About a year and a half ago we put together the first advisory council consisting of Andy Leonard, Kevin Kline, Kalen Delaney, and Buck Woody, aimed at giving us a sounding board as we worked on ideas to grow the event format beyond the south east. Of course things change in unexpected ways, and not long after that we were able to move SQLSaturday under the PASS umbrella. Since then the Advisory Council has been a concept on hold while we worked on getting the working details of setting up an event handled and all the other stuff that goes with what was essentially an acquisition.
Last November we held a meeting of key SQLSaturday leaders and volunteers (our “Round Table”) and that worked well. It was good to get everyone in the same room, share ideas and concerns, and it let everyone see that deciding what to do isn’t always easy when you have a passionate group of 3o or 40 or 50 volunteers with various points of view.
Over the last couple weeks we’ve deployed a number of bug fixes and minor features to the SQLSaturday site including an updated Advisory Council page. Rather than try to have an election or selection process what we’re doing is including the event lead from each SQLSaturday in the past 18 months. We’ll be reaching out to them a few times a year for feedback on ideas and using their input to make sure that we continue to steer the brand in a direction that is healthy. Of course, we’ll continue to solicit and accept input from anyone that participates in SQLSaturday.
Part of this is also about doing more to recognize the efforts of event leaders. Leading a SQLSaturday is a tremendous effort and not without its stresses, but it brings an incredible value to local communities. It’s easy to show up an event and enjoy it without really understanding all the work and thought that goes into making it happen.