I made my way to Dallas to take part in the SQL Saturday #35 that the NTSSUG was sponsoring. After reading the excellent reviews from Jonathan Gardner, AJ Mendo, and Bill Fellows. I thought Id keep this very short and say “I concur!” –Profound aint it?
Ok, Ill dig a little deeper–
I saw some great Sessions, met some great people, and caught up with some old friends. All In all a great way to spend a Saturday!
Having had more than a little experience with putting on large SQL events, I think the volunteers and organizers of the event really need to pat themselves on the back, they pulled off a wonderful event and did it with style. In my opinion, one of the best measures of success when trying to tell how well an event “worked” is to gauge what the event looked like to a normal attendee. By that measure Id say the even the toughest critic would say it was a resounding success. Everything looked buttery smooth, and this “normal attendee” didnt see any obvious distractions. It looks like the SQL Saturday model appears to be maturing at a very rapid pace, and this is excellent news! In talking with the organizers at the after party, they were relaying some of their more interesting challenges, I’m not sure I said it at the time (maybe too many beers??) so Ill repeat it here for posterity: I hope the organizers aren’t too hard on themselves because no matter what level of prep, thought, or organization you put into an event, something is ALWAYS going to slip through the cracks and/or not work quite as expected. How these “challenges” opportunities are handled is what separates the avg from the great, and in this case everything was great.
1 general observation I do have –> The after party of the event was, as usual, one of the great benefits of this event and I made plenty of contact with others at Humperdinks and while it was obvious that a few of the speakers, and a most of the volunteers showed up, I suspect I was one of less than 10 “regular” attendees that attended. This is a tragic situation and something that we in the SQL Community need to figure out how to increase participation. The information&contact info gained from the social pieces of community events is an aspect that most attendees are obviously overlooking. I’ve often wondered if it was apathy or just lack of communication about these events and this time it was obviously not communication, It was pretty tough for anyone to overlook the after party event at #sqlsat35, I saw the after party mentioned in at least 3 different places in the guide book, not to mention verbally at the closing reception. I’m not sure how we can encourage people to attend these events but, they are a core part of the “connect” piece of the equation.