On June 8th we announced SQL Saturday 89. The call for speakers went out to all those who had submitted sessions at a previous SQL Saturday, an alert went out to sponsors and the event was live. Immediately emails started coming in, people started registering and sessions were being submitted. The event really took on a life of its own. This was great but at the same time a bit overwhelming. Let me explain a bit on how I became involved with SQL Saturday Atlanta.
While at the speakers dinner for SQL Saturday 70 in Columbia SC my friend Aaron Nelson asked if I would be interested in volunteering for a SQL Saturday in Atlanta. Since I am the chapter leader for the Columbus GA SQL Users Group I thought it would be a great way to get my user group involved with Atlanta MDF. I was excited about being able to help out and agreed on the spot. I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to Stuart Ainsworth during dinner and got to share my excitement with him as well. Several weeks later a few emails started going around with some pre planning topics such as location, date, etc. After enough details had been finalized we had our first in person meeting with myself, Aaron, Stuart, Julie, and Audrey. Not long after our first planning meeting Stuart had to regretfully bow out of any major planning events to be able to focus on something much more important (his wedding). This came about right around the same time Aaron blogged about needing to step back a bit himself and focus on spending time with his daughter while she would still be seen with him in public. This left our planning group without a leader from any of the previous SQL Saturday’s. Since these events have to have an “official” organizer someone had to submit the paper work. Some how I was lucky enough that Julie, Audrey and Aaron felt that I was up for the challenge and allowed me to be that person. Once we had a signed contract with Georgia State University I was able to go online and register the event. A few days later I had my call with Nancy and we had our number and the site went live. Three short weeks later we have had 28 speakers, 66 sessions, and 200 attendees register for SQL Saturday 89. Our call for speakers is still open another two weeks. At this rate our planning committee will most likely have to step back and make room for our out of town guest and local speakers. In my book this is a wonderful problem to have. To make up for it I think we will be seeing a SQL Saturday Columbus GA in the very near future. Right now I have a couple of friends helping me scout out a local venue to host the event. Then my co planners of SQL Saturday 89 will be “out of town guests”.
If you are thinking of planning a SQL Saturday have no fear about it. There is a wonderful site dedicated to those planning. The wiki page is full of information to help you every step of the way and anyone on the SQL Saturday Advisory council will help you in any way that they can. There is a great deal of expertise in putting on these events. Nancy and Karla with HQ are fantastic resources as well.