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One Week until PASS 2009

It's one week until the PASS Summit. At this time next week I'll be on a plane, heading to Seattle with a weeks worth of clothes and a bunch of prizes to give away. This will be my 8th or 9th Summit, and the 5th or 6th one I've attended in Seattle. They tend to blur for me since it's an annual event and I run through a similar routine most years. The biggest event being the SQLServerCentral opening night party. After that I'm usually just trying to relax for the rest of the Summit.

This year I'm looking to participate a bit in the PASS feedback sessions, which are still trying to get set up. I'm not sure where they'll be, but after the comments and blogs on the election process, I'm hoping people will participate. However most of my planning this week is getting the site prepped for very little work from my next week and trying to prepare for the party.

What prizes am I bringing? I'm not completely sure. IT partially depends on my budge which is a little low this year. With less people attending, or at least using my promotion code, I've had to pare things back. We still plan on giving away two gifts to all attendees:

  • The Best of SQLServerCentral, Volume 7
  • A SQLServerCentral polo shirt

Because of the budget, I've decided to reuse some of the existing shirts that I've been storing. So we'll actually have black, green, gray, and burgundy shirts to choose from, though not all sizes in all colors. Come early to be sure you get what you want.

I've also gone back to my standby of DVDs are basic gifts. I bought about 25 of them recently on sale, though this year you won't know what you're getting. My daughter wanted to wrap them, so the titles are hidden. I grabbed a few flash drives, but was trying to figure out what might be a nice, cheap gift I could give out.

And then I thought of one of my passions: reading. I read about 50-70 books a year, and really enjoy it. I've encouraged my kids to read, and I've enjoyed having them get more interested in reading over the years. I even got my wife to try the Barnes and Noble reader on her Blackberry. She told me it was a "horrible" idea when I showed it to her one day and said "she'd never read that way." She's now read 5 books and things it's great.

So I'm ordering some of my favorite sci-fi books for the party. No hints about what titles they'll be, but they are some that I've read multiple times and even given to friends.

My prize budget is hovering around $1200, which sounds like a lot. But when you try to get 50 prizes out of that, you realize that you're really limited to $25 a prize. If you consider that we try to get a couple $100-$200 prizes, the cost/prize needs to go way down.

So I've got books, DVDs, and then a few more things coming. Likely we'll reserve something like a Wii or an XBOX for the top gamblers, but with 100-130 people expected, you've got a good chance to walk away with something.

So be sure that you register with our code (SSC3D) if you haven't registered, and if you have, feel free to come to the party Monday night. We'll charge $30 admission, and you can come in and have some fun on the first night of PASS.

The Voice of the DBA

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


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