Lessons on relocating – from running SQL Saturdays

I recently accepted a job offer in another town and relocated from my base of Louisville, KY. I have not relocated in 18 years, and had several lessons to learn in this process. Some lessons I had learned from 10 years of running SQL Saturdays came in handy for this…as below:

1 Plan: A SQL Saturday event takes months of planning. Typically we start with booking a venue at least a year before..then, depending on how funds come in, we put in pieces of the event in – such as shirts, swag, any other items needed to run the event, and so on. A move takes pre planning too, the earlier you start the better, and the more you plan for the better.

2 Get more than one quote for anything: Be it food, or shirts, or anything you need – get several quotes and weigh them against each other for what works best. This is the same – I spent hours poring over quotes from many different vendors before I found what suits my needs.

3 Logistics and convenience matter more than cost: Our SQL Saturday venue is not cheap. But, we have our logistics together here – we can go in the previous evening, get our tables and signage up, dump our swag somewhere – be ready for the next day. We are close to hotels and it is driving distance to many places – we may get a cheaper location but the logistics around this is a huge driver for us. While moving too – I got cheaper quotes but settled for one that met my logistical needs best. A place that would cart my stuff away, keep it in storage and deliver it when am ready – that was more expensive but it met my logistical needs better than cheaper places.

4 Some chaos cannot be planned around: There will always be things you don’t anticipate. The storage place I used for relocation expected me to bring my own key to lock up my stuff, at the very last minute. The SQL Saturday venue has a new manager who will open one hour later than the older one. At one SQL Saturday the caterer had a new driver who went to the other end of town and did not deliver coffee/breakfast. There is no way one can plan for things like this – they happen, we have to cope the best we can with it.

My dear friend Karla Landrum used to say ‘In the end what matters is that you helped that many people train and learn’…similarly , what mattered to me is that I finally moved. Things didn’t go perfect but that was ok.



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