Summit Reflections

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the item Summit Reflections

  • In the past I have enjoyed in person conference events. However, I now work for an employer that doesn't send anyone, anywhere for anything, at least in the last 30+ years. Well, with one exception, I got to go to MS Ignite in 2019. But then the Pandemic hit and that was the end of that. I'm sure my employer will go back to what they've been doing for decades, by not allowing anyone to go anywhere for anything.

    In person events are better, I don't deny that. But virtual events finally allow those who've never had a chance to go to an in-person event, an opportunity to attend a virtual event and learn. My concern is conference and event managers and sponsors might also go back to just in-person events. I am certain that my employer isn't the only employer who doesn't, for whatever reason, allow their employees to improve themselves by attending an in-person event. Please, don't deny those people who cannot make in-person events!!!

    Rod

  • My employer has slowly shifted over the past 8 years or so towards virtual training and conferences whenever possible.  I was excited to be able to participate this year--while I was at work.  My boss was totally supportive of me hanging a sign on my office door to indicate that I was doing training so people wouldn't disturb me.

    I told him how next year it's going to be a hybrid and that I wasn't sure if it would be free or not (i.e. the virtual) and he said that chances are that the company would pay for it for me if it isn't free.

    Do I wish I could go in person?  Yes.  But right now--I need both knees replaced and I'm hoping to get that done next year.  I don't feel comfortable flying normally but with Covid--even though I just got my booster and wear a mask everywhere--the thought of being on a crowded plane. . .  My job is anticipated to get busier next year.  Being able to participate virtually is more flexible for me and I'm certain others feel the same way.

    Thank you to all who organized it and to all who gave presentations.  Words cannot express how much you're all appreciated.

  • Before my company was bought out, I had something of a training budget but even then it wasn't enough to cover going to PASS in person between the cost of the conference, air fare and hotel, that was never going to happen for me. Last year, I was surprised that my company covered the cost of the virtual PASS 2020 conference which I initially paid for out of pocket. They are notorious for cutting expenses to the bone. 2020 and 2021 were my only PASS Data Summit experiences. As much as I'd love to attend in person, for all the reasons Steve mentioned, I know that's never going to happen. So I hope that when there is an in person PASS Data Summit that it is hybrid so I can attend.

  • mfagan12 wrote:

    I don't feel comfortable flying normally but with Covid--even though I just got my booster and wear a mask everywhere--the thought of being on a crowded plane. . . 

    Heh... my cousin used to be on B-52's in the Air Force and I used to be on fast-attack submarines.  We used to joke about how much in common they actually had and one of those things was how much they resembled sewer pipes with end caps.  At least we knew that the people on both had "had their shots".  Commercial airlines are even worst.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not".

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)
    Intro to Tally Tables and Functions

  • Doctor Who 2 wrote:

    In the past I have enjoyed in person conference events. However, I now work for an employer that doesn't send anyone, anywhere for anything, at least in the last 30+ years. Well, with one exception, I got to go to MS Ignite in 2019. But then the Pandemic hit and that was the end of that. I'm sure my employer will go back to what they've been doing for decades, by not allowing anyone to go anywhere for anything.

    In person events are better, I don't deny that. But virtual events finally allow those who've never had a chance to go to an in-person event, an opportunity to attend a virtual event and learn. My concern is conference and event managers and sponsors might also go back to just in-person events. I am certain that my employer isn't the only employer who doesn't, for whatever reason, allow their employees to improve themselves by attending an in-person event. Please, don't deny those people who cannot make in-person events!!!

     

    I appreciate the sentiment, and here are my thoughts:

    • broadcasting is very expensive, both money and resources to do this. I would limit any hybrid broadcasts of events to a small subset
    • I hope we have more in person events
    • I hope a few people organize and run virtual events as well

    Rod, happy to help you organize a virtual SQL Sat on topics that matter to you. It really isn't a ton of time to do this.

  • mfagan12 wrote:

    My employer has slowly shifted over the past 8 years or so towards virtual training and conferences whenever possible.  I was excited

    ...

    first, hope the surgery goes well and a quick recovery takes place.

    second, the in-person portion next year will not be free. There will be a charge, but no idea what. Redgate is not attempting to make money on this, so we'll price accordingly and likely compensate speakers in a way that wasn't done in the past.

    third, I hope there are some virtual events, and I'm happy to help people organize some under the SQL Saturday brand, whether by city or niche topic.

  • Steve,

    What you said in response to my contribution to your editorial, makes a lot of sense. I confess I hadn't even thought of what the impact is for organizations hosting virtual events. I am sorry for having not even considered that. My bad.

    The first thoughts that come to mind, in addition to my not having considered the impact upon hosting companies/agencies of virtual events and apologizing for that, are these:

    I now see how some companies cannot sustain, indefinitely, free virtual events. That saddens me, because as I've said I'm one who won't be able to go to any in-person events. And I'm certain that there are several other people in the same boat as I am. But what you said makes sense. I'm only now thinking of this situation, so my first thoughts aren't going to be the best. Perhaps some sort of intermediate solution can come about. Something like those who cannot go in-person, can still pay something, agreeable to them. What I mean is that I'm sure many people like me, will have to foot the bill themselves, since the companies/agencies they work for won't. The MS Ignite 2019 event I went to cost my employer something like $5K (if I remember correctly). That's not counting flying, room, and board, etc. Anyway, there's no way I could entertain the thought of paying $5K to attend any event, in-person or virtual. Something, much cheaper, would have to be settled on.

    I get that Red-Gate is between a rock and a hard place. Especially since they've only recently taken over the PASS conference. I'm just advocating for those of us who cannot make in-person events. I don't want us to slowly sink into irrelevance again.

    Also, you make a good point that regional events, like a SQL Saturday is good. Some places have better luck than others at this, than others. In my region there's not been a SQL Saturday in 3 years, I think. Maybe longer. Lots of reasons for that, I won't go into. The local .NET user group, which I helped form, hasn't had any local event in many 10 years. Before INETA died, we stopped having any events. Again, lots of reasons which I won't go into. However, I guess just because we have a tough time of it doesn't mean that everyone else doesn't too. We're just out of luck, I guess.

    Rod

  • Rod,

    No need to apologize.

    To be fair, I do think that virtual events can continue to run for a long time, but they won't be a match for the physical events, and not at the same size/scale. I can't see anyone willing to broadcast 10 tracks of a physical event into a virtual space, unless lots of people were paying for that. So far, we haven't seen lots of people willing to pay for virtual events.

    Going to a conference is likely to be a $4-5k expense. I would think most admissions would be in the $2-2500 range, and then $1500-2k T&E. I think for some companies, they add this as a perk to certain employees' salaries. That works, but it often means that the very high performer or management favorite gets to go. That's a good reason to aim to be one of those, IMHO.

    I do want to see virtual events continue, especially for those that cannot attend events, either for health or cost reasons. I just don't expect that it is worth the effort for many companies to try and duplicate their physical event.

    On the positive side, I've attended some company conferences before, for their specific products. I could see companies moving those online instead of in person.

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