There is always a lot of talk about the fact that we have been in Seattle several years in a row and why can’t the Summit move around more. I really think it needs to stay in Seattle. At the board member meet and greet Thursday evening, Microsoft's Mark Souza said that he will support us wherever we decide to go. We have to decide whether it is worth severely limiting the number of Microsoft employees who attend. One gentleman mentioned that the difference in location amounts to a few hundred dollar difference in the price of the flight. No matter where it is held, there will be travel costs for most of us. We will all have to take time off work, which may be vacation time. Many will miss out on billable hours that week.
I think you have to decide if attending PASS is important to you.
In 2008, I was faced with paying my own way and taking vacation time to attend because my employer would not approve my attending the Summit that year. To some, maybe that is too big of a sacrifice, but it was too important for me to miss. This year I was lucky enough to be chosen to speak so Microsoft picked up the tab. I’m not sure how I will make it to PASS next year, but, as I always joke, I will walk to Seattle if I have to.
Is it expensive to attend PASS, especially if you are left to pay your own way. Several people voiced that opinion at the board meet and greet. I think you need to be willing to invest in yourself. Hey, this is a pretty lucrative field; I think most of us can afford to spend a couple of thousand dollars to attend the biggest and best SQL Server event on the planet. There are ways to save money. For one thing, except for your travel days, you really don’t need to spend any money on food. You can take the light rail for $2.50 from the airport to the hotel. You can room with another PASS member and save half of your hotel costs. Book early to get the best conference price. Better yet, become a volunteer and get a discounted rate. (Discounts are subject to PASS rules which may change from year to year)
To me, the PASS Summit is just too important to miss. See you in Seattle!