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PASS SQL Summit 2013 - Highlights Q&A - First Timer's Advice from the Experts

 

So, is this your first time attending PASS Summit?  Confused, shy, overwhelmed, and don’t know what to do first? Or second or third, for that matter?  Well, you are not alone, and as of PASS Summit 2013, it’s not their first time getting you familiar with the territory!  Sure, you can download the PDF Session Schedule,even bookmark and frequently visit the PASS Summit Home Page, but that just might overwhelm your senses.

Over 150 SQL Server experts will share their expertise at PASS Summit 2013 in 190+ sessions across 6 tracks , helping you get the most out of your database implementations and advance your career.

PASS is made up of a group of passionate, dedicated, and enthusiastic SQL Server users, database and BI professionals, committed to furthering and growing the SQL Server community. But more than that, it’s your conference – planned and presented by the SQL Server community for the SQL Server community.  And that’s why they have spent so much time creating the First Timers program, complete with information, webinars, on-site orientations and seminars! 

Back at your hotel, you can watch the recordings of Summit Alumni Denny Cherry's First-Timers webinar, or get yourself to the “Get to Know Your Community Sessions, Tuesday 15 October   2:45pm – 3:45pm & 4:00pm – 5:00pm EDT

They even have a First Timer’s Orientation Meeting! Tuesday, October 15     6:00pm - 6:45pm

All first-timers are welcome to join us onsite in Charlotte and hear from PASS Summit alumni on what to expect from your week at Summit. You'll get to meet other first-timers while trying out some new networking tips. The orientation meeting will be held prior to the Welcome Reception on Tuesday, October 15.  Doors open at 5:45pm.

In the meantime, check out these blog posts for Summit first-timers, follow @sqlpass on Twitter for the latest PASS Summit news, and join the discussion using the #sqlpass and #summit13 hashtags.

On that note, I asked our panel, what is your advice to PASS first-timers? How can they best make use of the time and navigate their way through the conference?

Rick Heiges tells us In a word, Interact!”  Rick actually goes far and beyond to help attendees and recently did a webcast entitled “What to Expect at PASS Summit 2013 ".  Click on the highlighted link to view the recording.

Rick also created a bunch of blog posts for the PASS Summit 2011 that still apply to this year's summit.  Here is a link to a recent blog post about it (just ignore the Seattle specific stuff) - http://sqlblog.com/blogs/rick_heiges/archive/2013/09/26/what-to-expect-at-the-pass-summit-2013.aspx

Our friend Grant Fritchey, offers up some of his quirky, but excellent first timer’s advice: "Weird bit of advice. Walk out of sessions if they don't interest you in the first 10 minutes. Don't waste that precious time. Go to another session, network, visiting the vendors, swing by the CAT team at the SQL Clinic and keep them hopping with difficult questions.”

Dear Aunt Kathi, (Kathi Kellenberger) gives us some warm #sqlfamily friendly advice, “Be sure to take a look at the guide so you don't miss out on things like the exhibitor party and the BOF (Birds of a Feather) lunch. At meals, don't just sit there and eat. Introduce yourself and learn about the people sitting at your table. You just might make some friends!”

In this closing-day BOF lunch with MVPs, SQLCAT architects, speakers, peers, and members of the PASS Board and HQ team interested in the same topics you’re passionate about. Share your knowledge, bring all your ideas and questions from the week, and gain new insights.  So, if you’re still hanging on by Friday, don’t miss this! 

Jack Corbett, what is your advice to first-timers?  “I think the best advice for first-timers is to try to meet and get to know as many people as possible, speakers, volunteers, and other attendees.  Everyone there is ready to talk and make new friends.  Get on twitter and watch #sqlpass, #summit2013, & #sqlkaroake hash tags (I'm sure I'm missing some) and you'll know what's going on where and who'll be there.  There is an activity for everyone.

So, #sqlkaroeke, who invented that?  Well we hear in her free time, Kathi enjoys hanging out with family and friends, especially singing Karaoke and can be blamed for starting #sqlkaraoke.!  Sounds great, and should be especially interesting after a few drinks!

Erland, your advice? “To breathe from time to time! Attend sessions, but also speak to people
you meet. Don't forget to socialize in the evenings.”

 

Matias Lind, any words of wisdom? "If you're attending PASS Summit for your first time, do not try to over plan with sessions, remember to meet peers too. And try to attend stuff that is outside of what you normally do. If you're a typical DBA try to attend some dev and BI sessions. And socialize and network. And don't be afraid to ask a PASS returner about anything. Wear comfy shoes, drink a lot water, relax and enjoy. If you see me say hi!”

Definitely great advice all! It also demonstrates the strong supportive nature of the greater SQL Server Community!  Hat’s off to you! Remember, after this one, you’ll no-longer be a first-timer!

I will be bringing more highlights and questions and answers throughout the PASS Summit 2013, so stay bookmarked to PearlKnows blog!  You can read my first entry on Summit Highlights, Questions & Answers.

 

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