Every year there are any number of conferences held at which you can get SQL Server information, but I'd argue the best one to attend if the PASS Summit, put on by the Professional Association for SQL Server and it's the only conference focusing exclusively on SQL Server.
If you are looking for reasons to go, we've got a few listed below. Some are serious, some are in fun, so be choosy about which ones you send to your boss!
The important thing to remember is that you want to use the "SSC3D" code when your register. You get $100 off the current registration as well as a ticket to reason #1 below!
10. Find Your Lifeboat Companions
Everyone has a unique environment, but many of us face the same issues and problems. We have problems, we have failures, and there are times all of us a struggling to survive.
At the PASS Summit you'll get the opportunity to talk to other attendees and speakers that might be in the same boat as you and faced a similar solution. Every speaker is available after their session and most will give you their email for follow ups if needed.
9. See the Fish Fly!
The world famous Pike Place Fish Market where the fish get thrown around is mere blocks from the Washington State Convention Center. Take an hour and tour this interesting attraction and shop for those back home that couldn't make it. It's a short walk down to the water from the Convention Center, so there's no excuse not to get down there.
8. Real World Solutions
While Microsoft sends a number of employees to speak, there are quite a few presenters that are just like you: professionals that use SQL Server every day to solve all kinds of business problems. They might inspire you, get you to think of your own solution, or give you one they've implemented that you can take back to work.
7. Developers, developers, developers
Not the kind that frustrate you every day, but the guys and gals that actually write the SQL Server code. This year the 2009 Summit is again being held in Seattle, which means that lots of Microsoft developers. Literally hundreds, will come over from Redmond and they'll talk to you about how things work and perhaps solve a problem of two. That's more than probably any other conference you can attend.
6. Third Party Solutions
I work for Red Gate Software, and they'll be there, but this is one place that you'll see lots of vendors showing off their products specifically for SQL Server. No wading through Exchange or Windows utilities to see what might save you some time building SQL Server solutions. Get hands on demonstrations of just how these products work.
There are quite a few managers that think conferences are extra vacation and you'll come and sit by the pool (in Florida), gamble (Las Vegas), or stroll through the rain (Seattle). While that's certainly possible, who cares. Tell your boss that you deserve the chance to recharge and this is a way for you to get excited about the technology again without a specific deadline or project to deal with. You'll recharge and be ready to get back to work when you return.
And you might be surprised how recharged you get talking shop with other SQL Server folk from around the globe.
4. Free Software
All Attendees get a free copy of SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition.
3. Create an Editorial
Where does Steve Jones get all those ideas for editorials?
They come from you! From emails, from talking to you at events like this, where we have interesting conversations. Stop Steve and chat for a minute and you might be featured in the next editorial! You can usually find him in a hallway sitting down and talking with friend. We'll try to get him outfitting in his SQLServerCentral "Friday Shirts" for the occasion.
2. Support the Industry
As DBAs we have PASS as our voice in the community to promote our profession. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer and get involved with other DBAs in advancing our cause. Various Special Interest Groups (SIGs) meet about all kinds of issues: starting/running a user group, Women in Technology and more. You can get involved, help out, make a difference, and build your brand!
There's no side trip to an Indian casino, but if you use the "SSC3D" registration code when you sign up, you'll get $100 off the current registration price and you'll get an invite to the Monday night SQLServerCentral party.
We've put on this opening night event for the last 6 years and it's been a big hit each year. We've hired a casino company to cater the event the last few years and everyone gets a chance to come in, play some games, and have a good time with other SQL Server professionals.
So Register today! and be sure to use the "SSC3D"registration codes. Until the November 2, 2009 the conference is only $1,595 (regular price $2195) and you save an additional $100 off that price with our "SSC3D" code.
Looking forward to seeing you there!!!
PASS has changed their process and there are any number of speakers, volunteers, etc. that used to come to the party and can't use our code this year. I'm trying to figure out a way to let other people into the party. Since we give out the prizes and gifts (shirt/book), we need to cover those costs.
If you want to attend the party, but can't use the SSC discount code, please Paypal $30 for each person along with their name and the comment: SQLServerCentral.com Party to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll confirm a ticket for you - Steve Jones