Saturday was SharePoint Saturday Houston, and what a terrific SPS it was!
This was my fifth SharePoint Saturday, and my second in Houston, having gone to the one in 2010. It was also my second to present my SharePoint Governance session, SharePoint Group Therapy, which I first presented in Austin back in January. SPS Houston is actually smaller than the Austin one in terms of number of sessions, which is odd given that the Houston user group is so much larger than the Austin one. The food and venue were again excellent.
In 2010 I went with one co-worker, this year I went with five! After a minor parking issue here in Austin as we got ready to carpool, we arrived in Houston in time for the start of the keynote. And that was when the first delightful thing happened. I was walking from the speaker’s room to the bathroom when I was stopped by one of the attendees. “Hey, aren’t you that guy that does the blog?”
Well, of course I am but one of many SharePoint bloggers, but yes, she had recognized me from the picture in the upper right of the page. Recognition is great, I just have to say.
I wanted to catch up with a few people early on, and there turned out to be no time before the keynote to do that, so I skipped the keynote speech (which I never do). The keynote speaker was Microsoft’s Steve Fox, and it turned out that I should have gone to the keynote. During his presentation, he highlighted three sessions on the Houston schedule, one of which was mine. And I missed it.
From backup speaker to highlighted in the keynote, in less than a week. No pressure.
Still, it was good that I spent the time catching up with folks, especially since carpooling meant that I was going to miss SharePint that evening, and that I had not gone to the speakers’ dinner the night before. I have got to get a budget for doing this, so I can afford to do the whole thing right!
The third delightful thing, (though I do have mixed feelings about it) came while talking to <name withheld>, a SharePoint speaker that I admire greatly. <Name withheld> had submitted a session topic but hadn’t been chosen this year. Wait… I got chosen over <name withheld>?!?!? No way! I mean, on the one hand, that is just wrong – <name withheld> should have gotten a slot before me, any day. On the other, to have gotten chosen over <name withheld> means I have really arrived. Wow.
The session itself went very well, I thought. And apparently so did all the attendees.
Well, all except one. Whoever it was didn’t like the format of the session. To be fair, The SharePoint Saturday Houston site didn’t list the session details, the way the Austin one did, so they can be forgiven for not knowing about the format beforehand, even if the description is here on this site and on SharePointTherapist.com. I’m disappointed that my session provided no value to them, even though, as the expression goes, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” I’m also disappointed that the person who gave me the negative evaluation declined to provide a name of contact info, so I could find out what they had been expecting, as that information might help me craft new material for future presentations. At the very least, I might point them to resources they would find useful. I’m sure they didn’t provide the information because they didn’t want me hating on them, but I can assure you that isn’t what the contact info is for. While I can’t speak for all SharePoint Speakers, I know the good ones want the negative feedback as much as the positive feedback, because we want to be better speakers and we want to meet the needs of our audiences.
But that is enough about the one person who disliked my session. The other 40 or so people in the room all gave me strongly positive feedback. I’m glad you enjoyed the session!
I’ll be using the questions asked during the session as the basis for posts over on (the neglected) SharePointTherapist.com over the next few weeks.
After I finished, I was able to relax and attend other presentations.
If you haven’t attended a SharePoint Saturday, I highly recommend doing so. I haven’t had a bad expreience yet, on either side of the podium.