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November '11 Tour Recap - East Coast SharePoint Saturday and User Groups

Written By: Virgil Carroll
Posted: 12/15/2011

As soon as the holidays starting getting close, the number of conferences and events always seems to grow. The SharePoint Conference out in Anaheim kicked it off at the beginning of October, but it really took off for me in November as I drove through seven states to make it to five different SharePoint events in less than a week. I started out in Richmond, Virginia, then to West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and finally back to DC for my last stop (totaling just over 1200 miles driven in 6 days). Not to leave out my next and final stop in Colorado for SharePoint Saturday Denver (see my separate blog post coming soon). Needless to say I saw a lot of things, met a lot of new people, saw a lot of old friends, and overall had a great experience.

It's always refreshing to see so many growing SharePoint communities throughout the country (and world), and I'm pleased to have had the chance to be a part of so many of these events. As promised to everyone who attended my sessions; below is a brief recap of each event, the corresponding talks I gave and a link to the slide decks.

My first stop in Virginia was for SharePoint Saturday Richmond. As always, the SharePoint community in Richmond came together to make it a great event that was very well attended. Here I spoke about Breaking Down SharePoint IA Silos. A special shout out to Bonnie, Erin and Adam, who worked tirelessly to provide one of the best run SharePoint Saturdays I've been to! I had a great opportunity to catch up with a lot of people I hadn't seen for over a month (haha…at the SharePoint Conference in Anaheim) or for longer than that (I think going out to 2 months).

After leaving Richmond I started my long trek towards my next destination, Pittsburgh! Now as many of you that read my blog religiously (wait, I think that's only me – I only post once a month) know, I am a HUGE Steelers fan and was able to attend my first home game in September to help celebrate my 40th birthday. As I feared, as soon as I went to my first I wanted to go to another one right away. So as soon as I knew about Richmond, I decided to see if the Steelers were home, and low and behold they were. So this past Sunday night I was lucky enough to attend the Sunday Night Football game between the Steelers and Ravens. Though it was a great game and I was sitting only 3 rows from the field, unfortunately the Ravens cheated with 8 seconds left and won the game J (ok maybe not really). On my way to Steel town I stopped off for the night in Winchester, Virginia and got to watch a movie at a theatre that served beer!

After Pittsburgh and the disappointing loss, I stopped off for a lunch meeting then headed off to my next location, Philadelphia. Since I didn't need to be there until Tuesday night, I decided to stop over in Harrisburg, PA, a city I've been a few times and really enjoy. After a good day and night in Harrisburg, I headed off to the Philly Area SharePoint User Group where I spoke about Governing Your Users in the Cloud. While in Philly, I hooked up with my good friend Christian Buckley, from Axceler. Christian and I worked out to do the 3 user group tour together for the rest of the week, right before we both fly out on Friday to opposite ends of the world (Christian = London, UK, Virgil = Denver, Colorado). The user group evening was great and I really enjoyed the random conversations many of us had for a while after it was over. Thanks to David and Michael for all their hard work in putting this night together and inviting Christian and I.

After Philly SPUG, I got on Interstate 95 and headed up to New Jersey. There Christian and I visited the cool town of Princeton, New Jersey for a talk at their SharePoint User Group. We got there a night early so got to spend some time on Wednesday touring around and visiting the campus of Princeton University. Now I have been on a lot of campuses during my days, but Princeton had to be the most 'ROYAL' looking outside of the UK. Almost every building was its own unique architecture and each had a certain level of grandeur. After visiting, I feel like I really understand where those high tuition rates go. Later on that night, Christian and I descended on the Princeton SharePoint User Group. Speaking again, this time I spoke about what I like to call, Business Intelligence for the Common PeopleIt's a fun talk that takes a common approach to what BI really is and how you actually understand it without needing a rocket science degree. Thanks to Jason and Greg for arranging for us to speak to this great local group.

The next day it was back on the road and heading back down to Washington DC to speak at the D.C. SharePoint User Group. Here I again gave my talk Business Intelligence for the Common People to a great crowd and have some good conversations and questions. We mixed it up this night and Christian spoke first (his excuse was he needed to catch a plane to London, but I think he was jealous of the attention I was). He gave a talk on migration and how you need to be properly prepared before you even start. Thanks to Nelson and Judith for having us out here.

Again I put out a heartfelt thanks to all who invited myself (and Christian) to come share some of our thoughts and loud voices with your community. I really like getting the chance to visit people from all over the world, whom share a common bond in the form of the beast that we all like to call SharePoint!

Well, I am off to Colorado for SharePoint Saturday Denver! If you are attending, make sure to check out my session on Breaking Down SharePoint IA Silos. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

Chad's Bio Coming Soon!

More About Virgil

Virgil Carroll is the owner and president of High Monkey – based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Virgil also wears the multiple ‘hats’ of Principle Human Solutions Architect and SharePoint Architect.

Virgil is one of those rare individuals who can dive deep into technical topics while speaking clearly to the business owners of a project and never forgetting that the end user experience has the highest priority. He calls it using both sides of his brain. Virgil is passionate about leveraging technologies ‘out of the box’ as much as possible with a focus on the strategic use of content to create websites that deliver the right content to the right audience on the right device at the right time. Virgil brings high energy, an ironic wit, and a sense of grounded perspective whenever he speaks to an audience. Virgil regularly speaks at conferences and user groups throughout the United States and occasionally in Europe.

Posted: 12/15/2011 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments