Using the Announcement/News Part of SQLSaturday

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One of the interesting but not often used features of the SQLSaturday tools is the announcement/news (in the admin tools, its Message Center | Announce News) to do mini-blog post type messages that show up on the home page. Below you can see a sample of ones we’ve set up for Orlando this year.

One of the reasons I think this is valuable is that it shows activity, something to confirm to a potential attendee that there is something going on. It’s also a place to find stuff – like the hotel or after party location – that you can’t find in your inbox.

The challenge though, is it’s more more thing to write. I can think of two ways we can make that less work (and more apt to be used):

  • Add a checkbox to the send message functionality so that any message to “all” defaults to also being posted as an announcement.
  • Alternatively, we could have these pre-loaded the same way the default email messages are. I like this less, because it’s 2 sets of similar messages to maintain.
  • Related to those, we need token support for the announcements, which makes me like suggestion #1 as the easier path, or at least first step.

Lacking that option and having some time blocked to work on the event, I wrote a bunch of messages from scratch to try to hit all the main points and I’ve shared all of them below. The date in brackets is the send date which should be the same next year or at least is a point to adjust from. They aren’t tokenized, so they aren’t perfectly reusable as is (and you have to copy/paste the messages one by one anyway (copy title, copy subject, set date, enter, repeat). The message contents and the list are in a Trello card:


There’s more to this, but that will be the next post!


Registration is Open [Jun 1]

Registration is Open for SQLSaturday Orlando

Registration is now open for SQLSaturday Orlando! We’re all set for a great day of learning on September 28th on the campus of Seminole State College in Lake Mary. Attendance is absolutely FREE, if you would like us to provide lunch (vegetarian option will be available) its a $10 fee via PayPal. Register now to guarantee your seat and then invite your colleagues to attend with you!


Call For Speakers [Jun 2]

Call for Speakers is Now Open

The call for speakers for SQLSaturday Orlando is now open. Please register for the event first and then submit one or more abstracts at https://www.sqlsaturday.com/911/Speakers/Submission.aspx. The call for speakers ends on July 14th. We welcome first time speakers!


Preferred Hotel [Jun 3]

Stay at our Preferred Hotel

Our preferred hotel this year is the Hyatt Place in Lake Mary. Located just off off I4 & Lake Mary Blvd it’s about a 10 minute drive from the hotel to the event. The web site for the hotel is https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/florida/hyatt-place-lake-mary-orlando-north/mcozl.


Call for Speakers Last Chance [Jul 13]

Last Chance To Submit a Session for SQLSaturday Orlando

The call for speakers will close on July 14th. Anyone interested in speaking should register for the event first and then submit one or more abstracts (submitting more than one increases your chances of being selected and gives some flexibility on the content we select for the schedule.


Schedule Of Sessions Posted for SQLSaturday [Aug 1]

Schedule of Sessions Posted for SQLSaturday Orlando

We’re excited to announce the full schedule of sessions for SQLSaturday Orlando! Lots and lots of great content, all delivered by speakers passionate about their topic and donating their time to help us all learn more about our craft. See all the sessions at https://www.sqlsaturday.com/911/Sessions/Schedule.aspx. Note that you can also build your own schedule using our schedule builder at https://www.sqlsaturday.com/911/Sessions/BuildSchedule.aspx. It’s not required, but it’s worth a few minutes to think about what you want to attend and then pick a “backup” session in case your preferred session is full, cancels, or perhaps isn’t quite at the level that works for you.


Summit Discount Code [Aug 8]

Save $150 on Registration for the PASS Summit

Thinking about attending the PASS Summit? It’s not expensive, but it’s totally worth it. Pitch the boss on it, mention how you’re taking advantage of free training opportunities like SQLSaturday Orlando and how everyone raves about what a great learning experience the PASS Summit is. Our discount code of “SSDIS16AO” will discount the price at registration by $150 – every little bit helps! Details on registration for the Summit at https://www.pass.org/summit/2019/Home.aspx.


Last Call To Order Lunch for SQLSaturday [Sep 24]

Last Call To Order Lunch for SQLSaturday

If you didn’t order lunch yet or haven’t paid yet, the cut off or doing so is the end of day on Sep 26th. You can change your lunch status, lunch preference (regular or vegetarian), and also pay for lunch ($10) at https://www.pass.org/MYPASS.aspx?viewctl=MySQLSaturday.


Download the Guidebook [Sep 25]

Download the SQLSaturday Mobile App

We have an app for Android and IOS called Guidebook. It’s a free download. Install it, then seach for “SQLSaturday Orlando” and make sure you pick the one for this year!

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.guidebook.android&hl=en_US

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/guidebook/id428713847?mt=8


Print Your SpeedPASS [Sep 26]

Print Your SpeedPASS for SQLSaturday Orlando

SpeedPASS is a PDF that contains your check-in ticket, your lunch ticket (if you paid for lunch), and raffle tickets for all the sponsors that are supporting our event. Login to https://www.pass.org/MYPASS.aspx?viewctl=MySQLSaturday to download it (you can also pay for lunch or cancel your plans to attend). Get the PDF, print it, and then take a couple minutes to cut out the tickets (or have the kids do it!) and bring with you on Saturday. If you forget to print them you’ll have to wait in the ‘slow line’ for us to print it for you.


SQLSaturday is Tomorrow! [Sep 27]

SQLSaturday is Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day when months of work and anticipation come together for our annual SQLSaturday. If you haven’t registered yet it’s not too late. If you registered and won’t be able to attend it would really help us if you would cancel by logging in to https://www.pass.org/MYPASS.aspx?viewctl=MySQLSaturday. You can also use https://www.pass.org/MYPASS.aspx?viewctl=MySQLSaturday to pay your lunch fee and to download your SpeedPASS (registration ticket & raffle tickets). We look forward to seeing you tomorrow morning.

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