We get a referral fee from PASS for each person that registers for the Summit with the "SSC" source code. It's their way of showing us that they appreciate our efforts at promoting the conference.
But that fee isn't why we do it. All three of us (Andy, Brian, and
myself) have had a great time at the PASS Summit over the years and see
it as the best SQL Server conference to attend. So last year we made a
decision to blow the entire referral fee on prizes and gifts for
people. We did an XBOX promotion last year, giving away 7 XBOXes in a late night event that we think went over very well.
So this year we were working on this in March and April, but somewhat
stumped about what to do. With the XBOX 360 not releasing until late
Novemeber, we had to really work on things. We looked at a large game
night, with customized chess or checker sets for everyone, but decided
to go adult, with more mature games.
So we booked a casino party, and last week I started buying prizes.
It's a little nerve wracking getting ready for the event, hoping
everything goes well, worrying about the prizes being well received,
worrying about the setup and food and everything else. It has been fun
as well, and I am looking forward to giving away some nice prizes.
So we've got our fingers crossed as we go down to the wire, last minute prep, and ironing (NOT!!!) our new Hawaiian shirts!
Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest