User groups- what do you need? what do you give?
No, I do not provide childcare at my technology events...–my editorial at SQLServerCentral

Virtual User Groups MacGyver things too

For the most part we have the virtual user group meeting down pat.  Every now and then we’ll have a technical difficulty but we have learned what to watch out for and can usually prevent that.  Today’s meeting really tested us.

Our speaker, Sandhya Vankamamidi, was very well prepared and I know of no better person to teach us about Process Dialogs in CRM 2011, she was part of the team that made it.  She wanted to upload her slide deck early (removes those screen resolution issues), but had trouble connecting to the meeting.  She emailed me the deck, I loaded it.  No worries, right.  We have more than an hour and a half before the meeting starts, we’re looking good.


She still cannot connect to the meeting.  She contacts Live Meeting support and gets into the meeting.  This is still an hour before we start, we have time.

Once she is in, she has no audio controls, having firewall issues.  Is it my firewall?  Her firewall?  Some magical firewall in the sky?  We tweak and adjust and still no audio.  Here’s where MacGyver would be proud…  she called my office in Colorado from her office in India.  I put her on speaker-phone at my desk and put my external microphone at the phone.  That’s how you were able to hear her (and why you probably heard my typing and things now and then in the background).  We tested it here, sounded good, we’re solid right?


I intro the meeting, pass off to Sandhya.  She gets a few slides in, only one person grabs us in Q/A panel saying she’s too soft, looking good.  Then she tries to demo.  Some communication error between her and my Live Meeting gave us a little bit of her screen about every 5-30 seconds.  Do you know how long 30 seconds is when you have content planned that won’t load?  So we use the Q/A panel and answer questions to fill the space, hoping we will get the screen to load.  No such luck.  We do this little song and dance a few times before giving up on the demos.  So we got a developer-based user group meeting on a shiny new technology with no demos.  Sandyha and I will make a training-type recording and get it to the group soon.

For a meeting that was, from my perspective, rather chaotic, we still had 169 attendees that stayed most of the meeting.  And a very active Q/A discussion.  And we’re not getting killed on Twitter for our technical difficulties.  Smile .

The recording of our little dog and pony show is linked on the event page below.

A big thank you to Sandhya for being so gracious when the technical difficulties made her presentation not go as planned.  I really appreciate it and I know our group members do also.


XRM Virtual User Group - CRM 2011 Process Dialogs- Beginner


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