Please note that this website will be temporarily unavailable during the period 5:00 PM PST on Friday, Dec. 19 and 11:59 PM PST on Saturday, Dec. 20 due to a planned server migration. PASS apologizes for any inconvenience.

Got Your SQLRally Badge?

[cross-posted from Andy Warren's blog at sqlandy.com]

Just posted yesterday, you can download a very nice looking badge to show that you’re attending or speaking at the first SQLRally. As I get a lot more traffic via my RSS feed than direct visits to the web page I use an plugin called RSS Footer which lets you add HTML to either the header or footer of each post in your RSS feed. For those that are HTML challenged, it will be something like this (after you upload your image of course):

<p>
<a href=”http://www.sqlrally.com”>
<img src=”http://www.sqlandy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/SQLRally_Banner_728x90.jpg” alt=”SQLRally 2011 Banner” />
</a>
</p>

PASS Update #54-SQLSaturday Wish List

[cross-posted from Andy Warren's blog at sqlandy.com]

SQLSaturday IT Refresh

This is a draft of ideas for the upcoming IT refresh of SQLSaturday. Right now we’re trying to capture ideas and try to understand how they should be prioritized. We’re going to try to make an investment in each of three areas; public facing SQLSaturday web site, the site used by event leaders, and the site used by HQ do overall administration and reporting.

Public Site
  • Add a list on the front page of reserved dates/locations
  • List event leaders/photos (via gravatar), linkedin, twitter on front page
  • Add a page to reserve a date/location
  • Add a link to the front page that explains “national” sponsors and our process for selecting/updating them (and the page with the text as well)
  • Add a “schedule builder” that will let attendees pick the sessions they plan to attend and print the list (also used by event leaders to assign topics to rooms)
  • Fix data/formatting issues on View All Events Page, change to sort by Sat#
  • Add a link to the PASS logo on the header back to sqlpass.org
  • Change the LinkedIn link on the home page to point to the main PASS group (related task, remove the existing SQLSaturday LinkedIn group, set up a sub group in the PASS group)
  • Change the Facebook link to point to the PASS Facebook page, and close down the SQLSat page
  • Deploying pending changes (bug fix to calendar, sponsor logos moved to front page, images added to networking page)
  • Add links to Twitter and LinkedIn on the networking page for each member listed
  • Automatically add new users to SQLPASS.org, email them a welcome letter,notify local chapter
  • Add a page to let user see(or get emailed) their current reg/lunch status (and potentially this would include the ‘speed pass’)
  • Expose a standard set of data per event that can be used for mashups (subject to legal review),but should be event/session info that is available to public in XML/Odata format, put links to this data on the event page
  • Explose a standard set of data across events (subject to legal) including event names, locations, sessions, sponsors, etc. Might be more than one. XML/Odata format. Put links on main home page. Note, look at http://openconferenceprotocol.org/.
  • Option needed for speaker to edit presentation unless locked (this is true even if SB is online, they could need to fix a typo for example) (this requires a login/validation)
  • Review sizes of columns related to abstracts, if possible standardize to SB specs
  • Add option for ‘speed pass’ to be mailed out upon registration
  • Consider option to label raffle tickets per sponsor?
  • Consider supporting re-invoicing sponsors who have paid less than full amount (minus transaction fee) (not sure this is worth doing, low incidence)
  • Include a map that shows upcoming events, switch to show all events so far
  • Show testimonials on front page, either a list or maybe a rotating view
  • Change sponsor plan template to include a blog sponsorship
  • Change sponsor default options to include a $5 (or whatever currency) blogger option
  • Change the advisory council to include the “main” event leaders for the past 18 months, add text to explain the criteria and their role in guiding growth.
Event Leader Tools
  • Allow admin to change lunch fee, raise maximum to $15
  • Revise sponsor and budget pages to show currency being collected
  • Replace drag and drop schedule builder (for building actual schedule) with a better implementation (current one is slow/quirky)
  • Allow admin to see how many messages are queued ahead of their message
  • Allow them to approve messages via the site (in addition to current method of a link in email)
  • Open to receive event status report daily
  • Job to send event status report to all open/subscribed events, should go to all event admins for the event
  • Add page to “request a check” and to see status of the request
  • Post event survey page to capture info needed for reporting (see Nancy: lessons learned, # attendees, etc)
  • Fix issue with reports that don’t render correctly due to hidden eventid parameter
  • Implement the ability to do a mailing based on a user defined list (query)
  • Remove the option to email to all speakers (we will continue to send one email to that list per event that is set up until the speaker bureau goes online)
  • Provide option to set default currency for PayPal
  • Provide option to NOT send a PayPal link (check only)
  • Fix the Twitter notification process to announce sponsor and members on Twitter
  • Add an auto task to send out a link to a post event form asking for testimonials (form would be hosted on public site)
  • Provide UI tools to review/approve testimonials
  • Review ability to edit all public site pages, try to provide ability to edit content display more deeply than we have now (needs work)
HQ Tools
  • Review current reconcile process to determine if we can do more to speed up that process
  • Add a page to view check requests and update status
  • Page to add/update/remove reserved events
  • Online view/update of current event stats (from survey page or manually entered)
  • Online view of current sponsorship budget, amount allocated/reserved
  • Ability to email to all speakers, all event leaders
  • Review and refine the existing monthly report.
  • Add edit tools/storage for data points that need to be entered manually
  • Tools to handle tracking/updating of required/scheduled status calls/meetings and the results, should send weekly reminders to HQ
  • Online add/edit of event leaders, ability to tag “main” leader for each event
  • Track funds sent to events/remaining from sponsorship budget
  • Track additional support provided to event (lanyards, swag sent, etc)
Misc
  • Revise the SQLSaturday Logo to include a reference to PASS, update all sites to use it
  • Update the PayPal support to allow setting a default currency besides USD
  • Review all existing reports, fix if needed, remove ones that are duplicated or no longer needed
  • Please, help us understand what you want to see fixed and how it should be prioritized.
Added, not categorized:
  • Publish and make easily visible a suggested Powerpoint deck design
  • Publish a list of flyers used by various events for events to use for inspiration
  • Rework the graphics/layout to be as good as the SQLRally site
  • Track # of emails sent, delivered, undelivered, tagged as spam when sent via SQLSaturday.com
  • Make sure all actions require confirmation (needs discussion/detail)

Updates to the Governance Page - PASS Board Votes

Starting this month, PASS will be displaying all public votes of the Board of Directors prominently on the PASS Governance page.

This page is no longer gated, meaning you do not need to log in to view the information on that part of the site. If you are unfamiliar with the page, you may want to take a look around. You will find a detailed synopsis of PASS' financials, including charts and spreadsheets. You will also find records of all minutes going back to January 2009 (older copies available upon request), as well as high-level monthly reports of PASS activities.

To further highlight Board operations, a box has been added below the "Meeting Minutes" section on the left side of the page. This box, "Board Votes", will house monthly reports of all the decisions the Board reaches by means of official vote. There is a brief breakdown of the month's decisions at the top of the page. Below that, the detailed section of the report shows the motions that were made, who made them and in what venue (email, teleconference, or in-face), and how each Director voted on the issue at hand.

The first entry is March 2011. As the number next to the title indicates, only one motion was made in March. You can read the report by clicking here.

These changes are the result of discussions with various Board members, particularly Bill Graziano and Allen Kinsel. We hope this will further enhance transparency into the operations of PASS and its Board. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me or post a comment below.

Cheers!
Hannes Bezuidenhout
PASS HQ - Governance 

PASS Summit 2011: Save Money Now

[cross-posted from Bill Graziano's original Mar. 29 post on sqlteam.com]

Register by March 31st and save $200.  On April 1st we increase the price.  On July 1st we increase it again.  We have regular price bumps all the way through to the Summit.  You can save yourself $200 if you register by Thursday.

In two years of marketing for PASS and a year of finance I’ve learned a fair bit about our pricing, why we do this and how you react to it.  Let me help you save some money!

Price bumps drive registrations.  We see big spikes in the two weeks prior to a price increase.  Having a deadline with a cost attached is a great motivator to get people to take action.

Registering early helps you and it helps PASS.  You get the exact same Summit at a cheaper rate.  PASS gets smoother cash flow and a better idea of how many people to expect.  We also get people that are already registered that will tell their friends about the conference.

This tiered pricing lets us serve those that are very price conscious.  They can register early and take advantage of these discounts.  I know there are people that pay for this conference out of their own pockets.  This is a great way for those people to reduce the cost of the conference.  (And remember for next year that our cheapest pricing starts right after the Summit and usually goes up around the first of the year.)

We also get big price bumps after we announce the program and the pre-conference sessions.  If you wrote down the 50 or so best known speakers in the SQL Server community I’m guessing we’ll have nearly all of them at the conference.  We did last year.  I expect we will this year too.  We’re going to have good sessions.  Why wait?  Register today.

If you want to attend a pre-conference session you can always add it to your registration later.  Pre-con prices don’t change.  It’s very easy to update your registration and add a pre-conference session later.

I want as many people as possible to attend the Summit.  It’s been a great experience for me and I hope it will be for you.  And if you are going to go, do yourself a favor and save some money.  Register today!

 

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