SharePoint Best Practices Conference ’11

Thank you to everybody who came to Stuart and my session on “How we implemented Governance at Kelloggs”
We both felt the session went very well and I have had great feedback both on twitter and from people talking more about Governance with me after the session.
I will add a link to our slide deck to this post. Some slides may need to be altered slightly for commercial reasons, but all the useful information is still there. (the slides will be available soon)
Overall, I had an amazing conference.  After last years chaos (behind the scenes) dealing with the Ash Cloud, it was great to catch up with all the speakers.  The calibre of each and every speaker is second to none and I think Steve Smith has really set the bar for all other conferences (SharePoint and in general) to match.  His mix of technical content and entertainment struck the perfect balance in my eyes.
3 things really caught my attention throughout the conference:
1) The shift in focus from a delegates point of view from deep tech sessions to the community tracks!
I know a lot of people could not even get into the room for our session, so sorry if you missed out.  If there is interest then I’ll try to arrange for Stuart and I to repeat the session at my User Group meetings in Manchester ( or others if we can arrange to travel.
2) People working with SharePoint still don’t know about the SharePoint User Group over here in the UK
When I asked, in my session, how many people were aware of the user group only a few hands went up! Astonishing.  If you are reading this and have no idea what I am talking about then head over to and find the one in your area. Mine is Manchester but we are all over; North East, Scotland, East Anglia, Midlands, London, South West.
It is completely free to join and attend, we are not sponsored or run by any commercial interest (we aren’t even set up to handle money) but we all arrange the meetings every couple of month out of our own pockets and time and you will get a lot of the same speakers (well, the UK ones mainly) that you saw at the conference including heavy weights including Spencer Harbar, Neil Hodgkinson, Chris O’Brien, Penny Coventry, Andrew Woodward to name just a few.
3) How many people are not on Twitter!
This is astonishing as well.  I have a listing of hundreds of the worlds top SharePoint experts (and I am missing quite a few as well!) and when working in such a fast moving technology such as SharePoint you NEED to be following their blogs and twitter posts to keep ahead of the game. 
Various pop quizzes in the sessions highlighted about 30-50% of people were actively using twitter.  You need to be following the experts to keep up with Best Practices, hints, tips, guidance and general SharePoint “stuff”
Don’t forget to check out Matt Groves blog for all the official photos from the conference. ( and the official conference video (
Finally, I want to thank Steve Smith (@SteveSmithCK) for putting on a superb conference, Zoe for all her efforts in making the arrangements, all the speakers who attended and game their time up for the good of the community (you know they don’t get paid for speaking, right?) and lastly to all the delegates who pay good, hard earned money to come and see us present.  I hope each and every one of you got your money’s worth and came away with a lot of useful information that you can take to your own deployments and drive even more value out of, quite simply, some of the most powerful business software I have ever had the privilege to be involved with.
Please please send me any feedback on my session, relating to user group sessions, or just say “Hi”.  You can reply to this post, tweet me @MarkStokes or email me 

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Mark Stokes

I am a SharePoint Server MVP and the founding Director of Red Plane, a Microsoft Silver Partner in the North West of the UK. I am interested in Travel, Extreme Sports, Photography, Technology, Gadgets, Raspberry Pi and, of course, SharePoint! Note: This is my personal blog and entries may not represent the views of my employer.

One thought on “SharePoint Best Practices Conference ’11”

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