Category Archives: Ineta

How Vermont Code Camp is using EventBrite for Abstract Submission

The Vermont.NET User Group has been using for monthly meeting registration for the past year. It makes things so easy so that we can know how much pizza to order and also we print out tickets to use for the swag raffle at the end of the meeting.

But for the upcoming Vermont Code Camp (Sept 11, 2010) we also needed to collect abstracts.

After poking around the EventBrite site, I discovered that you can create customized questions in addition to the typical name & address collection. And then I saw that you can tie those questions to a particular ticket.

So I created an attendee ticket and a Speaker Session proposal ticket:



Then in the event management page, there is a link to “Collect Customer Information”


The customization form is very clever. I can have questions with answers that are short or long text boxes, option buttons, checkboxes or drop downs and I can define how many choices and what the choices are for those various options. You can add a number of questions. I don’t know what the limit is. I only had 4.


There was a place that allowed me to specify which ticket to tie the form to.

Now when someone registers for that second ticket type, they get this form to fill out:


Regular attendees see this registration form:


So now we can collect the abstracts and use EventBrite’s management tools to manage those abstracts, including exporting the data for additional tasks as we get closer to the event.

Thanks EventBrite!

Our .NET Community

I was perusing Chris Williams’ blog over on GeekswithBlogs.Net. I met Chris many years ago through INETA and in person at an INETA User Group Leader event. Chris ran the user group in Charleston, South Carolina and has since moved to Minnesota where he has survived his first winter with all of his fingers and toes intact. He is a really nice, unique and memorable guy (okay the tat’s definitely help him stand out).

While looking at his blog, I saw a post of photos from a funny ad that apparentlyly reminded Chris of D’Arcy Lussier, a a wild and crazy guy (also a GeekswithBlogs blogger) who lives in Winnipeg (where I think you need to be a little wild and crazy to survive), and probably laughs at Chris’ mumblings about the cold weather in Minnesota. D’Arcy also is a user group leader and I see him frequently at the DevTeach events in Montreal and look forward to seeing him at DevTeach next week in Toronto where I plan to goad him into a his own Meatloaf imitation. (I didn’t realize that the dad in the commercial really is Meatloaf!)

What struck me when I saw the photos and Chris’ comments about them was that here are two guys who have a lot in common and are clearly good friends who may never have met if it weren’t for INETA and the .NET blogging community. I know it may seem obvious that of course they would find each other, but it’s not a given. These resources were only just starting up 6 years ago, so they are relatively new.

It really made me stop and think when I saw that blog post and made me happy and very proud of the community that we have all created.

INETA NORAM’S new website and the INETA Live blog

I am thrilled to share this fabulous news … INETA Noram has a new website. The reason for my jubilation is that for a variety of reasons, INETA has been trying to create a new website for about 4 years, so to see it actually happen is wonderful.

This may have just launched because I hadn’t heard anything about it yet or maybe I overlooked it in the last newsletter.

Not only does it have a new look but it has some long awaited features such as an integrated map to find user groups. They have partnered with Component Source so you can buy .NET components right from the site.

I also found the website that I didn’t know about. It has videos (user group YouTube?), a blog that lists things like upcoming code camps and INETA related events and some other resources. 

INETA User Group Leader Summit at TechEd

Once again, INETA is coordinating and leading a full day meeting of .NET User Group Leaders at TechEd. While budget no longer allows INETA to fund bringing many leaders from across the US and Canada to the event (as they have done in the past), TechEd is an event attended by many u.g. leaders, so it remains the best opportunity for congregating.

Over the years. my best source of information and inspiration for leading Vermont.NET has come from talking to other user group leaders and learning from their experiences.

If you are planning to go to TechEd and you are a user group leader or interested in learning more about helping your local user group (or just interested), the summit will be on Saturday, June 2nd in Orlando.

You can register and find more information at

Presenting at Bellingham and Olympia’s South Sound .Net User Groups

Thanks so much to INETA , Andy Robinson (leader of Bellingham.NET) and Paul Mehner and Camey Combs from South Sound .NET for getting me out to the Seattle area to present at their user groups.

I did a session on LINQ to SQL in Web Apps in Bellingham on Wednesday night after spending 17 hours trying to get there. (Snowstorm in Chicago – more details about that crazy flight here…)  I was amazed that people stuck around to wait for me since I didn’t arrive until about 7:45! I did my session from 8 – 10pm and then drove down to Olympia with Paul Mehner who had filled in and did a full workflow session while I was trying to make my way up to Bellingham (what  a gorgeous flight!). I was up for 23 straight hours that day and between the adrenaline and my love for presenting, I think I surprised these guys that I was doing this session from what my body clock defined as 11pm – 1am!

The next night I presented at the user group in Olympia.  This is the first time I recall a user group meeting that served something other than pizza! Camey had gone to Costco and we had sandwiches, chips, soda and chocolate chip cookies. Mmmmm.

This is the 4th time I’ve taught this session on what’s coming up in ADO.NET in the next Visual studio which translates to Entity Framework and the data access integration with LINQ. It’s all so new to most people and there is so much to show. From explaining the concept and purpose behind the entity model, to inspecting the schema files, laying out the various uses and of course, looking at Object Services, Entity client, Entity SQL and LINQ to Entities. Not to mention LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Datasets. It really is just way too much for one session and frustrating to figure out what to show without leaving out key information. In this session, there was a lot of interest in the actual schema files (and it is really important to take the time to understanding them if you want to really leverage Efs potential) so we spent a good amount of time in that space.

All in all, I think I whetted the appetites and curiosity of most of the folks at the meeting and that is really the best I can hope for in such a short amount of time.

On Friday I drove up to Microsoft (1 hour up, 3 hours back in rush hour traffic!) with my bag filled with Vermont Maple Syrup and goodies from Lake Champlain Chocolates and had some great meetings with some of my buddies on the ADO.NET team as well as the Mobility team (that’s TabletPC and more).

After this, I was actually on a mini vacation! And now I’m in a plane flying east in to what promises to be some pretty nasty storms. We’ll see how that goes….

Update – not quite home yet. When I do get home, I will post the links to the demos and powerpoints.

Heading out west to speak at Bellingham, WA and Olympia WA User Groups

Tomorrow I am flying to Seattle then speaking tomorrow night at the Bellingham.NET User Group (which is even closer to the Canadian border than where I live) and then Thursday night at South Sound.NET in Olympia.

Thanks to my pal Camey Combs for suggesting the trip and to INETA and user group leaders Paul Mehner and Andy Robinson for making it all happen. Apparently, Camey and Paul have been promoting the heck out of this. 🙂

At Bellingham, I’ll be presenting on LINQ to SQL and all the fun ASP.NET databinding you can do with it. In Olympia I’ll be doing a 6 hour overview of ADO.NET Orcas. Just kidding. I wish I had all that time to talk about ADO.NET! Alright, so I will try to keep it under 4 hours. No? Nobody wants to stay at a user group until 10pm. How about 2 hours? Heck, I’ve done it in 75 minutes and 90 minutes in the past (and 2 hours and 15 minutes also). We’ll see how it goes… [evil laugh].


Upcoming Spring INETA User Group Presentations

I will be speaking in Albany NY at TechValley.NET on March 12th about ADO.NET Orcas.

In April I will be doing a two city tour speaking at Bellingham.NET (a group led by Andrew Robinson, that is a brand new member of INETA) and then at South Sound .NET in Olympia, Washington run by my old INETA pal, Paul Mehner (with help from another pal, Camey Combs.)

In between these two trips, I’ll be at DevConnections in Orlando and Code Camp 7 in Waltham, Mass. I guess “travel season” is starting!

I’m looking forward to all of these trips! Now back to that new CTP release.