No More SQLRally In the US

I was disappointed to see the mention in the Connector today that there would be no SQLRally  2013 in the US. Reading the minutes from the May 2012 Board meeting (and you should read it to do your own interpretation) it feels like the decision was made largely on two points – Rally was not a profit center (was never intended to be if you go back to the beginning of the concept) and it consumed too much of HQ resources. It also feels like it’s not going to return in the US, it will be an international brand only.

There seems to be some thought of doing a “Super SQLSaturday” and maybe that is better than nothing, but is it better than a real Rally? Why wouldn’t we just do Super SQLSaturday everywhere, why keep the Rally brand at all?

In the end I feel like Rally died due to the lack of Board involvement. Maybe that’s not fair, but it feels that way to me. No one took over when I wanted to hand off at the end of the Orlando Rally, and from the outside as far as I could tell no one took on the Dallas effort or planning for 2013 (which should have been going on in January). That’s not to take anything away from the efforts of Team Dallas, I thought they collectively did a great job. But that is a tactical focus, the Board could have been working through the core issues they referenced in reaching their decision earlier this month.

Deciding how much time and money to spend on various things is hard. Sometimes you make business decisions, sometimes you don’t – that’s the nature of a non profit, but I’ve always felt like PASS tilted too far towards business. Without being in the room it’s hard to know all the factors they weighed, they may well have made the right decision. It just doesn’t feel that way.

Finally, I want to repeat something I told my friend Tom LaRock a few weeks ago:

PASS has something every non-profit dreams about,a consistent and effective fund raiser (the Summit). That funding gives you the ability to do great things,to make a difference, to spend on things that won’t generate a profit. Don’t waste the chance to do good, don’t be the non-profit that has fund raisers to finance the next fund raiser.

Funding SQLRally seemed like a pretty good thing to do.

9 thoughts on “No More SQLRally In the US

  1. Thanks for the comments, I too was expecting to change from the Summit once a year, to the Rally since it was starting to grow in sessions and closer to home.



  2. Vermont Public Radio did a segment recently on the various art groups in Vermont and interviewed the Executive Director the Vermont Arts Council. One of the groups they talked about had made a decision to cut any event that didn”t make a profit. The interviewee said he knew at that point that they wouldn”t last long because people wouldn”t be motivated to donate. And about a year or two later they shut down. I”m not involved enough in PASS to say if they”re at that point but it”s certainly something to be aware of and watch out for.


  3. I”m not surprised, and a little sad. There were plenty of people excited by the Rally, and it was a good place to build speakers, especially pre-con speakers for the future.


  4. Having been a big part of SQLRally-Orlando and a small part of SQLRally-Dallas, I wasn”t surprised by the announcement. I was disappointed in the vague reason given for the decision.

    If you read the minutes,, the numbers show that SQLRally serves/served a unique market. “Membership statistics
    showed that a unique audience went to SQLRally, one that had not previously attended SQLSaturday or
    Summit.” So clearly there is a market for an event like this, but it appears that PASS has decided to focus on international growth now and allow Summit and SQLSaturday to serve North America.

    It”s interesting to me because I originally was not in favor of SQLRally, but now I”m very disappointed to see it “tabled”.


  5. A bit bummed out as well. Because it was near, we had the opportunity to send 3 people. If we”re really lucky, we normally _might_ get to send 1 person to Summit. So for us this was a huge win.


  6. If SQL Rally is to become international brand only, I”m sure that would be welcomed by many people outside the US – the summit is lightly be remain a US based event. I would love to see a SQL Rally in Australia – and I look forward to seeing you there 🙂


  7. Being a speaker in the very first SQL Rally, I too was saddened to hear the news and wish someone would have taken the torch as you passed it off. In my opinion, it was a great event and I was looking forward to speaking at other Rally events. Doubtful, but who knows, maybe it will get put back on the table at some point. See you around Andy!


  8. Instead of having one chapter host SQLRally why not have a region host the event? You would have many more people to do the work and PASS HQ would not have to expend so many resources.
    I submitted my chapter CBusPASS to host SQLRally in 2013 and was disappointed they cancelled the event but I”m hoping it can be resurrected as a regional event. Imagine the teamwork and camraderie that could be generated with a number of chapters working togetner.


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