As Director of the Program Committee for PASS, I recognize that there has been some recent miscommunication surrounding the criteria for submitting a pre-conference session for consideration to this year’s PASS Summit.

As the Program Committee evaluated the requirements for both general and pre-conference sessions, we amended requirements for pre-con sessions to include both required and optional requirements. This was done to provide guidance for speakers on the level and skill necessary to host an all-day session for our data community. Ensuring that PASS is providing the highest level of content is very important to us, especially as attendees face an incredibly competitive choice of conferences to attend every year.

First, the prior optional requirement that a speaker presented a pre-con in the last two years at a selected group of events is now a requirement. We believe that PASS Summit is not the venue for you to attempt your first pre-con. Almost all SQLSaturdays offer pre-cons now, so there are plenty of opportunities to gain and develop that experience.

We also made it mandatory that you be willing to present a regular session in addition to a pre-con. This just makes sense, as we want speakers that are interested in presenting both community sessions and pre-cons.

Now, it was an oversight on our part that we left the nine remaining items with a requirement that you meet five of those requirements. Because we moved two from optional to required, we should have changed the required number to three, and we are currently making that change. We’re sorry for the unnecessary confusion that this caused within the community. The remaining optional requirements relate to your comfortableness in delivering pre-con-level content, as well as your credentials and knowledge of the Microsoft data platform and the types of pre-con content that members of the PASS community are interested in paying additional fees for.

I hope that you now have a better understanding of our rationale for the requirement changes, both optional and mandatory. If you have any questions about the pre-con speaker requirements, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Allen White
Director, PASS Programs