Just a quick update on the SQL Saturday event we are planning for the Dallas area next year. Late last week our local event planning committee met to discuss the big stuff (venue, date, and advertising) and came away with a short but critical action list.
We’ve got a venue that has given soft confirmation to accommodate us, and we’re working to lock that in this week. For the event date, we had to dodge a number of other events in our January/February timeframe; the remaining Saturdays were January 23 and January 30, and we expect to have a decision between the two in the next week or so. We’ve got some folks who are contacting potential advertisers, both international and local, to help fund what we expect to be an event with 500 or more professionals in the database, development, and business fields. [Sidebar: If you are a business principal interested in sponsoring this event, let me know – tdmitch at gmail.]
There are still significant decisions to be made and lots of work to do. Once the date is set, we’ll publish the event to the SQL Saturday website and open it up to registrations and speaker abstracts. Later, the abstracts will need to be reviewed and the schedule created from the submitted sessions. I’ll also be contacting several high-profile speakers to see if they can work this event into their schedule. We need to arrange catering for lunch, along with donuts, snacks, and drinks for the remainder of the day. We will be seeking a host hotel for out-of-town attendees, and the speaker reception and post-event party will need to be set up. That’s just the big stuff – there are flyers to print, conference bags to stuff, tables to set up and tear down, and hundreds of other little things that (hopefully) will be planned well in advance.
Fortunately, we’ve got a good group that has expressed a willingness to get involved. Our combined area user groups (Dallas and Ft. Worth) represent hundreds of technical professionals, and we’ve already had a number of volunteers come forward and offer to help organize the event or present a session. Several of our group, myself included, have been to SQL Saturday events before and have been witness to what works and what could use improvement.
In the meantime, we’re still gathering a list of volunteers. If you’re interested in helping plan or execute this event, please let me know and I’ll add you to our volunteer contact list. We’re also building a list of those interested in presenting, and we’ve already heard from several of you who would like to speak.
I’ll keep the updates coming as things develop.