SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities ROCKED this weekend with 450+ attendees! By our estimations, this places us right behind SharePoint Saturday DC as the most well-attended SharePoint Saturday event EVER. Thanks to all our organizing staff, volunteers, speakers, sponsors and attendees for making this such a fabulous event. Our continued success ensures that this event will be around for many years to come…
We kicked things off on Friday with event setup. We had an army of 20+ tackling all the work, and were able to unload all our materials, organize sponsor exhibition tables, assemble sponsor/speaker gift bags, place signs and stuff attendee bags in a record 2 hours. Not an easy feat! A big thanks to Cyndi Kesler, Irene Kesler, Mary Neumann, Avi Sujeeth, Dave Hall, Lynne Figg, Phil Jirsa, Raymond Mitchell, Don Donais, Colleen Haviland, Tamara Bredemus, Wes Preston and many others for your efforts.
The speaker dinner was held Friday night at Tavern on France. Great food, great company and an amazing assortment of SharePoint knowledge all in one place. We had a great mix of attendees join in for SharePint starting at 8:30 pm. Great to meet attendees who drove long distances to attend the event–including a special shout out to the UWEC and CVTC folks from my hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Great to see you!
Saturday morning got off to an early start with a 4:45 am wake-up call. By 7 am we were on site at Normandale Community College amassing our volunteer workforce. (While we’ve had outstanding volunteers at all our previous events, we knew that pulling off this 450+ person event was going to take an army of help. We’re so fortunate to have an active SharePoint community that really jumped in to help us out!) By 8 am registration was up and running and we had 30+ volunteers handing out lanyards, pointing people towards breakfast and handing out attendee t-shirts and bags. A special “thank you” to Edith Young for hanging with me as chief troubleshooter Saturday morning. Much appreciated!
When we kicked off the event at 9 am, Normandale’s 400-seater Auditorium was filled to capacity. Our slogan for this event was “Occupy SharePoint.” A popular choice, but attendees loved hearing our other rejected slogans:
- Come for the mall, stay for the SharePoint. SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities.
- Smart people, good food AND I learned something. Must be SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities!
- Adopt an End User today at SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities.
- Keep your End Users happy and healthy. Remember to spay and neuter.
- SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities – April 14, 2012. More fun than taxes!
- Hmmm. That worked at SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities…
And yes, these slogans are all created by Tamara Bredemus, our fantastic comedic talent 🙂
The rest of the day went by in a blur. We had 30 fantastic sessions, a vendor exhibition area that was packed to capacity and great food/networking opportunities. To help wind down after the big day, we took a bunch of speakers and attendees to Khan’s Mongolian BBQ for dinner. Follow that up with some rollercoaster rides at the Mall of America and you have a FULL day.
It’s impossible to thank everyone who had a hand in this event, but please know that it could not succeed without a huge amount of positive energy! It also wouldn’t have been the same without many of our fantastic speakers that came great distances to attend. Thanks to Mark Rackley, Richard Harbridge, Jeff Willinger, Kim Frehe, Doug Hemminger, Tasha Scott, Mary Leigh Mackie, et. al. for traveling to Minneapolis for this event. And a special thanks to Sean McDonough for making a repeat appearance. You make everything more fun, man!
For those of you that can’t wait for another SharePoint Saturday Twin Cities, don’t despair…we’re already locking in a date for the fall. Stay tuned for more information.