I’m late, I suck, but here’s some things I started in Baton Rouge and am just now getting out.
First, I’ll add my slides to the SQL Saturday site soon. I did two presentations and the keynote, which I posted yesterday. However I know a few people want to see them, so I’ve added them up on SQL Saturday to a static page I built.
I have to say that Patrick LeBlanc’s enthusiasm is infectious. There is a whole team of people in the local area that I was thrilled to see again and impressed with the level of effort they put into making the event run smoothly. They’re always happy, very welcoming with Southern hospitality, and they make the event a lot of fun for everyone involved, especially those of us that come from out of town.
I grabbed a little video and some images, adding in a little narration. Nothing special, but some memories for me:
This was an impressive lineup of speakers. Not to take away from the local speakers, who did a great job, but I believe Patrick had 14 MVPs, many from out of town like me, that came to the event. The speaker’s dinner was great, with about 50 people there, which is huge. Many I’ve attended had about 12 people. Patrick even personalized shirts for us. I don’t wear many of my SQL Saturday shirts, but I’ll wear this one.
The event ran very smoothly. The group gets the use of a building a LSU, which is a beautiful place. They had two hallways, with food and sponsors in between them. As much as many people don’t want to see vendors, those people and their money is the reason the event runs. Remember that the next time you don’t want to hear about a product or pass a table.
I had one of four early morning sessions that gave people something to do if they arrive early, and helps beginners get some basic knowledge. I’d like to see this at more events. Then I gave the keynote, which can be a challenge at many places. About 250-300 people were there, I hurried a bit, but I think it went well.
Then it was a full day, 8 or 9 tracks, of sessions. There was even a great .NET track run by a guy basically giving a full day of .NET basics to people. I loved that!
Lunch went smooth, with some optional vendor presentations (see three paras above), but they were sparsely attended. Lots of people sitting around instead, which is fine. I think lunch is a good decompression time.
After lunch, more sessions, and I walked between a few, trying to get some clips of different people, checking out some speakers that I, surprisingly, hadn’t seen before. I popped in to watch Sean McCown, Tim Costello, Denny Cherry, Wes Brown, and a few more. I made it a point to watch a few people talk.
The hallways were mostly dead during sessions, a nice sign. People were coming for training. I shook a lot of hands, and had a lot of 3 minute conversations with students that attended various colleges, even some out of state. They were looking for some basic training. I met local people coming to get some knowledge that the boss wouldn’t pay for, and even a guy that had driven 3 hours from M-eye-ess-ess-eye-ess-ess-eye-pee-pee-eye for training since his employer didn’t pay for much. I queried everyone if they thought it was worth it, and got all positive responses.
A long day, especially for me since I started at 6:30 and left around 5:15. I went for a run on lovely University Lake before going to the after party (after showering). It was mostly for volunteers and speakers, but I had fun chatting with people until around 10 when I left to get dinner.
All the SQL Saturdays are good events. I haven’t seen a bad one, and they have tended to run fairly smoothly. The only things I noticed here were a lack of water (we ran out in the afternoon, but had lots of Orange soda) and the raffle at the end was hard to hear Patrick. For the latter, I told him they should be up on the stairs, not at the bottom. For the water, I know there’s a lot in the air, but more would be nice, especially since I try to promote being healthy. Patrick had fun as there were tweets asking us to drink Orange Soda and then he raffled off a case at the end.
The enthusiasm and fun that that the volunteers have, the jokes they make, and even the tweets coming out make this the most fun of all the events I’ve been to.
A few other links: