Feb 23 2011 4:14PM GMT
Again as I have said the first SQL Saturday in Phoenix was held this past weekend on the 19th of February.This was also my first SQL Saturday that I have attended so keep that in mind when reading this. I have been to one PASS Summit so that is really my only point of reference when talking about these types of events. With that in mind lets get started.
First off the speakers dinner. Since I had the honor of speaking at the event I was able to attend the speakers dinner on Friday night before the event. The event was held at a Pizza and Pasta Place that was not too far from the campus that the event was at. The food was good and we had a private room and that made it very nice. We had a good turnout and we had a great time. Free food and drinks for us all and just a great environment for us to meet each other and have some good discussions.
Now to the actual event. I arrived a bit early in order to offer some help if needed, but not much was needed. I helped lay out some food, of which we had plenty, and I took a look at the presentation rooms and I was very happy with the facilities. We had a nice set of rooms that were all located together so the fifteen minutes between sessions was more than enough time to get one speaker out and thee next in. In fact, I did not miss any sessions even though I had to get ready for my own.
In the registration room things were organized nicely as well. We had a nice area for the vendor booths as well as the registration area and all the food that I mentioned before. The organizers also did a good job getting plenty of swag for us to give out during the presentations. We had a nice schedule listing the sessions and what rooms they would be in and at what times. We did have a minor issue with those as they had a couple typos with the room assignments but it was resolved without much of a thought. Great job by the organizers.
Once the sessions got started I did not see any hitches. For me, as an attendee and a speaker, I really thought that everything went very smooth with really no issues at all that I noticed.We even had some rooms that were not being used so if we had a need to use another room for discussion or more questions after a session that was available to us. Excellent idea and again great planning.
Lunch was next and it was done very well as well. The food was plentiful and good. The lunch was provided by the same resturaunt that provided the speakers dinner. Lunch was served in the same room as the Vendor booths and registration but the room was large enough to handle it, especially since we also had a WIT panel in a room next to the main room. We really had it all. After everyone was done with lunch the vendors had a chance to speak to the mass and do the giveaways that they had. It was a lot of fun overall.
The afternoon sessions was more of the same that we saw in the morning. Just good presentations going off without any hitches at all, at least none that I saw. Everything flowed very well and all the sessions that I attended had a full room.
Even when things did come up, like speakers not showing up all for valid reasons, the show went on and some speakers stepped up and did a second presentation. I really have to take my hat off to Samson Loo (Twitter) and Chris Coneybeer (Twitter). They really did an Awesome job with everything and I just want to let them know how much I appreciate all the work that they did and I am looking forward to the next one.
Also I forgot to mention that they also did an after party. I was unable to attend the party but what I have heard is that all had a great time.
Also want to say that the community really came out and made this event a huge success. We had speakers from all over the country east coast and west as well as some great local Phoenix speakers as well. So thanks to all for coming out and showing what a great community we have here in Phoenix as well as just how AWESOME the SQL Server community really is. I am proud and honored to be a part of the community.
This event was so much fun and such a personal success as it was my first time speaking, that I want to get more involved and I am now thinking I will also be speaking at SQL Saturday #73 in Huntington Beach CA. So please come out and join me and support the community even more.