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PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte: Follow the Discussion

It’s been great to see all the interest in last week’s announcement of PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte, NC. The community response has been highly positive overall, with a few comments around Charlotte’s flight availability, nightlife, and access to Microsoft.

A couple of PASS Board members have blogged about the decision-making process the Board went through and their own thought processes in selecting Charlotte to host the 2013 Summit:

Here’s what others in the community are saying:

And here are a few tweets we’ve collected over the past week to give you a taste of the conversations going on:

  • @SQLSoldier: North Carolina is a beautiful area!! Weather is great in Oct. too!! Hoping I can get approval to attend the #sqlPASS Summit in 2013!! 
  • @mark_sqlcat: #sqlpass Summit 2013 in Charlotte...SQL Dev and SQL CSS will be there. SQL Clinic travels... #sqlserver #sqlcat 
  • @kbriankelley: Charlotte is a short drive from Myrtle Beach, SC. Make it a vacation: bring your spouse and hit the beach before/after #sqlpass 2013 Summit. 
  • @awsaxton Nice that #sqlpass is in Charlotte. Will have a MS Support Site right there to help staff the #sqlclinic room.
  • @SQLSoldier: #SQLNASCAR RT @jlangdon: @SQLSoldier #sqlpass Might be able to catch a race since NASCAR runs at Charlotte Motor Speedway in mid-October. 
  • @shannonlowder: @SQLBalls Oh yeah. That time of the year they usually have Carrowinds decorated for Halloween too. Fun stuff! #sqlpass

Thanks for all your feedback! And continue to watch Twitter for more about PASS Summit 2013 and PASS Summit 2011, Oct. 11-14 in Seattle – just remember to use the #sqlpass hashtag.

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SQLSaturday Round-Up

(This is Round 20 of PASS's round-up of SQLSaturday recaps. PASS community bloggers love their SQLSaturdays, and they love to tell everyone about their experiences, so who are we not to share that love?)

PASS SQLSaturday recently crossed continents and headed to Johannesburg, South Africa for their first SQLSaturday#83. Judging by the pictures, attendees clearly had a great time getting their SQL training on! Back in North America at SQLSaturday#74 in Jacksonville, over 300 attendees came together for some free SQL training, caught up with old friends and made new ones.

Johannesburg, South Africa
Jacksonville, Florida

For those of you on Twitter, follow @sqlpass and make sure to check out the #sqlsat and #sqlsaturday hashtags to stay up to date. Besides attendance at free learning events, there are many speaking and sponsorship opportunities available.


+ Gail Shaw presented at SQLSaturday #83, Johannesburg 

+ Eric Wisdahl presented at SQLSaturday#74, Jacksonville 

+ Andy Warren presented at SQLSaturday#74, Jacksonville 


June is shaping up to be a hot month with PASS SQLSaturdays in Pensacola, Columbus and Indianapolis!

June 4: SQLSaturday #77, Pensacola
June 11: SQLSaturday #75, Columbus
June 25: SQLSaturday #82, Indianapolis

Stay tuned for more events this summer and remember that PASS SQLSaturdays are added all the time!


Austin Zellner recently shared his views on the value of being a SQLSaturday volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering, please indicate this on the registration form of any SQLSaturday event. Hope to see you in the trenches!

Want to attend or speak at a SQLSaturday? Check out the SQLSaturday website or "Upcoming In-Person Events" on the PASS Home page for upcoming dates near you.
Want to put on your own SQLSaturday? Click here to get started.


New and Familiar Faces at PASS HQ

The PASS HQ team is thrilled to announce the addition of two new team members to its core staff.
Karla Landrum—already well-known as a PASS volunteer extraordinaire— will join as our newest member starting on July 1. Karla’s passion and enthusiasm for the SQL Server community and PASS is unmatched. An active PASS Regional Mentor for the US Heartland region, Karla has been the lead organizer for 4 PASS SQLSaturdays, and she has volunteered at more than 15 other PASS-related events. Based in Orlando, FL, her role with PASS will focus on the community, managing the PASS Chapter and Regional Mentor programs along with the full roster of SQLSaturday events. Karla brings a true community insider’s perspective to the role, and we look forward to having her onboard. Karla, in her own words, is all set to “work hard, have fun, smile, and achieve success!”
Jumping into the new role of PASS Senior Executive Administrative Assistant during the recent Orlando, FL, PASS Board meetings, Michelle Nalliah has already proven herself to be indispensable. Based in Vancouver, BC, and working out of the PASS offices, Michelle manages all administrative duties and governance-related tasks for the PASS Board of Directors and HQ. She also assists the finance and operations teams where required. Michelle has 7 years of administrative experience and comes to us most recently from the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. We are delighted to have her as part of the team and have no doubt her organizational skills will be a great asset to PASS and the community.
Karla and Michelle are joining a strong team of individuals who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help PASS and its members to connect, share, and learn. And starting next month, you can learn more about each PASS HQ member through a new “PASS Staff” highlight feature in the PASS Connector newsletter.
In the meantime, please extend a warm welcome to Karla and Michelle and feel free to drop me a line with any questions or comments.


PASS Summit 2013 - Hello Charlotte!

(cross-posted from Mark Ginnebaugh's blog - Ginneblog)

We’ve finally been able to determine that the PASS Summit 2013 will be in Charlotte, NC. The decision process has been in the works for a long time, and I think it was a well thought out process.

Long-time PASS members know that we’ve held the last three Summits in Seattle, and that we’ll be in Seattle for 2011 and 2012 as well. However SQL Server folks on the East Coast are faced with a long trip every year.

The reasons PASS has traditionally held the Summit in Seattle are pretty simple. About 300 members of the SQL Server product team are able to attend.  Plus Seattle is affordable, as conference cities go, and the venue is the right size.  PASS HQ is nearby in Vancouver – and we have the formula down.  We can put on the world’s premier SQL Server and BI conference, with consistent quality year after year.  The vast majority of PASS revenue comes from the Summit. Therefore moving the location elsewhere has significant risks.

At our January board meeting, there was much discussion about whether we should simply hold the Summit permanently in Seattle.  However, many members of the board felt that the community calls for somewhere in the East should be respected.

PASS HQ got proposals from the cities in contention, and presented their findings to the board.  Based on ranking of everything from venue proximity to hotels, nightlife, and pricing, we narrowed the list to two finalist cities, Charlotte and Dallas.  From there, HQ negotiated contracts with both cities, “grinding the pricing all the way down,” as Judy Christianson put it.

Last week we reviewed the final proposals. Dallas ranked high in many categories, including Microsoft’s Dallas-based SQL Server Escalation Support Team. But at the same time, Dallas is also one of three finalist cities for the 2012 SQLRally.

Finally, high ratings in many categories and substantially lower prices, led us to award the 2013 Summit to Charlotte. We hope this decision will result in another fantastic Summit, including the high attendance we consistently get in Seattle.

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Announcing PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte

After 5 years in Seattle, PASS Summit will travel to Charlotte, NC, in 2013, bringing the world’s largest SQL Server and BI conference closer to database pros in the Eastern US who may not have been able to make the cross-country trip in the past.

Responding to community feedback to have PASS Summit outside of Seattle on a recurring basis, the PASS Board of Directors considered Charlotte and Dallas for 2013. Known as the Queen City, Charlotte’s strong conference amenities, affordable rates, and growing reputation as a convenient, friendly travel destination won over the Board during a meeting last week in Orlando, FL.

“The hope is to move PASS Summit around on an irregular schedule to expose more people from around the country to this high caliber SQL Server conference,” noted PASS Executive Vice President Bill Graziano. “Seattle will remain as a regular venue in the future in order to secure a larger Microsoft presence.”

PASS Summit 2007 in Denver was the last Summit held outside Seattle. PASS Summit has seen impressive growth in attendance from 2008 to 2010. And with the success of last week’s first-ever PASS SQLRally regional event in Orlando, PASS is excited at the opportunities to bring its world-class technical training and networking to DBAs, developers, BI architects, and IT pros who haven’t been able to travel to Seattle. The East Coast location should also be more convenient for many international attendees.

Stay tuned for PASS Summit 2013 dates and more details as they become available, and in the meantime, we’ll see you in Seattle this year!


First-Ever PASS SQLRally a Huge Success

Thanks to all the attendees, speakers, sponsors, and volunteers who made our first-ever PASS SQLRally regional event last week in Orlando a huge success! More than 440 database pros trekked to the Marriott World Center for 48 technical presentations, and 242 people attended the all-day pre-conference seminars.

It was a busy, exciting week. On-site feedback has been positive and enthusiastic. You can relive the experience via blog recaps, twitter (#sqlrally), and great photos on Flickr (search for the SQLRally tag).

SQLRally Orlando was a collaboration between our two Orlando PASS chapters (oPASS, led by Jack Corbett, and MagicPASS, led by Kendal Van Dyke); the PASS HQ team, led by Craig Ellis with a lot of help from Anika Poliseno and Sanjeet Gandham; and a cast of dedicated volunteers from PASS chapters throughout Florida. Truly a team effort!

As I look back at the event, it’s clear that a lot of SQLRally’s success is due to the wealth of practical experience many of us volunteers gained by being involved in SQLSaturday. The leadership and lessons learned through running the free, 1-day SQLSaturdays are just some of the many intangible benefits that the PASS community derives from SQLSaturday. I encourage you – whether as an attendee, volunteer, or a speaker or aspiring speaker – to become involved in a SQLSaturday near you.

Looking ahead, I’m excited to see the momentum from SQLRally Orlando continuing with PASS SQLRally Nordic in Sweden Nov. 8-9. And on June 15, we’ll start the community vote to select the site for PASS SQLRally 2012 in the US. We expect to announce the winner the first week of August.

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