Volunteering at Scottish Summit 2020

A most excellent adventure

On February 28th 2020, I set off from my home in Herefordshire for a 700 mile round trip to Glasgow. The weather had not been great, we’d heard there had been quite a bit of snow in the north of the UK, but I stocked the car full of blankets and snacks and headed toward the motorway with some excitement. I was shortly going to be volunteering for Scottish Summit 2020 and I had been looking forward to this trip for months, so a little bit of snow wasn’t going to get in my way!

My original plan had been to travel up a few days earlier and stop over in the Lake District, as I’d never been and it had definitely been on my ‘to do’ list for some time.  But I’d had to get the car sorted and the garage had taken a bit longer than expected, so I was going to have to be content with my roadtrip and the awesome day of learning that lay ahead.

All the excitement!

In the UK, it’s dark by around 6pm so I didn’t see much of the landscape as I travelled northward.  Keen to reach my destination, I had decided not to stop, so wasn’t really aware of the weather conditions.  By the time I reached Glasgow it was almost midnight and the roads were clear, so I was wondering what all the fuss had been about.  Nevertheless, I found my B&B, parked up quickly and got myself cosily installed into my room.  I’m not sure how much sleep I got, I was quite excited! The next day I rose early and started out for the Summit venue, the University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre.  

There was a real buzz in the air when I arrived at the Summit. I was definitely not the only person excited to be here! I was greeted on arrival by a host of familiar friendly faces.  Lots of the volunteers were Dynamics and Power Platform community friends.  I quickly donned my volunteer t-shirt (and socks) and took my place on the registration desk.  My duties for the day would be helping attendees find their name badge and handing out lanyards and directions with equal measure.  

The main hall was full to capacity and everyone was delighted when the proceedings were kicked off by a traditional Scottish pipe and drum.  I just about managed to squeeze into the back of the room to see the keynote from Jon Levesque, presented in full Highland costume!

A Scottish Summit challenge

From that point on the day was a bit of a blur, spent mostly directing attendees and speakers to conference rooms, coffee points and cloakrooms.  I did get to see a few of the speakers, notably the ProCode vs LowCode match between Scott Durow and Sara Lagerquist which was great, and I got a  mention from Lucy Bourne during her fabulous session on Community Involvement.  Lucy gave a challenge for us all to step up and support the community by participating more … I can never resist a challenge, so let’s see what happens! A full list of event speakers for Scottish Summit 2020 can be found on the Scottish Summit website.

The day was rounded off by prize-giving as many of the sponsors had been running competitions during the day, followed by a show of appreciation for the organisers and everyone who took part.  I think it’s fair to say it was an incredible day, thanks primarily to the huge amount of work done by Mark Christie and Iain Connelly and their team, but also to the whole-hearted contributions by everyone in the community who took part, some travelling huge distances from the likes of Australia and the US to be present.

But wait ... there's more

During the evening, there were a number of post-Summit events.  I went to the very well attended quiz hosted by Incremental at their lovely offices at The Garment Factory.  The quiz was presented by the sequined quizmaster extraordinaire Andrew Bibby.  From there, many of us went on to various ‘after parties’.  It seemed like most of the Dynamics and Power Platform Community were shaking their bootie in Glasgow that night.  Well into the wee small hours, I made my way back to my B&B and stumbled happily into bed. Volunteering at Scottish Summit 2020 had been everything I had hoped it would be.

But my trip did not end there … I left early the next morning, so that I could stop over at the Lakes on my way home.  The high peaks were absolutely majestic, and still  covered in snow.  Against that backdrop and with the sun on the water, the Lakes really were a breathtaking sight.  I took a brief stop in Grasmere, then wandered around a bustling Windermere.  After a late lunch, I took the ferry over to visit the serene Coniston Water.  I even found my way to Beatrix Potters cottage to visit Mr Mcgregors garden.  This seemed a very fitting end to my Scottish Summit adventure!

Mr Mcgregors Garden on the way home from Scottish Summit