The first SharePoint Saturday “The Conference” was held in DC this month, promising to help meet the huge demand in both the government and private sectors for SharePoint knowledge from information workers, business leaders, developers, and IT Pros by extending the SharePoint Saturday experience to three days. I was honored to be asked to present alongside some well-known international and domestic speakers. The turnout was fabulous, and the nominal fee ($39, $59, or free for volunteers) provided for a well-staffed event and a grateful group of attendees, many of whom expressed that the quality of the training was on a par with the larger paid conferences. This small fee, however, was a much easier sell to their government and non-profit employers.
My sessions on SharePoint in State Government and Business Consideration of the 2007 to 2010 upgrade went well, with lots of audience participation. As I’ve developed new sessions, I’ve enjoyed it more in more, because the sessions I present now are the ones I wish I had attended before learning the lessons the hard way. In addition to the great educational and networking opportunities at the conference, we had a huge response to another initiative, a ShareLove charity drive to gather personal grooming supplies and used cell phones to benefit domestic violence shelters. While the initial request was for folks to bring in their complimentary hotel toiletries, that request was one-upped with several people purchasing razors, hair spray and other items to donate. Special thanks to Dux Sy, Mack Sigman, Michelle Marie Strah, and Rima Reyes for making the collection of the items so easy by providing a single drop-off point for donations. The FEDSPUG user group plans to continue the initiative at their regular meetings as well.
Thanks to everyone for a great conference and charity initiative. The SharePoint Community rocks!