Blog > Posts > SharePoint Saturday - The Conference #1 - It's a Wrap!
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)


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