PASS has taken a lot of heat recently. A few folks have pointed out that you only seem to hear when people are upset at PASS at something. So here’s my take on what PASS has done correctly.
The Summit is a premier conference for SQL Server professionals. How do I know? Watch all the griping when speaker announcements are made. A lot of folks want to speak at the conference because they perceive it to have a lot of value. A lot of folks attend the conference because they perceive it to have a lot of value. A lot of value + financially affordable to PASS = premier conference.
Virtual Chapters are awesome. Look at how many there are and how much FREE training they provide to the community. Yes, they are staffed by volunteers, however, they are still under the PASS umbrella.
First, there’s the free web hosting. It’s been around for a while. Yes, it’s DotNetNuke, but the templates are simple and workable for a chapter.
Second, there is the automated mailing. This allows a chapter leader to get the news out without having to go to MailChimp or some other resource. Also, as folks sign up at the chapter website, they are automatically added to the distro list. Easy all around.
Third, PASS has built the integrated events module. You set up the event details under the PASS Chapter tools and if you’re website is configured, the details automatically appear on your chapter homepage. In addition, the event details appear in the PASS master list of events. You don’t have to go to multiple places to get the word out.
The 24 Hours of PASS
More FREE training. And if you can’t stay around for the whole 24 hours, don’t worry, sessions are recorded and eventually available on-line.