Thanks Ben, Mark, Bill, and crew. I had an awesome time.
Here’s all my Best Practice decks:
- Best Practices Conference Spring 09 Avoiding Failed Deployments and Newbie Mistakes 10 Steps to Success
- Avoiding Failed Deployments Part 2 Interactive Discussion and Talking Points
- Getting Rid Of Legacy platforms (File Shares, Public Folders, Notes, etc…), And SharePoint Migration
By Wed afternoon as the sessions were wrapping up I felt so fulfilled. I think this conference had all the key elements for me…
Here’s my list for what I find makes a conference “socially” successful (the more the better)…
- Kick off social event – Ben’s Super Bowl Party + It’s always good to start off on the right foot.
- MVP/Influencer Social – Melding of the minds over food/drink – Experts Dinner – Tues night MVP+ influencer invitation event by Quest
- Excursion – Going to something culturally significant NON Conference related – Mexico horse riding and La Bufadora (More on that below)
- SharePint – Now we have a name for it, but this is the broader SharePoint Fans Non political gathering and drinks. This is where I happen to always find folks who held back during the conference, but were super excited to chat over a drink
- Karaoke or Dancing – Not always a requirement, and not to be found at the event (that would be wierd) but I like to do something a bit more hard core than the usual pub crawl that happens. As a non drinker I get bored after a couple or 4 hours in the same place, but at the same time very interested in the social aspects
The IT panel made me realize how broad things have become with the various hosting and cloud options. No black and white on what companies will be doing in the future and what clients will look like. Mobile, Web Client, Rich (or FAT) client. Compliance requirements and necessary evolution in Content Types and tagging definitely are important, but the requirements are diverse and divergent.
I was thinking about what we consider a document and how it has and will continue to evolve. Makes me wonder if we will continue to even call it document when it’s assembling content to build something. I don’t like the name briefcase or assembled document or thicket. I was thinking in 10 years we will prefer and favor the wiki UI doc information design concepts like OneNote and %whatever% Wiki to a Word UI. Will be interesting to see the battles in organizations over the social assembly to information over the classic single user interfaces. More convergence is necessary and the path is sure.
I had been talking about doing a Mexico excursion even before the conference began. I had planned an extra evening to guarantee it. What I was finding was Tuesday was my light day and Wed was getting packed with a session and panel with my comrades being involved up to the end of day and then flying out. So, Tuesday during lunch at the MVP/Speaker/Experts table I brought up a Mexico excursion idea and a discussion ensued around our ability to make it back. Good news was Mike had his passport. Others had various commitments, but Todd was willing to take the risk if he knew he could get back. The messages across our top results from search were a mixed bag. Some said we needed proof of citizenship while other said a license was good enough. After enough doubt on reliable sites, we decided to take the chance. I had suggested La Bufadora one of my favorite places in Baja Mexico. Tijuana is the old standby and wasn’t necessarily my first pick, I’m not the type to go for Tequilas and prescription drugs. I was looking for the Non border town experiences.
My experience drove us to the Mexico Car insurance drive up window and in minutes we were on our way. As we got onto the toll road heading south out of Tijuana Todd got a bit underwhelmed by the 100 KM to Ensenada, but I tried to ensure him it was worth it and in my mind we had plenty of time before SharePint that evening. (Little did I know he was expecting a 2 hour excursion, while I was planning 6-8 hours of pure play best of Baja.) We were ready for a potty break and the beach was looking very inviting. I told the guys I bet we could get these horses for less than $10 each. Sure enough I got them down to $5 each. Mike the generous guy he is gave him $20 and told him to keep the change. Later he was trying to give us change and we assured him the money was his.
The three amigos rode off into the sunset.
It was fun to watch Todd’s face on his first ride. He learns fast.
La Bufadora while clearly not the peak tide, was not in it’s full glory, but was still fun to watch.
Mike (The SharePointMadScientist) and Todd Klindt were both quite trusting as they put the wheel in my hands in Mike’s Mercedes C class (thanks guys how could I confuse). It was a nice drive and I was able to use the power a couple of times.
On our way back to the car, I bought a couple of illusion art (O’Campo) with frames for $11 total and Mike and Todd bought El Luchador. Getting through the border in minutes (like maybe 30 incredibly) with NO Hassle was extremely pleasing to us all and brought the mood to a much more relaxed note.
SharePint by Night (More pics by Ruven: http://bit.ly/b2vQ)
We arrived at SharePint and felt like kings, or at least Wrestling Champs.
After we shut down the SharePint, we encouraged a contingent to follow us to Gaslamp area and landed in a couple of places with hiphop DJ, and Rock a Billy Swing/Jitterbug Dancing. You can follow the tweets from dance partners with sore necks, thanks for the dance Laura & Tiffany, and sorry random guy that I took out. Ouch, an elbow to the head never feels nice. Is it just me or are there simply more and more smart SharePoint female speakers? Not that it’s some kind of competition, but it has changed the social dynamics.
Back to the hotel bar, where we found Bob Fox and his crew and a lot more. What an incredible day that was. It was easy to feel like I’d completed my goals. We all have memories that will last. Multiple times throughout the conference I was treated like a celebrity/rockstar despite my attempts to downplay it.
The morning was a blur, I was going to meet up with Brett Lonsdale for breakfast before I left, but I don’t know if I told him 8 or 9 (I got there at 9:10 and missed him). Sorry Brett. I do still want to meet up and do the podshow interview. Brett coming to Summit? UK BP? See you soon.