Recapping the UK SharePoint Best Practices Conference in London last week

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 4:34 AM
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Time for a quick little recap to my trip last week to London for the UK SharePoint Best Practices Conference. It was my first trip to London and I had a blast. It started out well too. I was booked in coach but had an exit row seat all the way through because business class was just too pricy. But when I arrived at the airport there was the always fun equipment change and I was moved to the middle seat 3 twos from the back. After talking to the ticketing agent, doing some quick math on how much work I could do on the plane to justify the expense to jump to the next fare class and then spend a bunch of Delta SkyMiles, I had a nice comfy seat in the front of the bus and was able to sleep all night on the way over.

The conference itself was a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of people I hadn’t had a chance to talk to in the past. I love these international conferences where you get to meet and chat with folks who have very different experiences with SharePoint or who you’ve only talked with over email. Steve Smith @ Combined Knowledge did a fantastic job with the show… the venue was top notch and it seemed to run without any issues. We had a killer venue too… it was literally across the street from Westminster Abbey and Parliament. We had such a killer location that on a break between sessions, Rob Foster (of SharePoint Pod Show lore, and who also got a picture of me sleeping in the speaker’s lounge) and I ducked out and in a matter of 20 minutes got a bunch of pictures of both Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben and crossed the Thames for some more pictures. I presented three sessions, one each day. The fun part was my last session on Wednesday morning was right after the time different nailed me. Overseas time difference always hits me 3 days into a trip. We also did two developer panels, one of which I participated in, one of which I moderated. We also had a SharePoint by Day, SharePint by Night event. The venue was quite cool… a bit tough to chat with folks and get food. I was starving so I had to duck out to get something to eat but got to see a lot of folks.

Developer Panel
Developer Panel
SharePoint by Day, SharePint by Night
SharePoint by Day, SharePint by Night

The only downside to this trip was that we were in conference mode for 3 days and I only had one day (Thursday) to be all touristy. Oh well… such is life. On Thursday I headed out with a few fiends to see the town. Eric Shupps, a London veteran, was kind enough to lead us around and be our tube guide. We hit the Tower of London, Cleopatra’s Needle, Parliament, Big Ben, Downing Street, Horse Guards (and watch the changing of the guard), walked through St. James park up to Buckingham Palace. Lots we missed, but we saw a good bit in one day.

Big Ben and Parliament
Big Ben and Parliament
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace

You can see more pictures from the trip here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=99966andid=614214008andl=7cf767bd05.

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