SQLSaturday 56 BI Edition was a great success according to feedback and we couldn’t be more pleased. This event was put on by the North Texas SQL Server User Group and supported by MSBIC, Microsoft, and Artis Consulting (a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner). I may proudly serve on the board of directors for NTSSUG, but even if I didn’t there is no way I would not consider being an organizer for an NTSSUG event. This is our second SQLSaturday in 6 months! If you think that is impressive….keep reading.
If you have helped organize a SQLSaturday event then you no doubt know how much time and work goes into these events. If you have not then I highly encourage you to volunteer and get involved. If you’re an attendee my advice is to thank every organizer you see at the event. My second piece of advice is to fill out session evaluations and thank the speakers. These folks are giving you free training and most pay for their travels out of their own pockets, so a simple “Thank you” goes a long way. What does all this have to do with SQLSaturday 56?
This event was a little different than the typical SQLSaturday as it was BI focused. It was also different in the aspect of how we managed it compared to our other SQLSaturday. This is why I talked about the time and difficulty of putting on these events in the paragraph above. This was our second event in 6 months and we don’t want our organizers and volunteers to get burned out, so we scaled the event way back. First is that we used the local Microsoft facility, which meant that the rooms were already equiped for A/V and MS would handle the registration. Second is that we really did not have any sponsorships except Microsoft for the facility and they in conjunction with Artis Consulting provided breakfast and lunch. It might not sound like a lot, but it’s huge! That meant there would be no coordinating sponsors and their benefits (which is a full time job itself) and it meant that breakfast and lunch took no management from us. This SQLSaturday was designed to be a no frills, “Let’s get our learning on” event.
The only negatives or complaints I’ve heard is that there was no coffee in the afternoon and entering the Microsoft buildings was a pain. I agree that the building access was inconvenient. Who wants to show up at an event to find the doors locked and have to wait for security to open the door for you; so yes that was a pain point.
On the plus side we had some awesome speakers and amazing sessions with an incredible time of networking. We even left off the last session in the largest room and dedicated it to a networking room. I met a lot of great people. Drew Minkin (Twitter) is a local speaker for us and I had a great time talking with him at the after party. If you get a chance to hear him speak then you should do it, because he’ll rotate your mind like it’s his personal cube! I also got to meet Thomas LeBlanc (Blog|Twitter) who is down to earth and a joy to talk to with his engaging personality. They don’t call him the smiling DBA for nothing! The other person who comes to mind was John Sterrett (Blog|Twitter). This guy flew in from Pittsburgh! John was great to talk to because, like me, he works with a lot of other administration things other than SQL that were a great commonality. He and his wife are thinking of moving to Texas and I hope they do, but he might get a hard time being an OU graduate in UT country.
Let me wrap this up before I get carried away, and yes I know it’s too late for that. If you have any comments on the event either good or bad please leave them here. We want to know you had a good time, what you liked, and what you didn’t so we can improve next time. Now I promised you there was something impressive coming and you hung in with me this far so here it is. If you think 2 SQLSaturdays in a year is impressive….let’s add a third within a 12 month span. That’s right, NTSSUG officially brings you