A casual twitter-conversation with Karla Landrum and some other peeps led me down memory lane on older events. Our SQL Saturday at Louisville will be 9 years old this year. We were event #23, in 2009. SQL Saturdays started two years before, in 2007.
Our first event was held at a training center – 2 tracks, 6 speakers, 29 sessions submitted, 3 sponsors and about 60 attendees. We outgrew that location the very next year. Our present event has 6 tracks, close to 300 attendees, 109 sessions submitted so far.
The 22 events before us were as below:
1 Orlando, FL
2 Tampa, FL
3 Jacksonville, FL
4 Orlando, FL
5 Olympia, WA
6 Cleveland, OH (did not actually happen).
7 Birmingham, AL
8 Orlando, FL
9 Greenville, SC
10 Tampa, FL
11 Tacoma, WA
12 Portland, OR
13 Alpharetta, GA
14 Pensacola, FL
15 Jacksonville, FL
16 South Florida
17 Baton Rouge, LA
18 Orlando, FL
19 East Iowa, IA
20 Jacksonville, FL
21 Orlando, FL
22 Pensacola, FL
A lot of the Florida events are past their 10 year anniversary. Many others will be having one this year or next year. This means 10+years of free training to many, networking opportunities, small businesses that have profited by providing services and vendors who have <hopefully> found more customers. If you attend any of these events make sure to thank the organizers – an event is a LOT of work to organize and doing it for 10+ years is no mean achievement – it takes considerable motivation and hard work. Some of my personal choices of memories around 9 years of running this include –
1 I did not have breakfast/coffee delivered once. This is probably the biggest thing I remember that went wrong during my decade of running the event. The food vendor had an employee who was new to town and made his delivery somewhere else (pre GPS days). I still recall that frantic morning with upset speakers and repeat calls to the food vendor.
2 One of the free locations we hosted our event in once threatened to cancel on us on the Friday before. The reason given was that there was ‘an inch of snow’ on the ground and they did not want to risk anybody’s safety. I was on my way to speaker dinner, and had to turn around to talk to them and convince them otherwise. One inch of snow is a big deal for some people. My team and the only volunteer we have left from those days – Deana, has stories on planting signs on the road on a frozen morning. Needless to say, we never had an event in winter ever again.
3 We had 8 tracks at one event. There was a new speaker who was doing her first talk and had nobody show up at her class. She was in tears. We never overdo how many tracks we have after that.
4 Among my other favorite (smaller) memories of the decade include –
1 A lady DBA who was also a new mom attended the WIT session we had with Kevin Kline and Karen Lopez. She was close to quitting her job and decided to stick on after she heard them.
2 One of my events happened to fall on my birthday. Some of the attendees got a big cake and I had a ‘happy birthday’ sung to me by hundreds of people.
3 Wendy Pastrick, one of the PASS board members appreciated our event as among the best organized smaller events.
4 Tim Ford convinced me to attend SQL Cruise during my of events. I’ve attended a cruise every year since then.
5 Hearing attendees talk about ‘do you remember 5 years ago…we came here..’ – never tire of that, ever.
Thank you to all the organizers of the events above for your dedication and hard work..and hope to keep this going as long as we can!! If you are an organizer of any of the above events – do write more on your favorite memories!!
Thanks for reading.