With 5-weeks until the PASS Summit it’s time to start getting ready for the event. As I’ve discussed a couple times before (1, 2) the upcoming PASS Summit. Over the next few weeks I plan to write about some of the things to make sure you do to make sure you get the most out of the PASS Summit.
First of all… are you registered? Let’s not dilly dally because this will be important if you are going to get anything out of these posts… so register! P.S. One of my recent posts included some reasons to attend if you need them.
If you followed my advice and registered, then lets register for a couple more things. One goal of the PASS Summit is to get educated at the conference. But there is another goal that sometimes gets missed… that is networking. While
Hopefully, you already have this done. LinkedIn is a professional focused social network. Similar in a lot of aspects to FaceBook but without the games and fan pages. This is a great place to upload and maintain your professional work history. And for many of us a great place to network with member of the local, national, and international community of SQL Server professionals.
If you don’t have this, I highly recommend getting it put together before PASS. It doesn’t take long and you’ll be able to work on it over time to start building and rebuilding connections to people you’ve worked with in the past and present.
Now you may be concerned about scaring your boss by having a resume page up on the internet. Don’t let this concern you too much. This is definitely not the same as putting yourself up on Monster or some other job board. LinkedIn is about the network of people that you’ve met professionally and the opportunity not to lose those contacts. With this setup you will be able to start tapping that network more to find people that you can tap into with future issues and needs.
You know about twitter right? Were you aware that there are hundreds of SQL Server professionals using twitter on a daily basis.
But what is it? Twitter is a micro-blogging site that you can use to spout off about your daily life in 140-characters or less. But in those 140-characters you can find out about what other SQL Server professionals are working on. You can get insight into who they are. And then you can comment back and start to get to know some of those you might eventually meet at the PASS Summit. And if you are lucky you might walk into one of Paul Randal’s (twitter | blog) sessions and be recognized.
Yup, happened to me.
All well and good but what are some of the more practical uses for twitter:
No need to head back to the hotel at night because with twitter you can find out where other people are and get connected to them right away. Want to know more about twitter – read all of these posts.
Bring your cards! Give them to everyone you meet. You’d be surprised how many people forget about doing this. Don’t be shy because no one feels awkward about getting a business card – we just sometimes feel awkward giving them. When you are talking to people… ask for their cards.
If you don’t have cards, go ahead and order them now. You have plenty of time between now and the summit to get them. I like to use moo for my mini-cards. But you can get them almost anywhere or print them yourself if you’d like.
When you get the card, take a moment to write something about the conversation on the card. Something that will help you remember who the person is and what you talked about. Because if you are talking to them about it – you probably had an interest in the conversation.
After the summit is over you will end up with a lot of cards. Take them out. Add them to your contact list. Follow them on twitter. Link to them on LinkeIn. And then send them an e-mail – let them know you connected and that they owe you a shot of jagermeister next year at PASS.