Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Aria Blog, David H Deans, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Elizabeth White, Charles Jolley

Blog Feed Post

SPC12 Readiness Checklist

I started doing conference readiness checklists last year at SPC11 and I wanted to continue the tradition with #SPC12.  Mark Freeman (@SPHotShot) has already produced a great guide and I wanted to add my two cents.

What to pack:

  • Chargers / Power Supplies – I remember when I went to PDC05, I forgot my laptop charger.  I was quite bummed.  Don’t forget the chargers to your laptop, netbook, iPad, phones, etc. I have gotten a few of these new emergency phone chargers at conferences lately and they are very handy here.  Especially when you have a Nokia Lumia 900 and the battery life is terrible.  Keep in mind your average day can be 16 – 18 hours plus and you don’t want to be left in the dark and miss that big gathering because your phone died.
  • Laptop – As a presenter this one is obvious.  However as an attendee, you might not want to lug one around.  It can be worth it though.  You will find that you want some type of computing device so that you can keep up on twitter, follow the latest gossip, and find out about any impromptu #SharePint events that might occur.  Maybe even read a few E-mails.  As a presenter, I get the distinct pleasure of carrying a second laptop as well with my demos loaded on it in the event of an emergency / disaster.  Disasters will happen.  At SPC11, my virtual machine pretty much died on my primary laptop and I had to resort to the backup just twenty minutes before my session.  I was sweating to say the least.
  • Tablet – In lieu of carrying around your heavy laptop, I find carrying my netbook at conferences to be quite handy.  I haven’t invested in a Surface yet (mainly because I am not sure which one I want).  I’m not holding my breathe either that they will be handing them out like at Build.  Bring whatever device or combination thereof you prefer, but keeping up on what’s going on at the conference using one of these small devices is much easier than trying to look things up on your phone.  This year, I am foregoing this because of the second laptop and my bag will be heavy enough.  You also can use these to fill out session evaluations.  There are usually incentives for filling out evaluations so I try to complete each evaluation right before the end of the session so I don’t forget.
  • AirCard / MiFi  – The wireless networks at conferences are rarely good.  They are jammed with geeks trying to post updates on Twitter and check out what’s happening on Facebook.  If you have access to a wireless AirCard, bring one.  See if your company has any that you can check out temporarily. 
  • Cash – Just a little (more if you drink and gamble a lot :) ).  There are a lot of free events but you might go to something before or after the conference and I am not a fan of running tabs at busy restaurants and bars.   Don’t take it all with you every night.  Leave some in the hotel safe.
  • Snacks – After a long night, you will want something to eat.  At the minimum, you might want something to eat in the morning.
  • Business Cards – Even if you are not in sales, bring twice as many as you think you will need.  You will go through them faster than you think.
  • Bail Money – The Houston SharePoint Users Group has a running joke about always keeping a stash of bail money around when attending a #SharePint.  You never know what is going to happen.

Before you go:

  • Arrive early – Come in early and have some fun in Vegas before you get into the conference grind.  That means you (@fabianwilliams).  Many of us will be arriving Friday or Saturday. 
  • Don’t leave early – After a week of Vegas, I am sick of the place and I am ready to leave.  However, you don’t want to cut the conference short on Thursday by having to leave early.  Plan for an early Friday departure.
  • Set your schedule on My SPC  - This will make your SPC organizers happy when it comes to capacity planning.  You aren’t required to go to that session you schedule, but it will help you pick from the 10+ sessions going on at any given time slot.  Go to My SPC and set your schedule now (or at least when it finally comes out).
  • Create your Bio on My SPC – Whether you are an end user or a SharePoint rock star, take a few minutes to write about yourself.  Include where you work if you want along with what you typically do with SharePoint and what you want to get out of the conference.  Upload a picture of yourself to make things more personal.  Set your My SPC bio now.
  • Create a #SPC12 Search in Twitter – There is no question you want to keep an eye on the activity of the #SPC12 hash tag.  You will find out about sessions, events, and it will generally give you an idea of what is happening at the conference.
  • Follow @SPConf on Twitter – This is the official twitter account for SPC.  This account often posts useful stuff about the conference.  I’ve also used it to ask questions or provide general feedback and I’ve had very good luck getting a response.
  • Reach out to your local SharePoint User Group – Find out what your local SharePoint User Group is doing while at SPC.  Many of them are having meetings or socials.  For example, H-SPUG (#HSPUG) is having a happy hour on Sunday night.
  • Don’t forget to set your user group in your profile  - You can now set your SharePoint user group in your My SPC bio.  Set that to make it easier to find people in your group.
  • Register for Pre-conference Sessions – If you think you will be able to get up on Sunday morning, attend one of the pre-conference sessions.  Many of them are free.  Just keep in mind there is a $300 no-show penalty.
  • RSVP for Parties – There are a lot of them this year but many of them are not being widely publicized.  Many of them require that you RSVP or stop by a booth so be sure and find out before hand. 
  • Arrange for Ground Transportation  - Don’t forget to arrange for ground transportation.  You really don’t need a car in Vegas, but you do need a way to get there.  Taking a Taxi usually isn’t too expensive and there are plenty of shuttle options as well.  This may be less of a concern on arrival but more for your departure.
  • Leave space in your bag – Between the conference materials and the vendors you are going to end up with a heap of product information, trinkets, and T-shirts.  Make sure you have room in your bag to bring them home.  Otherwise you’ll be hand carrying them on the plane or leaving things behind.

What to do at the conference:

  • What’s in Vegas, will not stay in Vegas – Nerds have gadgets and they like to take pictures.  Do something stupid and you can rest assure it will be on twitter within seconds. :)
  • Make a habit of going by EyeCandy – EyeCandy in Mandalay Bay is a defacto SharePint hang out.  Make a habit of cruising by it from time to time on your way to wherever to see if anyone you know might be there.
  • Remember to eat - This one sounds obvious but it’s not.  You may be going to lots of parties with nothing but light appetizers.  This does not give you a good base to work upon before embarking on a night of massive consumption.
  • Ask Questions  - Don’t be afraid to walk up to the mic and ask a question.  That’s what you’re here for.  If you don’t want to ask it in front of everybody, wait in line and talk to the speaker at the podium just be mindful that the speaker has to clear out in a hurry.  Don’t be afraid to approach speakers outside the room either.  Most of them are friendly and are easily engaged using beer and cocktails. :)
  • Don’t worry about writing everything down – Remember the slides and content are all online.  Don’t stress out because you weren’t able to write down a URL or code snippet on a slide.
  • Make friends – You may run into lots of people you know, but many people aren’t active on twitter and aren’t familiar with the SharePoint community.  Find a friend if you didn’t come to the conference with any one.  It’s much more fun to go do all of the activities in a group rather than by yourself.
  • Visit the Exhibit Hall – The exhibit hall is a lot of fun.  Besides all of the SWAG and drawings, you are likely to find out about evening events that way. Make a point of going there every day.
  • Attend the sessions – Don’t skip out on the morning sessions.  If I have to get up early so do you. :)
  • Attend the Hands on Labs – If you haven’t had a chance to get your hands on SharePoint 2013, get down to the HOL and check it out.  This is a great way to experience the product without having to take the time to install it.
  • Take a test – The certification tests are in beta right now.  I doubt very many of us are prepared to pass them, but sign up for them any ways.  It’s free.  Do keep in mind that beta tests are longer than normal so you’ll have to commit quite a bit of time to them.
  • Don’t underestimate travel times – The walk to the convention center from a room at the Mandalay Bay is at least ten minutes.  When I stayed at the Luxor at SPC09, it was a full thirty minute walk.  Even within the convention center, there are long walks between sessions.
  • Arrive early to sessions – Many sessions will fill up and entrance will be denied.  Don’t get left out by showing up late.
  • Learn hash tags for the sessions you are attending – Every session you are attending has an associated hash tag that you can follow.  For example, my Windows 8 Session is number 025, so the hash tag for it is #SPC025.  You can go ahead and save a search for that one now. :)  I hear #SPC195 is also a good one!
  • Don’t wear your badge outside of the convention center – Nothing says you don’t have any game like walking out of the convention center with your badge on.  Take it off as you exit the area.
  • Don’t forget your badge (and lanyard) at the attendee party – At SPC09, your badge and the lanyard were required to get in.  I know several people that had to walk all the way back to their room just to get the lanyard.  That was a one hour walk since it was back to the Luxor.  I saw something in an E-mail that seemed to indicate that this might be a wristband this year so don’t forget that (or lose it).
  • Keep your phone charged – The battery life on LTE phones is horrible and even worse when you are tweeting non-stop all day.  Keep an eye on your phone’s battery life and charge up throughout the day. 
  • Don’t blow all your money – This one goes without saying.  I came to SPC09 on a budget and quickly depleted my designated gambling funds.  It prevented me from doing anything else for the rest of the trip.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave for lunch – I’m not a huge fan of conference food and it rarely gets along with my diet.  Usually by the second or third day I am grabbing anyone I can find and going off-site.  Find me at the conference and you can join me.
  • Attend #ShareHofbrau on Thursday – After the conference, unwind with friends at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas.  It’s an authentic German beer hall and it’s loads of fun.
  • Fill out your evaluations – These really are important to the speakers.  Let them know they did a good job and take the time to leave actual text comments in them.
  • Establish rendez-vous points – Establish meeting spots in advance with your group and set a time to meet.  Mine will probably be the slot machines immediately outside of EyeCandy. :)
  • Have a nice day – Be sure and see Bon Jovi at the attendee party.  If you are expecting to meet people there, do it before you go into the beach club.  The club is huge and they filter traffic to the area they want you in.  If you don’t walk in with the people you want to see, you will likely not see them that night.

That’s my list.  I’m sure there are other things to remember.  Do you have anything else to add?  Leave a comment.  This probably goes without saying, but if you are not on twitter, now is the time to join.  It’s the best way to keep up with what’s happening at the conference.

I’m also presenting two sessions at this year’s conference and I would love for you to come see them.

  • #SPC025Bringing SharePoint to the Desktop: Building Windows 8 Apps with SharePoint – This talk titled, Bring SharePoint to the Desktop: Building Windows 8 Metro Style Apps with SharePoint is centered around different ways we can leverage SharePoint data in a rich full-screen interface.  This developer-centric talk will show you the basics of building Windows 8 apps and then take advantage of the new SharePoint 2013 APIs to do data binding and notifications.  If you have an interest in Windows 8 and SharePoint, this talk is for you.
  • #SPC195PowerShell 3.0 Administration with SharePoint 2013 – In this session, we’ll cover everything from tips and tricks with PowerShell to key new cmdlets you will want to know about.  We’ll talk about installing solution packages, managing upgrades, provisioning the new service applications, and more.  I promise I’ll do my best to make PowerShell an exciting topic.  I know some of you out there love it, so I think it will be a fun talk.

Enough with the shameless plug. :)  Get ready and I’ll see you at the conference.

Follow me on twitter: @coreyroth.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Corey Roth

Corey Roth, a SharePoint Server MVP, is a consultant at Hitachi Consulting specializing in SharePoint and Office 365 for clients in the energy sector. He has more than ten years of experience delivering solutions in the energy, travel, advertising and consumer electronics verticals.

Corey specializes in delivering ECM and search solutions to clients using SharePoint. Corey has always focused on rapid adoption of new Microsoft technologies including Visual Studio 2013, Office 365, and SharePoint.

He is a member of the .NET Mafia (www.dotnetmafia.com) where he blogs about the latest technology and SharePoint. He is dedicated to the community and speaks regularly at user groups and SharePoint Saturdays.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...