Webinar (3/24/2011) on Customizing SharePoint List Forms using InfoPath and SharePoint Designer

I’ll be presenting a free webinar tomorrow (3/24/2011 at 1pm Eastern) on the pros and cons of customizing SharePoint List Forms using either SharePoint Designer 2010 or InfoPath 2010. Get more information about it and register here if you would like to attend:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/798083688

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Review for book ‘Beginning SharePoint 2010’ by Wrox

Just starting out with SharePoint 2010 or even SharePoint in general? The book ‘Beginning SharePoint 2010 – Building Business Solutions with SharePoint’ is an Awesome resource to get your hands on to get you up and running quickly!

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First of all, this book is written by veterans (Amanda Perran, Shane Perran, Jennifer Mason, Laura Rogers) in the SharePoint community and not just from an outsider’s perspective which helps tremendously since it has been my personal experience (teaching on SharePoint for 6 years now) that it is not the easiest thing to teach effectively.

This book starts directly by hitting on the major areas of SharePoint that a beginner should understand real well to make good use of this platform. Topics like Sites, Workspaces, Lists, Libraries, Workflows, Site Columns, Content Types, Branding and more are discussed in detail. Not only how to use these things, but in which scenarios would you want to utilize each. The business reasoning for using, for example, a particular site or list template is extremely important for the long term success of your SharePoint deployment.

Another really good thing about this book is that it can be used just as well by people who already understand the fundamentals and now want to dive deeper into advanced topics like Records Management, Business Connectivity Services, Forms Server, Search management and of course the understanding of implementing a plan for governing the whole thing. Once you go through these topics in this book, then you get a better understanding for how these pieces all fit together on the platform. However, if you do want a deeper dive on each of these topics, I would recommend picking up a book which covers just that subject.

One more thing I would like to mention is the inclusion of exercises in this book – a great idea in my mind for folks who learn kinesthetically (like myself). Following these exercises, you can actually experience the beauty (as well as the gotchas) of SharePoint.

My recommendation: Buy it for yourself or your end users. It’s worth the price!

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The SharePoint Conferences you should attend

“Which SharePoint Conference should I attend?”. I get this question so many times that I thought this definitely deserves a blog post. As part of my job, I continue to visit and present at numerous conferences every year. While I don’t think that this makes me an expert at SharePoint conferences, I do have a perspective that I can share with folks who are looking to evaluate the choices out there.

Why should you attend a SharePoint Conference?

These days, training and travel budgets are limited. You truly have to convince yourself (and your boss) that it’s going to be worth the time and money to attend a conference. If your company is focused on SharePoint or is evaluating SharePoint as a critical component of your business, it will definitely serve you well to look into attending a conference with SharePoint content.

Please do not substitute training with attending a conference. Conferences are great for getting a feel for variety of subjects in a short two to three day period with bite sized sessions (60-75 minutes each). However, when you are ready to dive into a subject, it’s always good to get some real hands on experience either training on your own with books and video tutorials or by attending a focused training session. It’s hard to beat these modes of learning.

Which SharePoint related Conferences provide the biggest bang for the buck?

I have listed below several conferences and some subjective information about each conference. Hope this helps you when you are deciding on which SharePoint conference to attend. Also, I have embedded an interactive list below and would love to see you vote on which conferences you prefer and have attended.

Headline for SharePoint Conferences
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Asif Rehmani Asif Rehmani
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15 items   21 followers   13 votes   5.32k views

SharePoint Conferences

SharePoint specific conferences around the world. Vote for your favorite ones and also mark if you have been to it.

Jan 31, 2013 - mssharepointconference.com - 785
Microsoft's SharePoint Conference

Hosted by Microsoft and usually draws thousands of people every year

Jan 31, 2013 - sharepointfest.com - 827
SharePoint Fest - Denver | D.C. | Chicago

Workshops for SharePoint administrators, software developers, information architects, business analysts and power users. Very locale centric

Jan 31, 2013 - spsevents.org - 606
SharePoint Saturday

Free SharePoint event that takes place around the world. Local event for the community

Jan 31, 2013 - shareconference.com - 831
Share Conference

Focused on business users, this conference speaks to the business value of SharePoint as a platform

Jan 31, 2013 - sharepointeurope.com - 686
European SharePoint Conference

European SharePoint Conference| An engaging community of SharePoint enthusiasts coming together to share ideas and make lasting connections

Jul 25, 2013 - devintersection.com - 687
SharePoint Intersection

The SharePoint Intersection Conference brings together SharePoint, Visual Studio, ASP.NET, Open Web, Mobile and Cloud developers

Jan 31, 2013 - devconnections.com - 791
SharePoint Connections

Provides variety of tracks for all types of audiences – IT Pro, Developer, Business User. Conducted twice a year.

Jan 31, 2013 - sptechcon.com - 610
SharePoint Technology Conference

SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference – is the largest independent SharePoint conference in the world for IT professionals, business managers, analysts, and developers.

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SharePoint User Groups

Jan 31, 2013
SharePoint User Groups

Many around the world. A well run SharePoint User Group is designed to serve the users (usually for free) with monthly or bi-monthly events focused on all aspects of SharePoint.

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Virtual Conferences

Jan 31, 2013
Virtual Conferences

In addition to in-person SharePoint conferences, there are also virtual SharePoint conferences and presentations held year round.

Jan 31, 2013 - sharepointevolutionconference.com - 773
SharePoint Evolution Conference (UK)

Held in UK every year by Combined Knowledge folks

Jan 31, 2013 - splive360.com - 738
SharePoint Live!

SharePoint Live!, a Live! 360 conference focused on Microsoft SharePoint technology, in sunny Orlando, Florida.

May 17, 2013 - sharepointsummit.org - 724
SharePoint Summit | Toronto

SharePoint Summit Toronto

Sep 05, 2013 by Patrick Püntener - colygon.com - 701
SharePoint@Enterprise - Social Business | Enterprise Collaboration | Digital Workplace

SharePoint@Enterprise usually takes place in June in Zurich and offers you a vivid and interactive platform for strategic, solution-oriented and architectural topics around SharePoint in the enterprise.

Apr 23, 2014 by Rebecca Bennin - spcadriatics.com - 729
SPC Adriatics 2014

SharePoint and Project Conference Adriatics

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Some biased thoughts regarding each conference:

The SharePoint Conference

If you can only attend one SharePoint conference, this is the one you want to attend. It is hosted by Microsoft and usually draws thousands of people to it. The presenters are people from SharePoint product group, experts and SharePoint MVPs who have been working with the product for many many years.

SharePoint Connections

SharePoint Connections always provides a variety of tracks for all types of audiences – IT Pro, Developer, Business User. The presenters at this conference are also Microsoft folks and SharePoint experts in the field. It is held twice a year in the United States (once in Vegas and the other time in Orlando) and has very direct and focused content for SharePoint.

SPTechCon

The SPTechCon is held twice a year in the United States. Usually, the venues are in Boston and San Francisco. Audiences catered are IT Pro, Developers and Business Users. The presenters at this conference are primarily experts in the SharePoint field. A great overall conference to attend for all SharePoint audiences.

SharePoint Fest

SharePoint Fest is held twice a year usually. The best thing I like about this conference is the focus on the local audience. Whether it’s held in Denver, DC or Chicago (the usual locations I have seen), it provides the best value to the local audience who is not satisfied completely with SharePoint Saturdays and user groups. Because Fest attracts a good number of top speakers and there is no travel involved for the local folks, I would recommend looking to see when it comes to your town and sign up for it.

SharePoint Evolutions

SharePoint Evolutions is the premier SharePoint conference in UK. This conference is presented by the folks at Combined Knowledge. The comments from all presenters regarding this conference is always very positive. They don’t hold back when it comes to spending what’s needed to make it a quality conference.

SharePoint Connections Europe

This conference is usually held twice a year: Netherlands and Germany. A well organized conference by the folks who have lots of experience putting on conferences in other parts of the world. Definitely the one to attend in Europe.

Share Conference

Share conference is one of its kind. Its sole focus is on the business users of SharePoint (not IT or Dev). The presenters are also generally from the business community with real world experience that they share in the sessions with the attendees.

Summit (Toronto)

It’s been a few years since the Toronto Summit has been taking place. Great group of guys in charge of it. Wonderful conference in a great city.

Best Practices Conference

The main charter of the Best Practices Conference is to have presentations that focus on the best practices for doing things in SharePoint. Not just ‘How To’, but ‘How Best To’ and also ‘What Not To’ do. The presenters at this conference are SharePoint experts. This conference is usually held twice a year – once in DC and the other in San Diego.

TechEd

This event is one of the biggest that Microsoft arranges every year. It covers all different Microsoft technologies. Members of the product team from all different technologies are represented here. It is not, however, heavy on SharePoint sessions especially since Microsoft now produces the SharePoint Conference as well.

SharePoint Saturday

This is a free event that takes place around the world now. The basic premise of this event is to have a local event for the community that is free to attend. Many presenters are usually local as well. In addition, some presenters travel great distances on their own dime to present at these conferences.

SharePoint User Groups

Definitely check out and find the SharePoint User Group in your city. There are many good ones out there. A charter for a well run SharePoint User Group is to serve the users (usually for free) with monthly or bi-monthly events focused on all aspects of SharePoint. Usually, there are a couple of presentations at each meeting with lots of interaction with the audience.

Caution: Over time, some SharePoint user groups have been taken over by local training or consulting companies unfortunately. The focus for these have shifted to serve more as a lead generation for these companies rather than a true SharePoint community gathering. Check out the user group’s site for these signs before visiting.

SharePoint Virtual Conferences

In addition to in-person SharePoint conferences, there are also virtual SharePoint conferences and presentations held year round. There are too many to mention here. However, doing a simple search on ‘SharePoint virtual conference’ brings up several of them. More often than not, these are hosted by either SharePoint training or consulting companies. Also, various in-person conference organizers host the virtual conferences as well.

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