Posts tagged speakers

PASS Summit Top Sessions Redux


This will be a quick update to my post from earlier this week.  As I mentioned previously, PASS has plans to do away with all paper evaluation forms in the future.  This change can come none to soon for me!  After I published Fridays blog, I was contacted by a speaker who had some evaluations in their report that obviously werent theirs.  So, after some digging, the staff at PASS HQ figured out that during data entry several evals were incorrectly included under this speakers session id.  We corrected the scores and doing so caused the overall “top 10” to change slightly.  The updated top sessions with ties is now actually a top 12 list where before it was actually a top 11.  Additionally doing this updated the track rankings in the BIA track as well.  I apologize for the mix up on these evals but, I guess this is not totally unexpected when hiring temporary workers to enter 8,000+ individual evals.  The updated rankings can be found here

Best Presentations From PASS Summit 2011

Every year after the Summit the results of the thousands of evaluations are tabulated.  It seems every year the only question I hear after the summit is “when are the evaluations coming out?”  Well dear reader I’m happy to say, that day is today.  First id like to point out that this year we had well over 13000 unique session evaluations which is an increase of about 30% over 2010.

Online Evaluations produce unexpected results

One interesting thing I noticed in this years online evals was that we received evals for all sorts of “events” that happened at the Summit.  Normally, we only get them for sessions but because of the way the session scheduler was automated and integrated into the session eval forms, we actually received evals on many other events that took place at the summit other than regular sessions.  Receiving candid feedback on these events was quite refreshing and will be worked back into next years similar events. 

Moving into the 21st century

This year since we offered online evaluations as well as paper evaluations I was interested to see what the turnout would be and while the amount of paper vs online evaluations entered was more lopsided towards paper than I’d have liked.  I believe that overall they were well used and next year we plan on only having online session evals.  I expect that if the room monitors push the online evals in the same manner they pushed the paper this year that we’ll get enough evals next year for this to be an effective option.  The real benefit other than costs of entering paper evals and killing trees is that if all of the evals come in a digital form I would see no reason that they shouldn’t be ready either real time or within a week or 2 from the end of the event but, Ill leave those details to next years Board member whose in charge of the Summit.   

Without Further ado, Here’s the link to the 2011 Summit top 10 list 

The top ten was calculated by averaging all of the evaluation answers then we excluded results if there were less than 20 evaluations or 20 attendees.

Also, if you were a speaker, You can log into the PASS Speaker portal site and get your full evaluation results (and the overall event scores) from the following link

Please join me again in congratulating all of the speakers from this years Summit, without them and their excellent contributions our community wouldnt be the same. 


Edited-> I had the wrong filter criteria on our exclusion of sessions from the top list specification.  I stated we excluded if there were less than 10 evals and 10 attendees when the number was 15 each, I apologize for my fading memory.

PASS Community Choice Session Change

Ive been too busy lately mashing out the final details of the PASS Summit 2010 to spend as much time blogging as I intend too…  But, thought Id take a few minutes to alert the 3 of you that read this slop about a change in the Community Choice sessions  in the PASS Summit lineup

Unfortunately, 1 of the community choice speakers had to bow out of presenting.


Joe Kuemerle couldnt make the sumit this year so, we had to swap his encryption session with the second place session in the App Dev category.  Luckily for us, the decision was easier because appdev race was the closest in the voting with only 2 votes seperating first and second place.  The replacement session,  Flush With Cache: What Really Happens Before That Query Runs by Chris Leonard, should prove to be very popular and is currently scheduled on Thursday from 4-5:15 in room 613-614.  Because of this session replacement there was a cascade of 3 additional schedule moves that had to occur because Chris was already scheduled to present another session in the existing time slot.  You can see the complete current schedule in xls here

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Summit next week!!

PASS Summit Community Choice Session results revealed

This year the Program Committee decided to try something different to increase community involvement with the abstract selection process for the annual summit.  We decided to allow any registered PASS members to vote on the final  4 community sessions to be presented at the Summit in Seattle this year.  With our historically low turnout in surveys of our membership, I turned to the team at PASSHQ with a simple question about whether or not we could use the same voting tool that is in place for the upcoming Board of Directors election.  Considering our surveys have traditionally resulted in 300-500 results , at the time I put a personal goal on the survey response rate of 500, anything greater than that and I would consider the time and energy It took to put it together a win, anything less and well, we wouldn’t be doing any more exploring in the use of public voting for Summit Sessions.

I’m VERY pleased to say that by all indications, the voting process was a great success, sure we will always aim to do better but, for now, having over 1100 people vote on what they want to see at the Summit is a huge win for PASS as an organization.  In the App Dev group, the winner was declared by 2 votes.   2 votes out of 600 is pretty outstanding, if you didn’t take the time and vote, you could have been the vote that swayed the result!!  Don’t miss your chance next time!!  The winning sessions can be found here

I want to take the time to thank each and every member of the awesome PASS Community who voted.  As well as Jeremiah Peschka (Twitter|Blog) & Lori Edwards (Twitter|Blog) for dealing with my crazy ideas on putting this together, and keeping me in check.  Andy Warren (Twitter|Blog) for helping me get the voting tool he built for pass working for this use.  Id also like to give a huge thanks to Hannes, Wesley and Elena at PASSHQ for helping bring all of this to PASS (pun intended)

More on PASS Summit Community Choice sessions & a general PASS update

More on PASS Summit Community Choice sessions  

Last week I posted about letting the PASS membership select 4 of the Community sessions to be presented at this year’s North American Summit.  As with most things I’ve touched lately, the devil is in the details.  I have been working with PASS HQ quite a lot to get this process all ironed out.  As of today, We are expecting the emails with all of the details to go out in the first part of next week.  One of the last minute *details* we’ve had to account for is related to asking community members to vote in the 4 different categories, it turns out we aren’t able to require it to work that way.  The short reason why is because of the way the PASS voting solution is designed (remember, its actually designed for voting in the upcoming BOD election)  We cant have 4 separate categories and allow you to vote only in 1 each.  While we are still separating the sessions into categories and asking you to vote on each one separately, we wont be able to enforce it.  As it turns out, its not that big of a change and even if our members choose to cast their votes all in the same category, their votes will simply be cancelled out since we are going to choose the highest vote getter in each of the categories.  So start watching those email boxes for more detailed information!

Other PASS goodness

Summit Selection Process follow-up meetings, since shortly after the community selection process finished, I have been on phone conferences with the selection teams for feedback about the entire selection process.  These meetings have been going great, and overall the feedback was extremely positive, both about the process and the volunteer experience in general.  That’s not to say the team members weren’t critical of a few hiccups we experienced but overall it was good.  In these meetings nothing was off-limits, and I got some GREAT new ideas that should really improve a few of the key procedural pieces of the process.  Many of the technological limitations and issues we knew about going into the selection but, with all the timelines, we just couldn’t get changes made quick enough.  Since PASS is building a summit management tool for 2011, we should have many of those technology issues behind us for the start of next year’s selection process.  All in all, It always helps us to get feedback about the selection as soon as its over while its still fresh in everyone’s minds.  the #1 piece of feedback that kept recurring is: Communication is key.  What I have taken from this is that even if you think everyone’s on the same page, its often ok to ask again if there are any questions, better safe than sorry.

Microsoft Speaker selections, Ive been doing this for the last 4 years and this year was the first year where I felt like we (the community team) have been actively engaged with the Microsoft Selection process, we’re still trying to figure out how all the different pieces fit together and where we can add value and community feedback into their processes.  So far things are working better than I expected but not as good as I’d like.  Seems to be the story of my life these days!!!  All of this is great news for the community since it will produce a better Summit but, its been bad news for myself and  the other volunteers working on it.  For me, being the pseudo ring leader, Its just 1 more thing added to an already full plate this time of year. From the day the call to speakers is announced to the date the summit actually starts, is when things get pretty hectic with the Program Committee, there are always a few “regularly scheduled items” that have to be completed by certain deadlines not to mention the things that go BOOM.  The regular scheduled stuff isnt a big deal, the BOOM’s on the other hand, lets just say Disaster Recovery planning isn’t just for Databases or Computers, it is valuable in most any important process.

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