Should PASS hold the conference on the East coast

Bill Graziano asked if  PASS should go to the east coast. I for one don't see any reason why not.

Firstly I'd ask what the purpose of the conference is. Is it to
a) foster the SQL community,
b) market the SQL Server Product
c) educate people on the use of SQL Server.

Personally I think PASS should be aiming for a and c and to that end I don't see any issue with moving to the east coast.

With regard Bills points.

Travel, Its a conference, whats the difference if its in east or west coast, I am sure there are just as many people working on the east coast that use SQL as there are on the west coast. And coming from Europe I have many more direct flight options than to Seattle (not hard really only 1 direct flight to Seattle from London)

Microsoft Support

Whilst the product team involvement is good I think its a small part in the scheme of things, if MS want PMs doing sessions then they can send them. IMHO sessions by independent experts are generally better than ones by product team PMs.

Using more indepenent people to run sessions I thing would be fine if the Microsoft people can't make it. So I don't think you would have less sessions and definitely not less focus on specific subjects.

The difference is the SQLCAT and CSS guys but as you mention these aren't based in Seattle and so moving to the east coast won't really make much difference.

The side sessions I agree will probably be impacted as will the ability to pop up to campus for a meeting, but that really only affects a small few and personally having MS send these people, who often aren't based in Seattle, over to the east coast isn't a big cost for MS in the scheme of things.

Logistics

My experiences suggest that putting on a good event is more down to the venue being a good venue, that know what works and know how their building works. For events the size of PASS I would be shocked at the venues not being able to provide this service. Whilst it won't be as slick first time in your eyes, generally the attendees don't notice, as long they are fed and the sessions run ok.

Cost

Having items produced local to the event is much greener and will save costs. There will be extra travle costs to get to the venue but in the budget of conference I would expect that to be < 1% of the cost of the conference. Once you have moved round 4 cities you can repeat and it will become easier.

Seattle

I'm sure there are other nice cities in the US.

Parting word

The one thing we have found running SQLBits and moving it around the UK is that we have a hard core of attendees but each event we have a new group of localised attendees. In not moving PASS around the US you are depriving these people of the opportunity of experiencing this valuable aspect of the SQL community and whats move deprive them of the valuable education that is available at PASS.

So get moving I vote for option (b) but more frequently move it around.

 


Published 04 January 2010 21:12 by simonsabin
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Comments

04 January 2010 21:41 by unclebiguns

# re: Should PASS hold the conference on the East coast

So are you going to run for the PASS BoD in 2010?  I think your experience with SQLBits would be invaluable.

I also would love to have someone on the board that agrees with me!

04 January 2010 22:53 by jamiet

# re: Should PASS hold the conference on the East coast

Sorry Si, I disagree. The more MSFT folks there the better as far as I'm concerned - I vote for keeping it in Seattle.

04 January 2010 23:11 by simonsabin

# re: Should PASS hold the conference on the East coast

unclebiguns

I've only so much time I can spend on community stuff.

04 January 2010 23:17 by simonsabin

# re: Should PASS hold the conference on the East coast

jamiet

I'm not saying there shouldn't be MS people there. I just think its a fairly lame excuse that just because the event isnt' over the water from the MS campus that MS can't send people to the main conference for their product.

05 January 2010 12:31 by jamiet

# re: Should PASS hold the conference on the East coast

Lame excuse it may be, but its a reality.

05 January 2010 13:43 by steveh99999

# re: Should PASS hold the conference on the East coast

Simon, I agree with you - also I was surprised at just how much jetlag I suffered travelling to the West Coast from the UK.... Seattle is an interesting city to visit, but not much fun waking up every day at 4am :)

05 January 2010 19:25 by SqlServerKudos

# Should PASS hold the conference on the East coast

Kudos for a great Sql Server article - Trackback from SqlServerKudos

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