Category Archives: SharePoint Events

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Community Events – Local Reach

Another BIG event going on this week in the M365 world: M365 Conference 2023 in Las Vegas. It’s a 3rd party conference, though heavily invested and involved with by Microsoft by way of speakers, keynotes, sponsorship and other content. Lots of big announcements.

But not everyone can attend.

Not everyone can get there. Not everyone *wants to* attend or go to Vegas. And with a looming recession and/or economic outlook for many organizations, it might not be a great time to send folks to out of state costly conferences.

Enter… local events.

Now, I’m not trying to poo-poo these big events. They’ve got a ton of value. I speak at some of them. They’re a fantastic opportunity to step away from your day-to-day responsibilities (if you can…) meet with community (topic-wise, not geographic community) folks, spend time chatting, building broader networks, or meet and connect with Microsoft and vendor contacts. The coverage that larger events offer is also extremely important in that you can see so many sessions, workshops, vendors, and more in one spot. In addition to this week’s event, there are events like 365 EduCon that offer options in more cities throughout the year.

What I am saying is that local – usually community-run – events have a place, an important one – for many folks.

Community events like our M365TwinCities event (working on a Fall date…), the upcoming MN M365 User Group Spring Workshop, or even frequent M365TC #CoffeeCrew events fill important gaps in our communities. In upcoming weeks here in Minnesota we’ll be reviewing this week’s big announcements from Microsoft, offering more in depth coverage with workshop sessions, or just having a coffee and connecting with others. Similar groups will be meeting all over the US and the world doing the same thing.

SO. Get familiar with your local community. Join it. Take part in it. Contribute to it with your time and experience. And if there’s not a community you’re looking for – consider building one!

Spring and More, Conferences Galore!

As SharePoint and Office 365 continue to evolve, the SharePoint community seems to be as strong as ever. There are a bunch of conferences coming up over the next few months. Here are a few notable ones:

March 2-3 – North American Collaboration Summit – Branson, MO
Better hurry up if you want to make this one. There are a ton of great speakers in town for this one as it’s just before the MVP Summit in Redmond. So catch these folks while you can. It is a great value for your time and a nice little escape from Winter for a few days.
FYI – It *is* drivable from the Twin Cities – we’ve done it a few times. Smile
Discount Code: COLLABSUMMIT50

March 26-30 – SharePoint Fest – Washington DC
A quality SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, and Microsoft Teams event offered several times a year between DC, Seattle (August), and Chicago (December). These folks do a great job. They’ve been doing this ‘series’ for a few years and they just seem to get better. They’ve recently switched to a longer 5-day format that includes 2 days of workshops and 3 days of sessions. Be sure to check them out. I’ll be doing a workshop and 3 sessions at the DC event.
Discount Code: PrestonDC100

April 7 – SharePoint Saturday Omaha – Omaha, NE

April 14th – SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities – Minneapolis, MN
Back for our Spring event with registration just opening up today.

May 5 – SharePoint Saturday Chicago Suburbs – Chicago, IL

May 21-23 – SharePoint Conference North America – Las Vegas, NV
Note: This is NOT a Microsoft-run event like previous ‘SPC’ events, but it IS Microsoft sponsored, backed, and endorsed. There will be a LOT of product group folks attending and speaking in addition to plenty of community-recognized experts, MVPs, etc.
Discount Code:

And of course there continue to be SharePoint Saturday (SPS) events throughout the US and the world. Please remember, not all SPS events are listed on the SPSEvents site – Including OURS – for a variety of reasons. So keep up to date with your local and regional groups so you don’t miss out on a great event!

So much information, so little time. Hope to cross paths with you at some of these!

SharePoint Fest Chicago

I’ve got two sessions this week at SharePoint Fest Chicago.

PWR104 – Build a SharePoint Intake / Request List

PWR202 – Customizing Sites and Pages in SharePoint 2013

Slide decks for both will be up shortly. I need to make a few tweaks and updates to capture a few missing screenshots that were missing. Thank you for your patience.

SharePoint Fest – Chicago 2012

Last week I presented a few sessions at the SharePoint Fest Chicago event. 

The first was the SharePoint Lists: Used, Abused and Underappreciated session that I’ve given a number of times. 

For those of you interested in the “List” content, I plan on updating this session soon with 2013 content as the platform get finalized and released.  I’m also putting together a session/workshop on the Request/Intake example that I frequently mention and use as examples during the presentation.  So, keep an eye out for that. 

The second session was a new one for me “Demystifying Governance and User Adoption”.  Yea, it’s another session with the ‘governance’ and ‘user adoption’ buzzwords, but my hope is to add some useful tips and thoughts to the conversation. 

Idera ACE Program

This past summer, Idera introduced a program to the SharePoint community – an expansion of an existing program for the SQL Server community – called the Advisor and Community Educator (ACE) program for SharePoint.

The ACE program is one of Idera’s ways of contributing to, and investing in, the SharePoint community by assisting active community members by sponsoring their travel to SharePoint events. This allows those of us who don’t have large companies supporting our community efforts to go to events we might not have submitted to.  In exchange, we recognize Idera for that sponsorship and community contribution.  We don’t advocate for their products or company as a salesperson would, but we are given access to their products to learn about them ourselves and provide feedback to Idera.   

I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of the first ‘class’ of SharePoint ACEs along with John Ferringer, Liam Cleary, Nedra Allmond and Michael Lotter.  We only get to participate for a year, after which a new class will be chosen. Being this was the first year that Idera offered the program, the community exposure was pretty low – spread by word of mouth.  We hope there will be a lot more interest in it next year as word gets out.

My first trip through the program was to attend the Ozarks SharePoint Saturday a few weeks ago.  I hope to get some more trips in and make the best of the opportunity.


SharePoint Saturday – Twin Cities – Fall 2012

Yep, it’s that time of year again.  We’re ramping up for the Fall 2012 SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities event.  We’ll be meeting on November 3rd this year, still at the Normandale campus down in Bloomington.  

We’re not planning on covering a lot for 2013 in our sessions just yet – too many folks are still interested in and using 2010 and the final 2013 version hasn’t been released yet. So, we’ll be focused on 2010 for one more round at least and then see where things are in the Spring.  You’ll likely hear a LOT of news about 2013 the following week with the big Microsoft SharePoint Conference in Vegas happening and most of it centered on the 2013 platform. 

Speakers and sessions have all been posted – take a look when you have a chance.  We’ve got great folks coming from all over and bringing a ton of great sessions, content and experience. 

We are also continuing with our 101 Track – so if you have folks that are new to SharePoint, the event has content for them as well.  We’ve got 4 sessions specifically in the track – starting with my ‘What is this thing called SharePoint’ session – but there are other sessions throughout the day not in the 101 Track that folks new to the platform can certainly benefit from as well. 

Keep an eye out for registration to open next Monday – Sept 10. We will be limiting registration to 600 people again this time as it seems to be getting us to about the level we can manage at the current location.  The Spring event had over 460 attendees…  Smile  We’re one of the largest SPS events in the country. 

There are lots of great sponsors again as well, we hope to fill up our space with 30 vendors – they’ll be added to the site as soon as they are validated. 

Finally, when putting the event in your calendar, don’t forget to set aside Friday night as we’ll be having our SharePint (the night BEFORE the SPS event).  More info to come on that…

If you have any questions about the event, let me know!!  I look forward to seeing you there. 

Back with a Vengeance – MNSPUG Tomorrow

June?  Really?  It’s been that long since I’ve actually completed a post and uploaded it?  Sad.  Well, it’s been a crazy busy summer and now that that is wrapping up (the kids walked to the bus stop for the first day of school just 2 hours ago…) I can hopefully get back to it.  So much to do and so much coming.  I’ve got a few posts to hopefully get out in the next day or two – stuff that’s been sitting around 90% done. 

In the meantime, I’ll be participating on the Panel Discussion tomorrow for the Minnesota SharePoint User Group if you’re interested and in the area.  Come and join us!  I’ll have a few copies of the SharePoint 2010 Creating and Implementing Real-World Projects book as well. 

Check back soon – lots of fun news to get out here…   Smile

SharePoint Lists: Used, Abused and Underappreciated

This session was presented at SharePoint Fest – Denver 2012

Abstract: No matter which version of SharePoint 2007 or 2010 you’re using (Foundation, Server, Enterprise, or SharePoint Online) you’re almost certainly using one or more lists or libraries. These containers form the core for almost all functionality in the SharePoint platform. Yet, most organizations are not fulfilling the potential these lists offer to users and consumers. Are your users still looking for documents by using the default views? Are they navigating a library the same way they used the file share? Learn some of the tips and tricks used to improve your users’ experience and help them find the content they’re looking for more easily.

  • Learn best practices for creating, configuring, and using lists
  • See examples of list and library web parts used to display list content more effectively
  • Create list views that increase user adoption and effectiveness

You can see the slide deck (or a very close variation) here on Slide Share:

SharePoint: Choose Your Own Adventure

This session was presented at SharePoint Fest – Denver 2012. 

Abstract: SharePoint in all its flavors and variations can be implemented in any number of ways – each approach with its own business requirements, staffing needs, challenges and idiosyncrasies. So where do you start? What does your organization’s SharePoint roadmap look like? What staff and skills do you need to get started? In this session we’ll identify some of the more common implementation scenarios and how core skills and requirements align with them.

It’s an entry to intermediate level session talking about planning and governance topics. 

The slide deck from the event can be found here:

Note: If you are interested in the content, please check back as I’ve got a few updates I’d like to add based on some really good conversations I had with speakers and attendees the night before my session (hence not enough time to implement for the original session).