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PASS Summit 2010 Session Eval Results

Speakers and bloggers alike crave feedback (good or bad) so I was excited to see my session evaluations from the 2010 PASS Summit arrive in my inbox this week. First I'll show the results, then I'll share some thoughts about them.

Eval Format
Eval forms had 6 questions with a scale of 1 on the low end and 5 on the high end (i.e 1 = bad, 5 = good) plus a section for comments. The questions asked were:

  1. How would you rate the usefulness of the information presented in your day-to-day environment?
  2. How would you rate the Speaker's presentation skills?
  3. How would you rate the Speaker's knowledge of the subject?
  4. How would you rate the accuracy of the session title, description and experience level to the actual session?
  5. How would you rate the amount of time allocated to cover the topic/session?
  6. How would you rate the quality of the presentation materials?

Results
Here's a summary look the three sessions I was a part of rated:

  Transactional Replication: Beyond The Basics Getting Started In Blogging & Technical Speaking Lightning Talk (Wednesday)
Attendance 145 77 Not Reported
Responses 87 51 30
1. Usefulness 4.22 4.18 4.23
2. Presentation Skills 4.47 4.59 4.63
3. Subject Knowledge 4.57 4.51 4.63
4. Title Accuracy 4.48 4.51 4.67
5. Time Allocation 4.07 4.35 4.5
6. Quality of Materials 4.34 4.18 4.57
Avg. Rating 4.36 4.386 4.539
Overall Rank 101 / 185 97 / 185 51 / 185

My Comments
I previously blogged that I felt a bit overwhelmed at the Summit this year and I think the scores reflect that. Also, the comments I received (which I'll share at the end of this post) demonstrate that there's a wide variety of experience levels attending the Summit and it's hard to please everyone in the room. One person will be thrilled with what you talked about and another will be underwhelmed. Someone won't like the questions that other people asked (or in my case the "observations" that someone kept making. I had one of "those guys" in one of my sessions - I recognized it and did my best to move on but other people weren't to happy about it). It's the nature of the business.

I spent a lot of time analyzing the numbers and there's certainly places that I can improve upon, however it's also important to step back and look at the forest rather than the trees. I presented three sessions at the Summit alongside the best of the best SQL Server Professionals. I'm proud of that, and I hope that I get the opportunity to present again next year.

Attendee Comments
I saved these for last since they're lengthy, but if you're interested here are the comments from each session:

Transactional Replication: Beyond The Basics

  • Too Sql 2000/Sql 2005 rooted.  Good for mixed environments though.
  • Topic was over my head.  Seemed to be helpful to others in attendance.
  • We don't use it.  Over my head.
  • Useful session!
  • Very good overview of a common repl type.
  • Very good!  Great speaker!
  • Was a level 100 presentation.  Was expecting something more deeper.
  • Was true to the title.
  • This could be pre-con seminar.  Lots of stuff.
  • Well organized slides and live examples.
  • Wish we had more time on troubleshooting.
  • Well spoken and focused.
  • Wish we'd held questions to the end.  There were a lot of questions and it really hurt the flow of the presentation.  Plus, some of the questions were really "observations" (people showing off their product knowledge) and those are just annoying.
  • With all the questions, needed the time we had.
  • With just a bit of orientation info, lots of practical info.
  • Would advise Kendall to limit the amount of questions he answers during the workshop.
  • Would have been better to go a little deeper.
  • Would have liked to hear a few case studies.
  • would love more time
  • Thank you!  Great presentation!
  • Well prepared and clear.
  • Straight to the point presentation.  Excellent job by Mr. VanDyke.
  • Good, a much bigger screen was needed.
  • Showed obvious experience.
  • Great practical experience on this topic.
  • Great
  • Good slides and demos.
  • Good pace, very clear, repeated audience questions.
  • Good info, but I'm just getting started with replication.
  • I did expect little more deeper content.
  • Glad he took questions, but needed to control that more, so.....real world examples left in last 10 minutes.
  • excellent session, could even benefit from more time for session
  • demos not set up
  • Cutting into lunch made the crowd leave which I found distracting.  Why does the audience make excessive observations.
  • Clear and concise, nice job.
  • A little better job aboout holding questions and getting through the presentation.
  • fantastic presentation
  • Speaker can presentation on point 5 interesting.'
  • I expected more advanced topics
  • I'm mostly interested in this topic but do not use it frequently.
  • Rated between 4 & 5.  Very good.
  • probably a little long
  • Plenty of time.
  • Please provide more topics on replication.
  • Overall very good.  Would like to learn more.
  • I thought the session would cover a lot more troubleshooting but it only covered 15 minutes.
  • Obtained a couple bits of new info, but majority was information I already knew.
  • Nice to see two real experts.
  • Need more time.
  • Kendal was excellent.
  • Kendal is just awesome!
  • IMHO he could engage audience more.
  • Not very advanced given the title/abstract.
  • Found some things I can use right away.

Getting Started In Blogging & Technical Speaking

  • Some actual blog posts would have helped showing negative and postive comments.
  • This has nothing to do with my dailyenvironment
  • This is a great topic and would make a very interesting series for the Prof. Dev. VC, or even a pre/post con allwoing some of the nuts and bolts of blogging to be covered.
  • :)
  • Wasn't needed as it as a very interactive session.
  • A little to long
  • Slightly chaotic, but I liked all of the different opinions.  Good interaction with the audience.
  • Very fun and informative session-thank you.
  • Round table/Panel was a good idea.
  • Really great session, hit the nail on the head o waht I was looking for.
  • poor lighting on speaker
  • "Expert panel was nice, but not on Kilt day :)
  • Feedback; Probably a few too many MVP's"
  • Great forum with all the speakers, awesome feedback
  • Great Session.
  • Great sessiopn.  Best so far. I like the panel format.
  • Great Stuff-Thanks much!!! Tom
  • "Great to meet the speakers/bloggers
  • I will definately be checking some of them out."
  • Could of gone on longer.
  • Great! the stories told were most helpful in confidence.
  • I didn't really hear anything new that I hadn't heard before.
  • Lots of additonal people giving excellent info!
  • Love the variety of viewpoints from the Panel-added depth.
  • Mostly Useless
  • No handouts,
  • Panel was perhaps too large at first, but enjoyed the panel.
  • "I came for the talk, I stayed for the buck woody show! The buck woody left and I stayed anyway! Great talk."
  • Did a great job keeping things moving.

Lightning Talk (Wednesday)

  • Some good, some bad. Would love to see more, though overall escellent! I really think this could be amazing - 5 mins can be a deep dive...but the fun talks were really cool. I thought the virtualization was a great 'dive' but all were awesome.
  • One of the best sessions i've been today.
  • Joe Webb - indexes - good. Denny Cherry - DB Shrinking - a bit too short. Andy Leonard - SSIS - excellent impromptu. John Sterret -Profiler - good; Chuck Heinzelman - Excellent; Jonathan Kayhaias - Good; Kendal VanDyke - PROF. Dev - Excellent; Allen White - Things change - excellent.
  • It really is too brief for day-to-day but can give ideas of topics to look into.
  • i love lightning talks! great concept. need more!!
  • I like the 'lightning' format very much.
  • Some of it was useful, some was not. All was interesting. What about a similar thing where a first session would highlight later sessions to give people an idea of what to expect beyond the abstract?
  • I enjoyed it but the bar could probably be raised.
  • Hot in here!
  • Great selection of speakers and topics. Great format.
  • great format. perfect time slot right after lunch when it's hard to keep awake; the short sessions keep attention.
  • Fun. Enjoyed.
  • fun!
  • and hilarious
  • i didnt expect much in this aspect.
  • this was a great idea! it was g9ood yesterday but even better today. allen may need to do everyone's deck.

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