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SQL Man of Mystery

Wes Brown is a PASS chapter leader and SQL Server MVP. He writes for SQL Server Central and maintains his blog at http://www.sqlserverio.com. Wes is Currently serving as a Senior Lead Consultant at Catapult Systems. Previous experiences include Product Manager for SQL Litespeed by Quest software and consultant to fortune 500 companies. He specializes in high availability, disaster recovery and very large database performance tuning. He is a frequent speaker at local user groups and SQLSaturdays.

SQL Saturday #35 Notes and Observations

First of all, I want to congratulate all the volunteers that made this happen. It was a very well organized event and ran smoothly. I had a great time. It was nice meeting people that I couldn’t have met any other way.

 

As A Vendor…

The Good:

Ryan Adams did a very good job keeping things coordinated up to the event. Making sure that everything we were entitled to we got. Always very responsive to emails and questions.

The day of I always had Ryan or one of the volunteers stop by between sessions and check that everything was good. I have always had a good experience with PASS events, but I’ve never had so many people checking on us before!

Needs Improvement:

Table placements. I just didn’t understand the flow and layout of the event until I saw the venue first hand. I would have picked a different table. I don’t think it hurt us, we had crazy foot traffic and lots of conversations.

It did bottleneck up sometimes around the vendor tables as sessions let out but I think over all the placement was OK. There isn’t much room to work with and I don’t know if I would have done much better in their shoes!

Overall:

As a vendor I was very happy with the event and the amount of time I got to spend talking to folks about Nitrosphere and what we do. As a new company getting out and meeting people is very important.

Only having one or two big conferences a year is difficult and costs 5 to 10 times the amount of money that a SQL Saturday does.

 

As a Speaker…

The Good:

Again, well coordinated no scheduling issues or anything like that. I found the different tracks layer out well. The meet and greet the night before was nice.

Speaker room was big enough.Internet access seemed fine to me.

Again, I was checked on by the staff over and over to make sure things were OK.

We also had a handler feeding us time to help keep us on track.

Needs Improvement:

Recording sessions was spotty. It was a last minute thing and most of us could have used a little hand holding getting it right.

Overall:

As a speaker I was happy again with the organization and attention to detail.

 

As an attendee…

The Good:

Lots of tracks an sessions for everyone. I enjoyed seeing so many local and new speakers making the break.

Plenty of interaction between people and speakers.

The food was great, I NEVER get the chicken salad, I ate two for lunch :). Oh the ice cream…. so evil.

Needs Improvement:

Bathroom Queue Length’s were a little long but did clear up.

Finding the stairs to the second floor was fun.

Overall:

Yet again, no real complaints. Plenty of seating solid flow and awesome choices. I still can’t believe this was a free day of training!

 

I will be making room for other SQL Saturdays going forward.

Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 25 May 2010

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Posted by david.stein on 26 May 2010

Wes, it was great having you, and I look forward to watching your presentations on video. Thanks for taking time out to speak with me about your experiences as a consultant and the direction my career should go.

For any of you who don't already know it, Wes is a heckuva guy.

Posted by Steve Jones on 26 May 2010

Sorry I missed it, and make sure you post the video locations when they are up.

Posted by Anonymous on 26 May 2010

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Posted by Tim Mitchell on 26 May 2010

Wes, good writeup - it was great to catch up with you again.  Speaking of bathrooms (several other folks mentioned this too) - we found out afterward that the ladies restroom is significantly larger than the men's room.  I think we'd have switched the signs if we'd known that... perhaps next year.

Thanks again for coming!

Posted by Marianne Collins on 26 May 2010

yes, the ladies' restroom was surprisingly large.  It was a great event, and I'm glad I was able to attend.

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