community is one of the most unique organizations in the technical community - and that it happens because of those of us involved do this as a gift.


August 10
OnLine Registration Ends at 12 Noon Today - Onsite Registration FAQ

OMG!  I can't believe we're almost here - and I have to thank everyone who has registered - it's unbelievable how big this has become.

So that we can prepare and give you the best conference ever, we're closing online registration at 12 noon today.  Don't worry - we will have onsite registration (cash or credit card accepted), so you can come on down and join us.

Looking to volunteer?  You can also register onsite as a volunteer and registration is free.

So - one more time - ya'll, why haven't you registered? 


August 08
The Most Asked Questions of the Day - Like "Where's the Schedule"

​We've received over 1000 emails today about this conference - and here's the top questions of the day


I'm a student - I'd like to register for free - how can I do that?

-  Simply email [email protected] with the subject line "Request for Free Attendance for A Student" -  and we'll get you that code.  Remember - you have to have a .edu email address to be validated as a free registration.  Or you can register on site.


Where's the schedule?

-  For right now, it's here:  http://www.spstc.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=38You can download the pdf -   the final schedule will be posted tomorrow.


Is parking free at the conference?

-  YES!  We'll have signs up showing where you can park.


I missed the early bird - is there ANYWAY I can stlll get that rate?

-  Sorry - but we ARE recruiting new volunteers (this conference just keeps growing!).  Just email [email protected] and she'll send you the code to register for free in return for 4 hours of volunteer work.


Is it Thursday yet?

-  We're as ready as you are!

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