SQLSaturday #62–Too Many Speakers

I received the email this week that I won’t be getting a place on the schedule for SQLSaturday #62 in Tampa on January 15, 2011, nor will the other chapter leaders from Florida. The event team received a lot of abstracts and even with limiting each speaker to one, there still wasn’t enough room for everyone, so they can had to make some decisions. It’s about a 2 hour drive for me, so I’ll be attending anyway, looking forward to learning and networking and seeing old friends. If it was a longer drive or a flight I’d probably elect to not go, harder to justify the time and expense if not doing a presentation

I’ve got a lot of respect for their decision. We want to grow speakers, and that sometimes means someone else has to step down. In Orlando we’ve been lucky enough to be able to expand, hosting 9 tracks at our most recent SQLSaturday #49, but scaling out hits the wall at some point. It’s not just a matter of space, it’s nice to have enough options to make it interesting but no so diverse that only get a handful of attendees in each room.

There’s no lack of opportunities to speak in our community. As a speaker I’m going to submit two abstracts to any event that I’d like to attend, and leave it up to the event team to decide who gets the coveted slots. My expectation is that there will be more times when I don’t get selected, and that’s ok, it’ll average out over the year.

See you in Tampa!

12 thoughts on “SQLSaturday #62–Too Many Speakers

  1. I respect their decision as well, choosing more local and up-and-coming speakers first. I think Rodney is even considering giving up his slot so that they can fit someone else in that was a newbie on their list. We too would attend still, presenting is not the priority for us and events like SQL Saturdays and Code Camps. Learning and networking are.

    Like

  2. I think we’ll start to see this more and more, and I think it’s a good thing. It’s good to have a few remote speakers, or big names, but it’s nice to have mostly local speakers.

    Like

  3. Andy we truly appreciate your understanding. It was a very hard decision to make when you feel you are not giving some of your friends a slot to speak but we felt we needed to give a chance to first time and upcoming speakers as well as other local and regional folks that have not had many venues to speak this year. We decided to remove ourselves from the speaker list first, followed by other Chapter leaders, seasoned at speaking while always trying to have a good balance with “big” names and MVPs who we know attract a lot of attendance. We feel so honored to have so many speakers and sessions submitted.

    We appreciate your attendance at SQL Saturyda #62 in Tampa and all the time you put on the SQL Community and PASS!

    Like

  4. Andy thank you so much for your understanding. The lack of room for expansion will be a major consideration in selecting next year’s venue. These cuts were the some of the hardest decisions we had to make in a while. They also meant that many of our best Professional Development sessions are now unavailable. As cancellations occur and they will, these will be the slots added back to the line up.

    As painful as the decisions were, it was a blessing to see so many new names and diverse topics. For as many as were submitted, there was overlap – but not near as much as I have seen in past years. For this I am grateful. It also makes me very proud of our community. There is so much talent that is willing to give. It is a truly wonderous thing to see.

    Andy, we have you to thank for starting this movement. You saw the need for this four years ago and you were willing to take a gamble. It was why I was sure you would understand our tough decision. Thank you for all you have given and continue to give. Without you, SQL Saturdays would be a thing of dreams. Thank you.

    Like

  5. Pam, in the scheme of things I just gave things the starting push, a lot of other people have made it work, including you being willing to do #2 when we didn’t have much in the way of tools or experience. Good to see things grow and evolve, and there are plenty of problems worse to have than too many speakers:-)

    Like

  6. I think it is great that these kind of decisions need to be made. It means the pool of speakers has grown, and honestly, those of us who have spoken at multiple SQLSaturdays need to move up to SQLRally and the Summit. Not that there shouldn’t be some slots for top speakers, but SQLSaturday should be a training ground for speakers.

    Like

  7. I think it is great that these kind of decisions need to be made. It means the pool of speakers has grown, and honestly, those of us who have spoken at multiple SQLSaturdays need to move up to SQLRally and the Summit. Not that there shouldn’t be some slots for top speakers, but SQLSaturday should be a training ground for speakers.

    Like

  8. At first I was appalled by this — because I am coming to Florida to hear the great leaders down there. But after thinking about it, the community there is best served through new voices, new presentations and new blood. As one of those selected and taking a slot away from THE SQLANDY, I feel the extra pressure to present more, better! It makes you realize the responsibility to give as much as they would, no more.

    I just hope the team gets a great sponsor for the dinner the night before and allows those that they passed by, like yourself to still attend. 😉

    With weekly SQL Saturdays happening starting with Tampa, we will need this new pool of speakers to rise up and shine.

    Like

  9. Sandra, I’m glad you found a way to see the choice as good. Please don’t think of it as taking a spot away from me though, in my view it’s a huge win that we’ve grown to this point and I wanted from the beginning to get more new faces in the game. The ones on the island the longest get voted off first!

    Attendance at the speaker dinner is interesting, and I see that going either way. I’d be pleased at an invitation, but certainly not disappointed if not invited.

    Like

  10. Sandra, I’m glad you found a way to see the choice as good. Please don’t think of it as taking a spot away from me though, in my view it’s a huge win that we’ve grown to this point and I wanted from the beginning to get more new faces in the game. The ones on the island the longest get voted off first!

    Attendance at the speaker dinner is interesting, and I see that going either way. I’d be pleased at an invitation, but certainly not disappointed if not invited.

    Like

Comments are closed.