Recap and Resources from SharePoint Saturday–The Conference


Organizing and maintaining a SharePoint Saturday can be hard work. LOTS of hard work. Luckily, the way we run SharePoint Saturday Boston, we have less hard work than other SPS events. We put the responsibility of ordering shirts, pads, pens, food, etc. on the sponsor, so we do not only have to deal with the event, speakers, sponsors, etc., so we do not also have to order shirts, food, etc. It makes life a lot easier.

Then there are other SharePoint Saturday events, such as SharePoint Saturday New York, they take it to the next level, and deal with all of that. Now, these are just single day events.

Now, with SharePoint Saturday – The Conference, this was a 3-day event, they had roughly 1800 people registered, well over a thousand attend. IMAGINE STUFFING 1800 ATTENDEE AND SPEAKER BAGS?! GAH! They had LOTS of volunteers however. It was not the best well-oiled machine, but, there was no chance of the motor seizing up on this one. They did one heck of a job. This is not to slight the conference in any way, the organizers of this event actually have day jobs, that are not all about planning and putting together conferences, so this was done in their spare time, if they had any.

I was amazed at the level of sophistication that a basically free ($39-$59 for a 3 day event is the best price out there for a SharePoint conference of this size). They had the ability to change name tags on the fly, lots of volunteers had radios, there were session and schedule updates on monitors around the campus, people all over the place directing traffic and offering help getting from building to building, and if for some reason your session time and date had changed, people to find you and drag you to them! (more on that in a moment).

Great job by everyone involved! I was happy to be a speaker and attendee at the conference, and look forward to another one down the road!

With that, I delivered 3 sessions. Below is information on each, as well as slide decks. Thank you to all who attended my sessions!

9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star

This was supposed to take place on Saturday, not Friday. So, when I arrived at the conference on Friday at 5 after 11 in the morning, I saw the lunch table, and headed over… got a plate of food, and then all of a sudden, I was approached by one of the volunteers, and a friend of mine, Jennifer, and the interaction went something like this…

Jennifer: “C’mon! You’re 15 minutes late for your session!”

Me: “What? I don’t have a session until the end of the day”

Jennifer: “No, you have one now”

Me: “Ok then, what session is it?”

Jennifer: “9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star”

[EDITORS NOTE: She did not exactly use parenthesis when she said it.]

Me: “That’s not until tomorrow”

Jennifer: “There are 40 people waiting in there for you now”

Me: “Uh oh, [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted], Let me grab my bag!”

Jennifer: ”Let’s go!”

[winded dash to another building … then walking, well, being dragged into the classroom]

Me: “Sorry I am late everyone! I slept late and am hung over, you know, living the rock star lifestyle”

…and then we began the session, after my laptop booted up. So we only got through about 6 of the 9 steps. Luckily, Christian Buckley (the band broke up before the session, so he wasn’t there), is starting a blog series at here 9 Ways to Become a SharePoint Rock Star, which will cover each of our “9 Ways”.

For some background on “the best fake SharePoint band EVER, EVER”…

Our lightning talk from SPTechCon in Boston in June, 2011


Horse’s End–Behind the Music


Legal Notice from Christian for SPSTCDC

and without further ado… the slide deck.

Just Freakin’ Work! Overcoming Hurdles in SharePoint Development

This basically boils down to a best practices around SharePoint development. As well as a fun edu-tainment session with my co-presenter, Mark Rackley. We had a blast, had some good questions, and got through the entire session. Here’s the deck!

Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010

And my last session, which after this was delivered, I had to run to the airport to head home. Again, a great session, great questions, and again, finished up on time. I hope to have that Cloudshare virtual image up and running soon.


Recap and Resources from SharePoint Saturday NYC

I have to hand it to the organizers of the event, Becky Isserman (@MossLover), Jason Gallicchio (@PrincetonSUG), Greg Hurlman (@ghurlman), and Tasha Scott (@TashasEv) as well as their volunteers, for putting together once of the best organized SharePoint Saturdays I have been to. Great job! Lots of great sessions, sponsors, and speakers made this quite the memorable event! I was able to connect with old friends, and meet plenty of new ones.

The organizers also did something very special and unique with the speaker, volunteer, and organizer shirts – each of them either had a patch for the NYPD, NY Port Authority, or FDNY, remembering the attacks on the World Trade Center, as in just over a month from now, will be the 10th anniversary of that tragic day, in which thousands of lives were lost. This shirt will be definitely one of the conference shirts that I will be holding on to. There were lots of conversations about that day – the people we knew, where we were, and what we were doing… and how it has affected our lives since.

I had a great time giving my session (once I caught my breath after literally running around right up until the starting bell, searching for a power adapter, as mine would not work!), and had a lot of great questions from the crowd! With that, here are my slides from the event, with one important update – the CloudShare link no longer works… found the expiration notice in my junk mail folder the day after the environment was removed 😦 I will work on getting a new one up and running within the next couple of weeks – then the link should be functional again.



Thank you all for attending, if you were able to make it. Someone was even there due to my extranets blog post series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), so I know at least once person is reading this!

If you’re in the DC area this week, be sure to catch my session at SharePoint Saturday – The Conference!

Schedule Posted for SharePoint Saturday–The Conference


If you’ve read my last post on the matter, or, if you are reading this for the first time, or, just do not remember anything I write… the schedule (or “shedjule” if you’re British, or, just are into non-American English dialect), has been posted for SharePoint Saturday – The Conference in (well, near) Washington, D.C.

Find it here:

I’ve also copied and pasted it below, saving you a step!


Speaking at SharePoint Saturday–The Conference


The first event of it’s kind, SharePoint Saturday – The Conference (it’s not just for Saturdays anymore! However, this will end on one…), and I am pleased to be a part of it. I’m also very excited to see that SharePoint Saturday has grown so much over the past couple of years, and now there is a full 3-day conference. SharePoint Saturdays are great ways to share your knowledge with others, learn from peers, experts, MVPs and Microsoft Certified Masters. SharePoint Saturday holds a special place for me, as that is where I got my start speaking on SharePoint, back in the beginning of 2009 at SharePoint Saturday Boston. Since then I have spoken at 11 others to date from New York to New Orleans, and have helped organize SharePoint Saturday Boston since the beginning of 2010.

Unlike usual SharePoint Saturdays however, this one is not free, but pretty close to it as far as conference fees go. The current rate is $39, which will go up to $59 soon, so if you want to save twenty bucks… register today!

I could write-up all of the information about the conference, but it has already been done on the site, so why reinvent the wheel ( – the text below is a copy of that.


A community-focused, educational event filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals and executives covering a wide range of technical and business topics.


Anyone who interacts with SharePoint and its related technologies: Tracks for IT Pro, Developers, End Users, Business Process Owners, the Cloud and more!


Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale Campus, Annandale, VA

(Visit the website here.)


Thursday, August 11 – Saturday, August 13, 2011: 8 am – 6 pm

Friday Night Attendee Event: 6 pm – 11 pm


SharePoint Saturdays are a community sponsored event with a huge following. As we take the SharePoint Saturday event to the next level, the goal remains the same: to encourage community participation and lower the barriers to learning SharePoint.

For attendees in any role (End User, IT Professional, Business Manager or Developer), this conference provides an unparalleled level of training, sharing, networking and one-to-one interaction with the SharePoint community. It’s not to be missed!


Registration Fee:

$39 Early Bird (until August 7, 2011)

$59 for Regular & Walk-Ins

(discounts available for groups of 10 or more)

And there are some FAQ’s on the conference about page as well…

I will be presenting 3 sessions there, so please drop in to one and say hello if you go!


9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star

Co-Presented with Christian Buckley

Session Level: 100

Session Type: End User

So you want to become a rock star? We’re talking actual rock star – not a metaphor for “finding stardom” at your company, but that little “band thing” you do on the side after putting in your 9-to-5 each day.
In this session, we will lead you on a fun and adventurous journey where you can not only learn SharePoint, but springboard into that life of fame and rock stardom that you’ve been dreaming of, using the tools at your disposal during the daily grind. If, by chance, your wildest dreams of becoming a rock star do not come to fruition, you can be rest assured that you can apply what you learn in this session to become a SharePoint rock star. Because its always good to have a backup plan.


Just Freakin’ Work! Overcoming Hurdles and Avoiding Pain in SharePoint Custom Development

Co-Presented with Mark Rackley

Session Level: 200

Session Type: IT Pro / Developer

“Why am I getting a security error??” “Why does my code work sometimes, but not others?” “I wonder if McDonalds is hiring.” Writing custom code in SharePoint opens up unlimited possibilities but also throws many hurdles in your way that will slow you down if you don’t take them into account. So, before giving up and searching for careers in the fast food industry, equip yourself with the knowledge you need to succeed in writing custom code for SharePoint.
Attendees will learn:
1. Commonly used methods to improve functionality and performance
2. Best practices for disposing of SP Objects
3. How to avoid common issues when writing custom code for SharePoint
PREREQUISITES: Developers need to have a basic knowledge of SharePoint, know C# and be comfortable in Visual Studio.


Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010

Session Level: 300

Session Type: IT Pro / Admin

Most companies, large or small, require contact and collaboration with external entities, whether they are vendors, clients, or contractors. SharePoint gives us the ability to open up portals for collaboration with these external entities – this session will show you how to accomplish this using SharePoint 2010.
We will review what is required to make SharePoint “open” to the external world, discuss scenarios regarding security and privacy, as well as walk through configuring Forms Based Authentication, Claims Based Authentication, as well as using Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010, to authenticate, and manage our external users.
Once completing this session, you should have a firm grasp on how to configure an extranet environment using SharePoint 2010, as well as what should be considered during the planning of your extranet scenarios.

Speaking at SharePoint Saturday New York on 7/30/11

I am pleased to announce (a bit belated) that I will be presenting at the next SharePoint Saturday New York on July 30th, 2011.  I will be presenting Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010.

Most companies, large or small, require contact and collaboration with external entities, whether they are vendors, clients, or contractors. SharePoint gives us the ability to open up portals for collaboration with these external entities – this session will show you how to accomplish this using SharePoint 2010.

We will review what is required to make SharePoint “open” to the external world, discuss scenarios regarding security and privacy, as well as walk through configuring Forms Based Authentication, Claims Based Authentication, as well as using Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010, to authenticate, and manage our external users.

Once completing this session, you should have a firm grasp on how to configure an extranet environment using SharePoint 2010, as well as what should be considered during the planning of your extranet scenarios.

SharePoint Saturday New York is one of the great SharePoint Saturday events – put on by some great people – Becky Isserman (@MossLover), Jason Gallicchio (@PrincetonSUG), Greg Hurlman (@ghurlman), with Tasha Scott (@TashasEv) coordinating volunteer efforts.

For more information on my session, check out my blog series on the matter here:

Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010–Part 1

Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010–Part 2

Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010-Part 3 “The Environment”


I hope to see you in New York! Oh, and by the way, registration is now open! Sign up today as space IS limited! SharePoint Saturday New York

SharePoint Saturday Boston 4–Recap and Materials

spsbostonWhat an event! This will be the 3rd SharePoint Saturday Boston event that I had the pleasure to help organize with Talbott Crowell and Pradeepa Siva. This was by far the smoothest as far as getting the gears cranking on it. Once the engine started, it virtually ran itself… I think our only real issue the day of, is that the breakfast caterer did not pick up their coffee containers, that and we could not figure out the AC situation, or lack there-of in some of the conference rooms. No speaker cancellations, or anything of that sort.


I want to start off by thanking our wonderful sponsors, who without, these events could never take place. It would take tens of thousands of dollars to pull one of these off… and that kind of money does go into these, but, not funded by registration fees from attendees. These are sponsored by some great companies, that believe in these events.

Next off, the speakers. If you are not familiar with a SharePoint Saturday event, the speakers are not paid a single cent to come and speak. There are no reimbursements for travel from us at least – some people do have companies that pick up their tab, a lot however, do not.We had speakers from all over the US, Canada, and even one from Russia. We could have all of the sponsors in the world, but, without the quality of the speakers, and their knowledge and delivery of the content, these events would not take place.

And last, but certainly not least, all of the 250+ attendees that came out on an absolutely gorgeous New England Saturday (it got me out of mulching my entire yard!), to come and network, learn, and have some fun. Again, if there were no attendees, there would be no SharePoint Saturday Boston.

For you math geeks out there, it is a simple equation, to sum up what the SharePoint Saturday ecosystem is.

Speakers + Sponsors + Attendees = SharePoint Saturday

And for my last bit of thanks – thank you to all of the people who attended my session – Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010. This was my first run of this session, and the feedback was very positive. Thank you all for bearing the heat in there, especially with the unending stream of hot air coming from me. I’ve posted my deck (below) at slideshare, and to all of who you are looking for a copy of the demo image – I will have that link available within the next week or two, as soon as I get it all up and running.



I am looking forward to the next SharePoint Saturday Boston, as well as other SharePoint Saturdays to come…

Registration Open for SharePoint Saturday Boston – 4/9/11

I am pleased to announce that registration is now open for SharePoint Saturday Boston! Register today to reserve your spot. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Event Details

SharePoint administrators, end users, architects, developers, and other professionals that work with Microsoft SharePoint Technologies will meet for the 4th SharePoint Saturday Boston event on Saturday, April 9th, 2011 at the Microsoft Office located at 201 Jones Road in Waltham, MA, 02451. SharePoint Saturday is an educational, informative, and lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals and MVPs, covering a wide variety of SharePoint-orientated topics. SharePoint Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint! Follow us on twitter @SPSBoston. Register today to reserve your spot before they are all gone.

Our sponsors will be providing breakfast, lunch, and a snack. Microsoft is providing the facility. Many other sponsors will be providing wonderful giveaways at the end of the day.

We have speakers from around New England plus speakers flying into Boston from around the globe to provide the best event for learning cutting edge skills and techniques for implementing SharePoint at your company. SharePoint Saturday is also a great way to network with like-minded professionals.

For up to date schedule and agenda see our web site at:

Don’t forget to print your ticket and bring it with you to the event in order to use the Rapid Registration Line.

When is SharePoint Saturday Boston?

Saturday, April 9th, 2011
8:00AM – 6:00PM

Where will SharePoint Saturday Boston be held?

SharePoint Saturday Boston will be held at the Microsoft Waltham office at 201 Jones Rd., Sixth Floor, Waltham, MA 02451


Who is organizing this event?

ThirdM and Grace-Hunt

How do I register?

Registration is limited and based on first come first serve basis.

SharePoint Saturday Hartford Recap and Session Materials

altI was pleasantly surprised when about a week or so before SharePoint Saturday Hartford came around on January 29th, to hear the news that the event had sold out! We have had lots of success with SharePoint Saturday Boston, however, I was unsure if this was going to be overkill for the region, if it would all be SPS Boston attendees looking for their “fix” between our 6-8 month cycle there of events, I honestly was not sure what to expect, but, wanted to help get it going anyways, so I offered up Grace Hunt to sponsor the event.

And what a great event it was! Over 150 people attended, plus speakers and sponsors, which, by the size of the venue, was a perfect amount to fit in there comfortably. I made some great new connections with speakers and attendees alike, and had a chance to spend some time with some old friends.

165538_10150133897807642_612892641_8214470_4415448_nI presented two sessions at this event, and also helped out in our vendor-led session at lunch time.

My first session of the day was on “Creating Custom Actions in SharePoint 2010”. I had a great group in the room, which asked some very good questions, and even dealt fine with the State Service in one of my demonstrations was broken, so I could not complete a custom action running a workflow (sorry about that!)

Thank you to all my attendees for that session, and even more importantly, having some fans of the Hartford Whalers in there. Below is my slide deck from my Custom Actions presentation.

My next session was done with Tim Farrell, also of Grace Hunt. We presented “Building a Custom Solution from the Ground Up” Since Tim did most of the heavy lifting in this session – I’ll refer to his blog for the session materials (Permalink to SPS-Hartford Presentation pt1 – The Beginning).

A big thanks to SB Chattergee, Talbott Crowell, Pradeepa Siva, and Bob Ohlheiser for putting together this great event, all of the attendees and sponsors of SharePoint Saturday Hartford, and the Grace Hunt team that made it to the event!

Slides from SharePoint Saturday EMEA 2011 Presentation

Although it happened quite early for me in the morning yesterday (January 22st, 2011), SharePoint Saturday EMEA was a great event to be a part of. Although it lacked some of the main aspects I love at SharePoint Saturdays, such as networking, meeting new people, interacting with the crowd, etc., it was kind of nice to wake up, slug down a few cups of coffee, and present my session.

The EMEA team did a great job of managing this virtual SharePoint Saturday, and I hope to be able to present at future sessions. A big thanks to the attendees of my session, as well as the team that put the event together:

  • Mark Miller (@eusp)
  • Toni Frankola (@ToniFrankola)
  • Isaac Stith (@MrIsaac)
  • Ayman El-Hattab (@aymanelhattab)
  • Natasha Felshman (@TeamEUSP)


Below is a copy of my slide deck from the presentation. Any questions on any of the material, please leave a comment below!

Speaking at SPSEMEA on January 22, 2011

imageFound out a few moments ago that I am officially slated to present at SharePoint Saturday EMEA.


What is SharePoint Saturday EMEA?

SharePoint Saturday EMEA is a loosely knit group of SharePoint evangelists from around the world. We are working together, using SharePoint as a collaboration tool to sponsor live, online global events.

On January 22nd, 2011, we will hold our 2nd annual, live online SharePoint Saturday event in the EMEA Timezones.

Oh, and it’s free.


What will I be presenting?

The Ribbon UI and Custom Actions in SharePoint 2010

Custom Actions control features in SharePoint such as the List Item Menu, the Site Actions menu, toolbars, and the links within the Site Settings page, as well as the Ribbon UI in SharePoint 2010.

Learn how to leverage Custom Actions to extend the SharePoint User Interface. This session will describe the basics of Custom Actions, demonstrations to build and apply them in SharePoint as they relate to our lists using SharePoint Designer 2010, as well as provide resources for additional information.

Where can I find more information on SPS EMEA?

Right here:

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