The second day of the Summit was full of even more pre-con’s. Word on the street last night is that the PASS Summit 2011 had a record number of attendees to the pre-con’s as well as to the Summit in general. I heard that Adam Machanic had around 240 people in his pre-con. Sounds like Adam needs a keynote room next year. General attendance is over 5000 this year which was confirmed in an email this morning.
My day consisted of first attending the SQL Saturday Round Table meeting. It was great seeing so many others who have put on a SQL Saturday and getting to share our experiences. There is also so awesome changes coming up with the program which one of which includes getting the Regional Mentors more involved in the SQL Saturday’s and trying to get an RM at each event. For the South East that shouldn’t be to difficult since our RM’s are typically onsite presenting as well. RM’s will also be tasked with setting up and managing a PASS Community table. I am really excited about this as it will help spread the word about Chapters both physical and virtual, 24 Hours of PASS, SQL Rally, SQL Summit and all other PAS S related activities.
My next meeting was with the Regional Mentors. It was awesome having so many RM’s in one place and RM’s from all over the globe. The Regional Mentor project is being reworked and we will have check list and guidelines to follow. Having structure around this program is really going to help us better help and support our local chapter and grow our region. I can’t share to much information about this but if you are a chapter leader, you will or should be hearing from your RM very soon.
My last official meeting was the Chapter Leader meeting. We really needed a larger room. This place was packed out. It was incredible to see how many chapter leaders we had that formed their chapters within the past 12 months. It was at least 25 percent of the room. PASS Chapters are growing by leaps and bounds and really help bring together the community. SQL Saturdays are awesome, but they are typically put on by a local chapter. If you are reading this and don’t know if you have a local chapter near you check here. If there isn’t a chapter near you and you would like to start a chapter then contact PASS HQ or just contact me and I will put you in contact with the right person.
After the Chapter Leader meeting we had the First Timers Orientation gathering. I had instructed my first timers that I would be wearing a red Red-Gate shirt since the SQL Server Central party was Tuesday night as well and Red-Gate is a sponsor. What I didn’t realize was that Red-Gate would be wearing the same shirts. All night long I had people asking me questions about Red-Gate products which was a great way for me to meet new people but was a bit confusing for my first timers. The speed networking event for the first timers was a huge hit. My group attending Don Gabor’s second session and we had at least 500 people participating. The group who made this event happen gets my applause. It was awesome.
When the speed networking event was over, our first timers got to walk into the welcome reception to a huge applause, smoke, music, and video cameras. Did I mention the red carpet? They all loved it and it was a very special moment to welcome them all to the 2011 PASS Summit. The food at the welcome reception was great. It would have been nice to have some free drinks like water, but other than that, it was a great event.
I stayed around during the welcome reception for an hour or so meeting other chapter leaders and attendee’s before heading to the SSC party where Jeff Moden was awarded the exceptional DBA of the year. Very well deserved and Rodney Landrum gave a great speech. Jeff looks pretty rough to only be 27 years old, he blames the DBA career for his grey hair. The SSC party was a casino theme with folks gambling all night. There was a huge turnout which was great. I met a lot of new people and got to hang out with some Red-Gate friends.
Day 2 of the PASS Summit was a blast. Day 3 will begin with a SQLRUN and then the keynotes with me spending time at the bloggers table. After the keynote will begin the serious learning. I can’t wait.