Lately I’ve been thinking that I need to try harder to focus on doing the things I both want to do and have to do, achieve a better balance than I have this year. One of my favorite things to do is speak/attend community events. It’s good practice for my speaking skills, a chance to network, a time to see old friends, and to some degree good business as it’s a low key way to market my services.
The challenge is that they are on weekends and by the time I leave early to be there for the Friday night speaker party and try to stay for the Saturday night after party (both prime networking times), the weekend is gone – meaning I work two weeks straight. I’ve already learned the hard way not to book two weekends in a row, that starts to feel like real work. Losing a weekend doesn’t seem like a big deal, but imagine giving up 12-15 a year. That puts a dent in relaxing time, family time, chores around the house.
For 2010 I’m trying to plan ahead and decide which events I want to attend with the goal of only doing one a month, and maybe nothing in December. The hard part is that there are a lot of good events, and more coming. Do I hit the established ones that I know will be good? Go to the new events to show support? Try to hit cities I haven’t been to so it feels more like a vacation? I’m also biased towards events that bring in friends from out of Florida, good to see them more than once a year at PASS. What about local events like the Orlando Code Camp? Or the Jacksonville Code Camp – good event and good SQL crowd?
One of the trends I’ve seen is for some speakers to show up, do their presentation, and leave. Probably not fair to complain about that, after all they are donating their time to present, travel, prepare, but it seems like just checking the box rather than really participating. As an event leader I’d rather have speakers that will be there all day, but if I’m struggling for speakers….well, then it doesn’t seem so bad! Maybe I’ll do that for the local Code Camps, better to do some than one?
So, a very very tentative first cut at my schedule:
- Jan – Dallas SQLSaturday
- Feb – Tampa SQLSaturday/South Florida Code Camp
- Mar – Charlotte SQLSaturday/Orlando Code Camp
- Apr -
- May – Jacksonville SQLSaturday
- Jun -
- Jul -
- Aug – Baton Rouge
- Sep -
- Oct – SQLSaturday Orlando
- Nov – PASS Summit
- Dec – No!
I’m probably missing something already. Thinking of an event for 2010? Probably not a bad idea to announce soon. I think there will be a few people in the same boat, having to make decisions about where to spend time and money, good to be first in line.