This weekend was the 3rd SQL Saturday we have held in SLC Utah. We had a good turnout of about 130 people. We had planned for a little higher but it was a beautiful fall day in Utah and a weekend where many school/districts had a long weekend on Friday so some people were already out of town.
As with all my events I like to wrap up a good/bad list so I can learn from that event and keep making better events for my attendees. Hopefully this list will help you in planning and event in the future as well. I always start with the improvements as I like to end on a good note.
Things to Improve
Doors opened late. The building worked properly but our student worker was late so that hurt us when trying to setup registration and the sponsor area.
Printed Schedule snafu: I forgot to put the levels for the sessions on the printed schedule and I had one session with the wrong speaker presenting. Correct content just wrong speaker.
Better lunch: I knew Pizza going in wasn’t the best option but it’s what met the budget and I didn’t want any chance someone went without. Next event we will look at a higher budget so we can make sure we get another option
More Speakers: Make no mistake our speakers rocked, that doesn’t mean I don’t want more people speaking not only to grow the speaker community but to give more variety.
Organizing too Rushed: Hopefully most of you never saw it but organizing the event was very rushed because of some time constraints I had. As always we try and prep earlier for the event and I plan to focus on that for future events.
What went well?
Lunch: While I said it was bad above we have to admit no one went hungry it was smooth no one waited a long time so overall it went well.
Sessions: In general the sessions moved along well. I noticed some pack rooms and that’s a scheduling point I’ll look at dealing with in the future but overall it was a smooth day for the schedule I even managed to make it to 2 sessions.
Speakers: No last minute cancellations and I feel all the speakers did a good job. I heard lots of compliments from attendees. Surveys will give us more feedback on this.
Socializing: I saw a lot of conversations/chatting going on and I know many knew each other from other jobs many were also just discussing new ideas/procedures at the event. I love to see people working together to come up with solutions.
Open source: We had 2 hadoop presentations and one Nosql! My goal for the SQL Saturday is still a full track devoted to open source db technology and we get closer to that all the time.
Shirts: The shirts I think were well received and lots of people will enjoy them and wear them around.
Overall I was very pleased with the event and was excited to be part of it. I know some people think I do this all myself but that’s far from the truth. Tjay Belt (B|T), Ben Miller (B|T) and Scott Heffron (B) all helped out greatly in putting this event together and making it a success. A huge thank you to Randy Knight and SQL Solutions group as well since they donated family (literally) to the registration booth so they could handle checking people in.
Now it is time for me to gear up for Utah Code Camp will be on March 23 2013. We have big plans for the event and expect it to top the charts. Don’t worry we will have another SQL Saturday next fall and we will make sure it’s a great event!