All the planning, stressing, and freaking out about SQL Saturday #89 came to and end this past weekend. We had a very successful event with 314 attendees, over 30 speakers, lots of volunteers, and some awesome sponsors. This was the ATL areas 4th SQL Saturday and the largest yet.
The location of the event and the facilities were great. We were located just off the interstate off of GA 400. Georgia State University had state of the art facilities with audio visual equipment that surpassed that of the PASS Summit. All of our speakers loved the facilities as well as the attendees. There were no bad seats in any of the rooms.
For the first time ATL offered pre-cons to the SQL Saturday event. Both sold out with John Welch offering a session on data warehousing with SSIS and Kevin E Kline offering performance tuning with SQL 2008. Both pre-cons got great reviews and helped a lot of people enhance their skills. I sat in for a lot of Kevin’s session, he was a huge hit with his funny stories and bags of swag he brought. Through out the day I heard folks talking about John Welch and how awesome he is with SSIS. I know for a fact he picked up a couple of new groupies.
Our sponsors had premium real estate and the breakfast and snacks were located in the vendor area. This ensured our sponsors had lots of traffic come through. Since GSU did not have a large auditorium we had everyone go outside into the back parking lot which was tiered like a stadium. The weather was beautiful so we thought it was a great idea to have the raffle outside. Everyone seemed to enjoy getting to spend a few minutes outside networking, chatting with other attendees and the speakers. Luckily we had @sqlcraftsman (Geoff Hiten) to do all the announcements outside.
Our after party was at 5 Seasons that was within walking distance of GSU, even though everyone drove or carpooled. It was a nice facility with us having a place inside and the patio outside.
A major kudo’s to all the organizers and volunteers who made this event a top rated SQL Saturday.