On Saturday I attended our first SharePoint Saturday Toronto. Turnout was surprisingly good for the event, being that it was on a Saturday in the summer. The event brought out all types of people interested in SharePoint including consultants and even users from one of the local school boards who were trying to figure out how to get the teachers, who are protective of their lesson plans, to use SharePoint without fear of compromising or losing their work. Session levels differed, so there was introductory to highly-technical “expert “content presented by local community speakers who offered a variety of different points of view and perspectives.
Two types of informational sessions were offered. One was the full 45 breakout presentation and the other was the Caf- Spotlight which was an experimental, 20 minute, speaking engagement in the Microsoft Café. The organizers wanted to give some sponsors and community the opportunity to present in a more casual environment. Unfortunately the Caf-Spotlight presentations were in the same room as the exhibitors who were talking to attendees simultaneously, so it was difficult to hear the speakers.
I presented an introductory spotlight presentation about why free PDF tools for SharePoint are insufficient to comply with regulation around archiving, audit and consumability. Although it is possible to create PDFs in Word or use freeware from the web it is adequate only if conversion is needed and usage is infrequent. In order to achieve high fidelity and high volume, compliant PDFs the tools mentioned methods fail dismally.
It was refreshing to attend SharePoint Saturday Toronto because the sessions were not “salesy” but educational in nature.