March 14, 2010

Charlotte SQL Saturday #33 write-up

With the SQL Saturday #33 a week behind, I don’t want to let pass the opportunity to share some notes about it. This was my second time speaking in a SQL Saturday and my first time helping with the organization.
The event was a great success with a whopping attendance of >220 and a great line-up of speakers, plus me :-) . Overall, the event went smoothly, and I heard lots of positive comments from speakers and attendees, including a follow-up email from someone that drove from Atlanta saying that the 300 miles she drove each way were well worth it!

Things that went well:
  • Attendance. 350 people registered and 220 actually showed up. That is +60%, which seems to be the norm for this type of event.
  • Speakers. Both, number and quality were high.
  • Sponsorship. Although, some of them signed up late in the game, their support was key for the success of the event.
Things that we could have done differently:
  • Speaker’s evaluations. We did not provided them, and with that we gave away the opportunity to get valuable feedback.
  • Other logistics. Given we were at a Microsoft campus, some of their internal security protocols got on the way. Car registration forms and the fact that some of the sessions were in rooms that required MSFT employee to use their badges to open the door caused some minor delays. Of course, it is fair to say there were a good number of MSFT folks always around to help out.
From my side, it was great to catch up with folks from the Charlotte SQL user’s group and few other SQL MVP friends. I have originally planned on presenting 2 sessions but at the end had to cancel one of them as I ran into some last minute issues. My only session about SSIS and ETL Architecture went well and I had little over 30 in attendance, not bad considering my slot was almost at the end of the day and my room could only seat around 35 people comfortably.

Finally, big thanks to all sponsors for their support and to the rest of the organizer team!

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