The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

PASS Virtual Summit 2020 for a Global Community

Hello, g’day, hola, 你好, guten tag, namaste, olá, marhabaan, こんにちは, salām, cześć’, hallo, shalom, 여보세요, bonjour, hej….

Kia ora PASS Global Community – we really are a diverse group of people spread all across the world. I write to you from Christchurch, New Zealand and will publish this blog out of Vancouver, Canada….

As you saw in Wendy’s post and the PASS Connector, due to the unexpected situation with COVID-19, PASS Summit is going virtual this year. This is a first for PASS Summit and it was a difficult decision for the Board to make.

My first PASS Summit was 2015 and I met some wonderful people; I built friendships and eventually business associates through the networking events and sessions I attended at the event.  PASS’ aim was always to hold the conference in person, giving the community an opportunity to connect.

While many of us (myself included) are disappointed that we won’t be able to connect face-to-face with our friends this year, the PASS Virtual Summit gives us a silver lining during a tough time:

For a lot of us, travelling to the US is hard; attendees need to contend with travel time (it takes me 30 hours to get to Seattle), expense, and visitor visas.  This often means we either miss out on some of the great sessions or spending time with all of our community friends.

Being a virtual conference means that the experience can now include all of us – from the comfort of your office, your lounge or wherever you choose to watch it.  

You might be wondering about how attending will work in your time zone. Will you need to get up at 3am just to catch a session? This is another great feature of the virtual event, there will now be flexibility on how sessions are delivered for a global audience. There will be sessions streaming around the clock, and OnDemand access, included in the All-in-One Bundle and Full 3-Day registration options, will be available immediately after sessions are streamed (not to mention for 12 months following the event).

The brilliant PASS HQ team are working hard behind the scenes to make sure the virtual experience is as close to the in-person event as possible. There will be networking, training, and access to sponsors that you can only get at PASS Summit – this will be far beyond the Teams/Zoom/GotoMeeting type webinars you’ve become accustomed to.

We want the experience to be fully immersive – to make you all feel included. I really am excited about how – with the interactive platform the team are working on – it will allow us to network, chat, and hang out as if we were in the same room. Learning is one of the great pillars of the PASS Summit experience – but so is networking – it is core to our community to be able to connect with each other. 

We will be announcing more conference details and features of the platform as we get closer to PASS Virtual Summit 2020 and I know you will be amazed at how – just like PASS Summit in person always is – this virtual conference will be next level.

I look forward to seeing many of you in November – it’s going to be a great experience and one that can open up the world to PASS and PASS to the world.

Take care, be safe, and be kind.

Hamish Watson
About the author

Hamish Watson is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and VMware Expert with a passion for efficient database and application deployment using DevOps methodologies. He has 20+ years of IT experience in managing and deploying large scale databases on SQL Server technologies.

He has been managing SQL Server since SQL Server 2000 and pragmatic approaches to delivering business value to clients is his career passion. Educating and helping others learn is a driver for Hamish and he is a PASS Local Group Leader, international speaker, and a repeat guest lecturer at a local university.

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