NASCAR – SPC14 Attendee Party

I realise that i’m out in the US on business, but when there is a FREE party as part of the package, you can’t complain.

The party in question was at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway which is most commonly used for NASCAR.

Leaving the hotel by coach, we headed out to the speedway, and upon arrival were immediately given the opportunity to have a ‘ride round’ the track. Not in NASCARs unfortunately, but in some normal ‘stock’ Mercedes E-Classes.

Still, who would say no to that!
We only got 1 lap round, but it was still an experience that most would never get.

After the ride round, we walked round the speedway to see what else was on offer. In short we had:

    • As much free food and drink as we could manage
    • A live rock tribute band (which were actually pretty good)
    • A garage full of supercars to look at
    • A Ferrari F430 that we could have our photo taken with
    • and some more stuff I didn’t look at

All told, a good night out, for free which was well needed by all.

Having to be in a session at 9am the following morning though, not so good!

Sharepoint Conference 2014

Well, its here.

I can honestly say, id not put much thought or planning into my trip to SPC14. Moving house, rather got in the way of that, but i’m now here, and after waking up at unearthly hour of the morning, with the jet lag setting in, I know i’m here.

Staying almost a mile from the convention is cheaper, and to be honest isn’t bad. Las Vegas is, lets just say, an interesting place to visit, and walking to and from the venue is really quite interesting.

The hotel isn’t bad either, in fact is almost as big as my house! and is better equipped.

I even have a walk in wardrobe, which is bigger (i haven’t measured!) than my second become come office at home.

As someone with fairly basic tastes, the whole experience is quite strange, but that doesn’t mean bad. That said, I definitely couldn’t live here full time.

Anyway, the Conference.
The first day of SPC14 is now over and its been good, in quite a geeky kind of way’ We had a presentation from President Bill Clinton, which was interesting, followed by some tech updates from Microsoft.


President Bill Clinton giving the SPC14 Keynote


SPC14 – Developer Keynote

Its clear that their focus for the coming year (and beyond) is the Cloud and Office 365. There is also quite the interest in Yammer! and the social side of working.

I visited a couple of sessions today, but the Jet Lag is really taking its toll, so by 4pm, i was exhausted and gave up. Back to the hotel for a lively night of being asleep, and living to fight another day.

Tomorrow, I’ve got a few sessions booked, and also the ‘Attendee Party’ which is at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.. I’m not the biggest NASCAR fan, but i expect i’m going to enjoy this non the less!

PreCon Session – Sharepoint 2013 Deployment and Admin End-to-End

Today I attended the SP2013 Deployment and Administration End to End PreCon course at SPC14.

What a great session i was too!

Delivered by Todd Klindt and Shane Young, 2 chaps who clearly know their stuff, and are very loose and easy going.

It was a long day, but i think the jet lag played a part in that. The course was great, the guys were great, and ill definitely be following their work in the future.

They have also made another book sale, and i have a very uniquely signed book.

Las Vegas – I wasnt expecting this!

I’ve just arrived in Las Vegas, ready for the SharePoint conference 2014.

Since this is my first trip to the US, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was somewhat surprised by what i found in Las Vegas.

You see bits of it in films and the like, but that doesn’t prepare you for this. If you like ‘shiny things’ then this is place for you!

I’m staying in one of the cheapest hotels in the city, and yet i still have a 1 bedroom suite, with a kitchen, separate living area, a bedroom with a king size bed, a bathroom, walk in wardrobe and free WiFi. Not bad for £58 a night!


My LV Hotel room


Not a bad view from the Hotel Bedroom!

Its not all moonlight and roses though

However, dig a little deeper and you get to see more of the ‘real’ Vegas. Just like any other big city I’ve been to all over the world once you can get under the skin, its a very different story. I’ve not seen so many homeless people since i was in Cape Town, which is appalling when you consider how much money there is here.

If you want the Vegas experience, then roaming the streets is not the way for you. Instead, stay in one of the big hotels, and you’ll be able to hide away from the reality.

Flying to Las Vegas for SPC14

After almost 4 years since I flew, I was a little curious as to how bad it could be and ever conscious of time, I left the village at 2pm, heading to Manchester. First a walk, then a bus into new mills, then the train into Mcr. All told, just over an hour. Great! I thought, but now wast do I do for the next 2 hours before my train to London??

Beer, that’s the answer!

After a swift pint in the pub, I went into the virgin trains lounge, expecting to have a coffee. Champagne?, for free?

Yes, totally free. Well, I don’t have to drive for a week, so why not.

Let’s just say I was nicely relaxed by the time tea time came around and I got on the train.

So, far so good, and as usual, the Virgin first class carriage was pretty quiet, and he food was ok. More free beer and my thoughts of getting a couple of hours work done, completely decimated.

Now , I’m in London it’s a Friday night at 7pm, and I need to get to the other side of the city, to get to the airport.
After a swift Google, it became clear that there were 2 ways, tube cross London and then a train.

It took a while, in fact nearly 2 hours, but i made it through to Gatwick, dropped my luggage with BA and went to the hotel for a pint before bed. Not looking forward to the 6am start and 11 hour flight ahead tomorrow 🙁