Monthly Archives: September 2013

Simple rules for attending a conference

I want you to have a great conference!

I want you to have a great conference!

It is just about time again for another PASS Summit.  As I’m getting ready to help out my first timers group and get ready for the summit myself I figured I would put a few tips together.  The amount of first timer posts out in the community is staggering and instead of trying to write yet another 2 page novel with lots of tips and tricks I thought I would keep it very simple.  This should apply to almost all conventions that you want to attend.  I make the assumptions in this post that you are

1. An adult

2. Most of the time you act like an adult.

Here are the rules.

1.  Communicate/socialize.  The best reason to attend a convention is NOT for the training it’s for the networking that you will be exposed to.  Remember you are all at the convention for similar reasons everyone has something to talk about so TALK!

2. Never eat/Drink/Hang out alone.  Conventions take place in some really cool places and places you may be tempted to go see the sites.  If so then go with others from the convention don’t go alone.  See rule #1 always be social always have fun.  If you want quiet/vacation time away from it all do it after/before the convention when everyone is gone.

3. Know your limits.  If you can’t stay up till 2 a.m. and still get up for a 6:30 a.m. session the next day then don’t worry about it.  Don’t feel that you have to see/do/be part of everything.  If you stick to rule #1 you are going to do just fine even if you were not at the fountain at 2:00 a.m. when someone fell in.  Also remember in this day in age most things end up on youtube.

4.  Be respectful/helpful.  Again you are all in this together take care of your fellow attendee.  Help them out when they may have forgotten rule #3.

5. Give feedback; Give it to the speakers, sponsors and organizers.  Conventions thrive on the feedback they get from the attendees.  We can’t make good events without that feedback so be suggestive and helpful in your message.  Things like “I really liked that the presenter was energetic and funny in her session”.  Not “This presentation sucked” that doesn’t help anyone get better.

Ok pretty simple 5 little rules.  This is not a long extensive list to remember or memorize it’s just simple common sense and really that’s the best thing you can do at a convention use common sense and be social.

If you would like to read more first timers post here is a good list and a link to the PASS first timers page.

My Post from last year

Midnight Dba’s Blog for PASS First Timers

PASS Community Blogs for 2013 summit

PASS First Timers

Have a Great Convention!


PASS Board of Directors Election

It is once again that time to vote for our PASS Board of Directors(official election page).  Having been a volunteer in this organization now for almost 10 years this is a process I am very interested in.  I have served 2 years on the board and spent some time in most of the various volunteer committees you will find in the PASS organization.

The most important thing for the election is that you get out and vote!  You need to exercise your right to a voice and vote for who you feel is the best candidate.  I’ve listed my endorsement for candidates below this is my opinion on these candidates but comes from years of experience working with them in a volunteer role.  I’ve worked with both of them closely on many different aspects of the PASS organization.

Allen Kinsel (Blog|Twitter|Candidate Page)


I have known Allen since 2004 and we both have been volunteering about the same amount of time with PASS.  He has a proven track record of getting things done in the PASS Organization.  He helped deliver the tools the Program committee now uses to pick sessions and allow for great PASS Summit sessions.  He helped with the Chapter tools we have now as well and forwarded the movement for the chapters as a board member.  He has consistently showed PASSion in the volunteer efforts he has been involved in.  I think his previous time on the Board and previous volunteering gives him excellent depth and experience in this arena.  For me he’s the best overall candidate that knows the organization well and is willing to go the extra mile for the PASS organization and SQL community.

Tim Ford (Blog|Twitter|Candidate Page)

Tim fordTim is truly awesome to me.  He has organization skills, business sense, funny, great photographer and an exceptional volunteer.  He has always helped out the PASS organization in many different roles.  He knows event planning and managing events from the SQL Saturday events he has put on and from founding and running SQL Cruise.  He is passionate about change and about making things better.  Tim is the best newcomer candidate I think. He not only knows the PASS organization well but knows the things that need to get done to keep it going on a path to greatness.


My third candidate/vote is yet to be decided for me.  I will be doing research over the next few days to try and determine my last vote.  I strongly suggest you do the same.  Don’t just take my word for it research the candidates and talk to them and ask them questions find out which ones you feel are the right fit.

The one thing I believe all candidates need when on the Board is a PASSion for helping others.  Volunteering at the level of the board is hard work and takes a lot of time and effort and that PASSion is what keeps you going.

Happy Voting

PASS Summit 2013 Photowalk


Photowalking is a simple way of saying get out and take pictures! We require nothing more than a good pair of walking shoes and a camera of some kind.  You can come along even with a cell phone camera to enjoy the sites and socialize with your fellow photo buff.  Any experience level is welcome and encouraged to come along.  One of the joys of Photowalking is seeing how everyone gets a different view of the world around them; don’t be shy to ask someone why they are taking a picture a certain way this is what makes us better as photographers.

This year the official photowalk is planned for Tuesday (10-15-13) morning @ 8:00 a.m.  I know that lots of people have volunteer meetings throughout the day on Tuesday so we are trying to do it early enough that people can get back to the meetings if they need to.

We will start out from the convention center and head towards Marshall Park.  This looks like a great spot for some views of the city and a nice park view.  I’ve created an eventbrite event for this and have included map and all other needed info.  Feel free to go over and register on the Eventbrite site so we know who will be joining us.

Eventbrite event