When Andy Warren and I first talked about SQL Saturday after the initial event in Orlando, we joked about whether we could have twelve events in a year, one a month. It seemed like a stretch goal, after all, how many events can you actually put on where the attendees don't have to pay?
The latest PASS Connector newsletter had the headline of "SQL Saturday: Setting Records" in which there were 86 events in the last year, 34 around the world and 52 in the US.
That's one a week, though there wasn't actually an event every week. We had some busy weeks, mostly in April and September, including 6 events on Sept 14, 2013. That's an amazing number of events where SQL Server professionals around the world are getting a day of training for free. The cost of some events is a nominal fee to cover lunch expenses, but all the speakers give their time, often delivering the same sessions they'd give at a paid conference.
The success of SQL Saturday is due to all the efforts of the hundreds of organizers, volunteers, and speakers who work to give you a great event. If you attend an event, be sure to thank someone for their efforts. However much of the credit for the growth of SQL Saturday really belongs to Karla Landrum (b | t). The addition of Karla to the PASS staff, with her focus and support of event organizers, has made SQL Saturday grow far beyond what any of us might have thought possible at SQL Saturday #1, Orlando, 2007. If you get the chance, thank Karla when you see her.
If you get the chance, I'd encourage you to attend an event in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. If there's not one near you, organize one. You can put on a small event, with a single track, a few speakers, and support from your community. Lots of us would love to help support an event in a new city, even a small one. You might be surprised to see a nationally known speaker at a small event, but you shouldn't be. We love helping the community.