For the handover of SQLSaturday to PASS, Rushabh Metha, President of PASS, came to the Charlotte SQL Saturday, where Andy Warren and I handed over a symbolic key. It was at the end of the keynote, and fun for us, though I’m not sure that many of the attendees thought much of it.
I think this was the most impressive SQL Saturday from a speaker/content viewpoint. There were about 17 MVPs there by my count, and a few more people that could easily be awarded at any time. That alone made it a fantastic event, with so many excellent speakers giving training.
The event was held at the Charlotte Microsoft office, which is also one of the locations for the SQL Server support group at Microsoft. A number of their engineers held a Q&A session during the day, giving the high end DBAs a chance to ask questions without the cost of a CSS call. The facility was nice, though a slightly high security pair of buildings that required security guards to let people in and out. It was nice of Microsoft to donate the space, and employees, to allow local professionals to get training. It was slightly confusing as to where the rooms were, but plenty of volunteers around to direct people.
The keynote was late in starting, with check in going a little slow. One thing I’d recommend to other SQL Saturday events is start check in early and perhaps schedule a couple birds-of-a-feather sessions early in the morning for people that check in first. Andy and I had talked about it, and shared the deck and I think it went over well.
I posted my section of the keynote over the weekend, and I have a video as well that Blythe Morrow from PASS HQ took as well.
I went to Kendal Van Dyke’s session on blogging/speaking, before giving my own take on the subject with my presentation on The Modern Resume. Both were well attended, drawing about 20-30 people in each. I noticed that there were a few tracks that had almost double sessions back to back. While that might seem strange to speakers, I think it’s great for attendees. If you miss one to see another session, you can get similar material in the next slot.
I’d like to see more SQL Saturdays consider that, and put out more tracks, but duplicate sessions so that people would not be torn between two topics. You will never get this perfect, but duplicating some sessions throughout the day would be good. I know I’d be happy to present twice on the same topic at an event.
The rest of the day seemed to run smoothly. There were snacks in the afternoon, people flowed between sessions, though I ended up chatting with a number of friends that were speaking at the event. It’s a good time to network and that works for me. I’d like to find some ways to help others network as well that attend the event and that’s one place that I think PASS can help.
People seemed to enjoy the training, and I heard good comments about sessions. I missed out on the after party, having to head back to Denver on Saturday night, but I thought this was a great event. There were a few vendors that attended as well, and they were all pleased with the turnout, which is great. Without vendor support, these events don’t happen.
I had a great time, and am looking forward to the next SQL Saturday that I can attend. I would love to come back to Charlotte as well.
The keynote is up on YouTube if you are interested.