Archive for the ‘social’ Category

Excel Dev Conf social

January 19, 2012

This is where we plan to meet on the Tuesday evening prior to the conf:

Hope to see you there, from 8ish, maybe earlier




Conference Report Day 1

December 7, 2007

Thursday – Conference Intermediate, Add-ons – Advanced.

Overall the delegate feedback was very positive about the venue, the content, and presenters.

The first session was my Pivot table slot.

I went through from basic intro to pivots, through some of the features I have found useful on client assignments. And features I tend to avoid, and why, and what I do instead. That included a 10 minute intro to the most useful parts of Access. I did a very brief demo of using some simple macro recorder stuff to synchronise multiple pivot tables, and ran out of time before punishing everyone with some of my gruesome real world examples.

Next up was Patrick with auditing spreadsheets

He gave us some insight into the work of a spreadsheet auditor, in particular the things to look out for, or sniff out. Poor practice being likened to a bad smell. He gave a useful overview of some of the available tools, both free and those that cost. We had a good discussion about names and external links, and plenty of other ‘quality’ practices. Patrick was also generous enough to offer a copy of his excellent book Spreadsheet Check and Control as a draw prize. So thats one delegate going back to the office armed with the knowledge to improve theri corporate spreadsheet quality.

(fortunately Patrick had left to catch his flight before he saw my random name picker fail rather embarrassingly with a #REF! error – whoops)

We then went off for dinner/lunch, for some more spreadsheet chat, this time over a buffet. I defy anyone to suggest there wasn’t enough food!

Bob got the graveyard shift after the food to talk about Visual Impact.

Considering the tube map as an presentation example was inspired, especially when alternative inferior examples were compared. Bob had plenty of excellent advice for clarifying the message, I particularly liked the talk (and demos) of removing ‘ink’ from a diagram to leave only what is genuinely important. In another section Bob went through and highlighted some of the weak informational content in many of Excel’s inbuilt chart types.

Nick closed the formal session for the day with a look at what new in 2007.

There are some great new features in Excel 2007, and Nick did an excellent job of demoing a selection of the most useful. It was especially useful that Nick has moved his whole firm over to 2007 – he has the insight that only real world use can provide.

We then had a short informal questions from the floor session, and a prize draw for Patrick’s book and some wonderful wooden puzzles Keith had brought.

It was then I realised what it was about conferences that bothered me – the dead spot between the last session and food. I had sorted the food no bother but had nothing arranged for the hour or so beforehand. Obviously we were going to a pub, but which?

We found a pub (eventually), then had a great meal at Pizza Express and those that were up for it went off for more drinks. They suffered on Friday!

Although the social aspect is a hard sell to the budget holder, in many ways it is one of the most important activities. Many a useful snippet is picked up in the pub, and by getting to know people better you can be more at ease asking questions. Its often easier to approach someone in the pub with a question than infront of 20 other people who may be more keen to get off and get their dinner.

Conference social

November 27, 2007

Here is the plan for the social:

• Wednesday 28th November – pre-conference

Fountain Inn – 7pm Local pub serving Belgian beer, traditional food and pizzas.  Free WiFi.
12 Regent Street

• Thursday 29th November

Pizza Express – 6pm Great pizzas and nice beers.
7a Jesus Lane

• Friday 30th November

Ugly Duckling – 6.30pm Excellent Chinese cuisine in Cambridge’s historic centre.
12 St Johns Street

• Saturday 1st December

Saffron Brassiere – 6.30pm Indian restaurant serving authentic dishes.
36-28 Hills Road

Here is a map (click to open in a new window to print/see properly):


And here is the Word doc we’ll be giving out on Thurs. excel-user-conferencesocial.doc

Any problems let me know



Wednesday night

November 26, 2007

All the social is set up and booked now, as soon as we have a decent document done I’ll post it here. They’ll be a printed one at the event too.

In the meantime the current plan for Wednesday night is to meet here around 7:30 for a few beers and some food.

Fountain Inn is just along the road from the Crowne Plaza and not too far from the Travellodge. We can always go on from here if required.



Welcome to the UK Excel User Conference blog

November 3, 2007

Title says it all really.

The conference is coming up in a few weeks and we’ll use this blog to keep everyone up to date with any changes and developments.

Its shaping up to be a great event with some excellent speakers presenting extremely useful content.

And don’t forget the chance to socialise and network with fellow Excel users and some of the most prolific newsgroup and forum contributors in the country.

At the very first event in Dallas Forth Worth, one delegate had travelled all the way from Australia to get an answer to one specific question (something about copying button faces as I remember). Anyway he got his answer, in fact I think he got 2 or 3 usable answers, and some source code.

Be sure to bring any questions that are bugging you to the Cambridge event, and you can expect the same great help.

We hope to see you there.