PASS exists to help people Connect, Share and Learn. Our global community is unique in its willingness to support their peers of data professionals learn, not only technically, but to grow personally as well. PASS helps facilitate that through each of its educational channels - local PASS Chapters, Virtual Chapters, SQL Saturdays, in-person events and the PASS Summit.

The content presented by the community is amazing in its breadth as well as its depth. In addition to community content, PASS has been partnering with our sponsors enabling them to share their knowledge and experience with our community.  

For the past four years, they have contributed to our content at PASS Summit by delivering vendor sessions. In 2015 we piloted vendor pre-conference sessions at PASS Summit and then expanded the program to include two pre-cons in 2016.  In 2016, five vendor sessions were also included in the community programming schedule, along with nine new Partner Sessions.  These new Partner Sessions showcased tool solutions specific to that vendors’ product for our members.

Overall our vendor and community sessions averaged 2.83 and 2.84 (respectively) out of 3 on the attendee feedback evaluations. This positive attendee feedback is critical in ensuring that we continue to develop and deliver content that is valuable for our members.

While we consider the value of these sessions for the community, it is also important to consider the value of our vendor partners to the community. Our vendors, exhibitors and sponsors are truly our partners and support not only the content at PASS Summit but also the community year round.  Many of these sessions have been offered at SQLSaturdays for some time, valuable for both attendees and our vendor partners.  Expanding opportunities for our partners to be engaged with our members supports our overall mission.  Further, by partnering with them we are able to return revenues into our community programming.

It's important to note that none of these newly introduced sessions took the place of community sessions, and the extra cost of the conference center space required for those sessions was more than offset by the fees PASS collected for those sessions. The revenue generated by the sessions goes right back to the community via the programs I mentioned in the first paragraph.

PASS’ commitment and mission in providing valuable education for our members is paramount.  We will continue to develop and deliver programs that meet the training needs of our community members.