SharePoint Saturday Cambridge 2018

A couple weekends ago I presented my PowerApps Jumpstart session at SharePoint Saturday Cambridge, which was once again a terrific event! The theme this year was Britannia – celebrating Queen Boudicca’s Iceni army’s charge against the Roman Empire. That meant cool logos and competitions, as again this was run in conjunction with the SQL Saturday.

We flew from Stockholm into Stansted, rented a car, and drove to Cambridge on the Wednesday evening, so I had a couple days at a nice Airbnb flat to work and to tweak my session (I’d done the same one at SPS Stockholm). This event holds its Speaker Dinner on the Saturday, but a bunch of us met for dinner and drinks Friday night – lots of fun at a pub and then a steakhouse, but a relatively early night to rest up for a long day Saturday!

My session was in the first time slot on Saturday, which I really prefer… That way, I can relax and attend other sessions the rest of the day! After changing into the spiffy speaker shirt, saying Hi to my colleagues (i.e. friends) from Lightning Tools (which was one of the sponsors), and to the other speakers in the very nice speaker room, I got set up with no issues. Here I need to say that the staff at the Møller Centre is very attentive and great at making sure the tech is all working and the speakers are happy with it – part of what makes this a well-run event.

I had added a bit more to my demo PowerApp after the positive feedback I received at SPS Stockholm, and it went over even better than I’d hoped here in Cambridge! A good number of attendees, and lots of tweets and comments about how I used a PowerApp to run most of the session, rather than PowerPoint slides. I continued to get nice feedback throughout the day, as well, including my favorite comment: “I’m not scared of PowerApps any more!” It’s so good to know people learn something from what I do! My slides are available here, though as I said, most of the presentation was in the demo app.

The event keynote was after my session, but unfortunately by the time I put my things away after my session, the room was too packed to get in, so I hung around the LT booth instead, and talked to friends. After the keynote let out, I attended a session on chatbots, and then watched Serge and Isabelle’s Advanced Microsoft Flow session – I’d seen it the week before also, but I wanted to support my friends and also I always learn something new!

Next up was the lunchtime vendor sessions. This is an interesting idea at the Cambridge event, where boxed lunches are provided in the breakout rooms, so to get one, attendees must choose a vendor breakout session to sit in on. Learning while lunching, and good exposure for the vendors also! Naturally, I went to Brett’s session where he gave an overview of the Lightning Tools range of SharePoint tools and web parts, as well as a sneak preview of the new SharePoint Framework web parts being released in October! [Shameless plug, because the new Lightning Conductor, Data Viewer, and Social Squared are SO cool!.]

After lunch, I attended my friend Erica‘s session on Content Management, where she talked about taking into account content that’s stored outside of SharePoint. Then more PowerApps, as I went to see Laura Graham-Brown build a PowerApp to help the Iceni Army track its expenses, and Peter Baddeley introduced us to Model-driven apps.

After the prize raffle drawings (again too packed to fit into the room) it was time for a little SharePint at the venue, and then we were taken by bus to the speaker dinner. This was once again a real treat, served in the Great Hall of one of the Cambridge Colleges. And then went out with a bunch of the regulars to a pub (what? 😀 )

Thanks again to Paul Hunt and Mark Broadbent for organizing such a fun and well-run event, and also to the crew of volunteers who kept things running smoothly on the day.

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