Notes From SQLSaturday South Florida

Notes from the trip:

  • Four hour drive between traffic and rain, about an hour longer than I would have liked. The new service plaza at Fort Drum on the Turnpike is nice, but I thought the old model had better/easier parking. Ah well.
  • Speaker dinner was at Carrabas. Not a bad venue, but I think attendance was higher than expected and they struggled to get every seated. It worked out, but I’d remind organizers that Friday night is prime time for restaurants. If you’re going to tie up seats for 3 hours you have to incent them and even then it can be tough. Look for places with outside seating or less of a Friday night crush is worth a try. Overall they did well on food and service.
  • I missed the event the last two years due to schedule conflict with my vacation, forgot how nice the facility was – very nice! Would have liked to see a few more signs. My rule of thumb is there should be signs at every turn/every direction once they come off a main road.
  • Speaker shirts were a bright red Cuban style shirt from Bohio. A very nice addition to my SQLSaturday collection!
  • I had about a dozen attend my presentation on credit card security and it was great to have 75 minutes, I could answer more questions and go into some areas a little more than I normally do. For all that, I’ve done this talk a few times and I wish I could draw more in. I need a different title, different approach, or both.
  • Saw an old friend from S Fla and he remarked on my writing the Question of the Day for SQLServerCentral, that it was good to see me writing again. Good feedback, and nice to feel like I’m not too far off course
  • Talked to another friend about my recently blogging on marketing SQLSaturday and appreciated the stream-of-consciousness in-the-moment aspect as well as the ideas. Reminds me I need to devote a half day or so to writing my own guide to blogging – something about fun, growth, deadlines, and no worries about profitability
  • Lunch was various sandwiches and salads semi-buffet style, was a bit of a slog to get everyone through. Buffet can work if you do multiple lanes – we do 5 or 6 each year in Orlando. It would also be nice to see them come up with a signature lunch. Nothing wrong with what they served, but having something that is particular to the event is powerful (and something for us repeat attendees to look forward to!)
  • Saw Dave Noderer at the registration desk, perhaps the most consistent volunteer in the Florida community. All the volunteers were doing great, everything ran smoothly, and they were highly visible in red tshirts
  • I just didn’t have enough time to talk to everyone I wanted to. A common complaint, but maybe one I should fix next year, perhaps with a SQLRally’ish event in Florida.
  • There were a LOT of speakers I had not met, and still didn’t get to meet. I need to get out  more I guess, but it’s also just a lot of growth in the speaker pool.