If you're a PASS member you may have noticed in this morning's Community Connector that the 2011 spring event I talked about recently has a name: The PASS SQLRally. We've also nailed down the dates and location - May 11-13 at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, FL.

Why am I saying "we"? Since my last post about the SQLRally I've joined the team helping to plan the event. Throughout the planning process I'll be providing updates on what we're doing - call it a behind the scenes look at what we're up to. I'll start with….

How We Decided On The Name
I mentioned that when Andy, Jack, and I put together a proposal to host the event in Orlando that we struggled with what to call it. We never found the right name so we just called it the "spring event" and figured we'd just worry about getting PASS to approve it first. They did, and fortunately for us we now had the power of the PASS marketing team to help figure out what to call it.

Let's all recognize the proverbial elephant in the room on this one: coming up with a good name is hard. There are a lot of things to consider:

  • Does it convey what the event is about?
  • Does it sound exciting\interesting?
  • Is it original? (think avoiding copyright\trademark violation)
  • Will it work as a Twitter hashtag?
  • Is it conducive to SEO?
  • Does it have "buzz"?

The list goes on but you get the point. We started with a list of around 150 variations on names and eventually narrowed it down to 3. After much debate we decided on SQLRally because it met all of the criteria above and lends itself really well to doing some fun branding. Looking at the definition of rally and you'll see it has some very appropriate meanings:

  • Beat up: gather; "drum up support"
  • A large gathering of people intended to arouse enthusiasm
  • An automobile race run over public roads

We're certainly all enthusiastic about SQL Server and the double meaning of a road race gives us the chance to have a little fun. Imagine speakers wearing checkered flag shirts and messaging like "rev up performance". Even topic centric "tracks" plays nicely into the rally theme. It wasn't easy, but in the end I think we've come up with a great name!

Now We Need A Logo
Now it's time to start building a brand around it all. The next thing we're going to tackle is coming up with a good logo that visually represents what this event is supposed to be about. Here's what I think is the cool part - you get to help. We're going to hold a contest to design the logo. Details will be announced soon so pay attention to the Connector and this blog!

- Kendal