PASS Update #29

By the time you read this we’ll have completed the transfer of the SQLSaturday web sites and data to PASS HQ, leaving only the clean up tasks of transferring the domain and the email aliases for active events, something we plan to do by the second week of May. It definitely took longer than I had hoped, but it’s done, and now we can move into the next phase:

  • How are we going to continue to add value to the tools? Lots of interest in a way to manage volunteers and a schedule builder for users. Can we put this in a dev environment and let volunteers add some of that? How do manage it, if at all?
  • Lots of work to be done on the documentation, via the wiki at This is one of the projects I hope will work, as there is just too much good stuff to share via story telling.
  • Figure out for certain how much HQ time each event will require – and possibly do work to reduce that number
  • More effort on networking – I posted about that yesterday
  • Grow the franchise. How do we get to 50+ events in the US in 2011? Not being the king of marketing, I think we should try to have at least one in every state in 2011, which means starting to look for prospects now and probably trying to get as many as possible in a room at the Summit to plan for next year.

A smaller project I took on was coming up with a concept for a ‘regional’ event, something that would fit in between a SQLSaturday and the Summit in terms of cost, size, and value. I wanted to put in a first class effort, so the proposal took four days over the course of a 10 day period. We’re looking at two different ways of attacking it, and as I write this we’re still in the review stage, will try to share a lot more detail soon.

Another interesting problem cropped up within the Board, we don’t really have a good process for managing votes. Votes require a motion, a second, but after that voting by email requires a longer timeline because not all are instantly accessible, and we want to give everyone time to vote. To make that more complicated, sometimes we need a vote now (rarely), and for things like the minutes we really only need a majority of votes before we release them to the members. It’s a case of having a one page process will really make things go smoother, and will be nice to hand to new board members.

May will be – hopefully – a slow time for me with regard to PASS, catching up on work and life related stuff, and then in June resuming work on the much delayed speaker bureau.

7 thoughts on “PASS Update #29

  1. Andy,

    I was actually going to mention that to you. One of the organizers at the Birmingham SQL Saturday (John Baldwin I think) suggested that we have a SQL Saturday Summit at the PASS Summit. I would guess that Sunday afternoon would be the easiest time to do this but I’ve only been to one Summit so I’m not reall sure on that.

    At any rate I think it’s a freat idea to get organizers and prospective organizers of SQL Saturdays together at the Summit. Heck we could even try to work in meeting with sponsors later in the afternoon.


  2. I will inquire today. I’d lean towards Mon to try to be more inclusive, but have to see if we can squeeze in time/space. Let me work on this, more thoughts next week.


  3. I think meeting at the Summit is a good idea. Sun might be better for leaders since some of them might want pre-cons on Mon. Or post-cons. Maybe time to ping them all?

    On voting, perhaps you can set windows to vote? Have 2 days every two weeks when everyone needs to vote? Can you push stuff off for two weeks most of the time?


  4. I like the idea of a meeting at the summit. However, is that for your SQL Saturday board, regular participants, or anyone who wants to show up? What has happened to that board, if anything since the acquisition by PASS?

    In any case, I think that I really like the regional idea. However, what will this offer above and beyond what some of the larger SQL Saturdays currently offer? Would there be fees associated with this? Would these be multi-day events? etc…

    Looking forward to news on this!


  5. Eric, that’s a great question, I should have written more. I’d like to get all the event organizers/volunteers/prospective event leaders in a room, plus anyone that is interested/passionate. Still not fully baked, but as far as goals:

    – Share lessons learned
    – Find out where PASS can add more value (tools, process, coaching)
    – Networking. Event leaders & speakers, we gotta keep them talking!
    – Lower the fear factor for new events by showing those interested the successes and enthusiasm

    The advisory council still exists, and likely will through end of year. After that, we’re in wait mode, wanted to get the transition done and get through the early pain, then we could have a better conversation about next steps.

    On the regional event, the concept I’m enthused about is a 2 day event on Thurs/Fri, 4 tracks each day, for $299-$499, and hopefully closer to $299, with an attendance goal of 500. For that we need a hotel/meeting space (both due to size and being during the week), and that means higher costs.


  6. Love the idea of having a SQLSaturday organizers’ meeting prior to Summit. Perhaps on the Sunday if you’re thinking of having a half-day or longer session (SQLSaturday Best Practices?), or on Monday 5-6:30 pm after the Pre-Con ends and before the Welcome Reception?


  7. Sonia, I like Sun, just not sure how many will be there, so I asked for time on the calendar Mon morning. Mon evening just gets hectic! I think we should do something, and maybe I’ll try for a session on the main program too.


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