All posts tagged 'SQLRally'
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Posted @ 2/23/2011 12:41 PM By Kendal Van Dyke
[Cross posted from Kendal Van Dyke's blog at http://www.kendalvandyke.com/2011/02/how-can-i-help-you-go-to-sqlrally.html]
I bet by now you've heard of SQLRally, be it from the blogosphere, Twitter, the PASS Connector bi-weekly emails, word of mouth at SQLSaturday or a user group meeting, or one of the other umpteen places that it's been mentioned. Until now our marketing efforts have been focused around building the brand by getting the word out, figuring that if we keep repeating it people will get the message and sign up to attend.
While chatting with attendees during last week's MagicPASS UG meeting in Orlando Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter) and I had an epiphany: we've done a lot to let everyone know what SQLRally is and that they should go but we haven't done a good job of actually helping them get there. What we discovered is that most people have heard about SQLRally and want to go but for a variety of reasons they aren't…or at least aren't yet - I'm hoping we can find a way to remove whatever barriers are keeping them from signing up.
So here's my question for you:
What can I do to help you go to SQLRally this May?
I'm looking for your honest feedback here. Tell me what's standing in your way and, if there's something I can reasonably do to help, I will.
Tag, you're it!
Posted @ 1/6/2011 7:09 AM By Kendal Van Dyke
[Cross posted from Jack Corbett's Blog at http://wiseman-wiseguy.blogspot.com]
In our original plan for PASS SQLRally we had set this week as the week to start voting for sessions. Unfortunately we are having to push back the voting for 1 week. The original schedule was:
- Professional Development: Jan 4-9
- Database & Application Development: Jan 10-16
- Enterprise Database Administration and Deployment: Jan 17-23
- BI Platform Architecture, Development and Administration: Jan 24-30
This has been changed to:
- Professional Development: Jan 10-16
- Database & Application Development: Jan 17-23
- Enterprise Database Administration and Deployment: Jan 24-30
- BI Platform Architecture, Development and Administration: Jan 31-Feb 6
Why has this happened?
There are a variety of reasons beginning with the fact that we put the event on a very aggressive schedule and didn’t plan for enough time between the PASS Summit and SQLRally voting, especially with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years being sandwiched in between.
It took longer than anticipated to break down the submissions into categories within the tracks. Our goal was to have 11 categories (one of which would be Summit Showcase) for each of the main tracks (DBA, Dev, BI) based on the distribution of topics within the track. That becomes more difficult when a third of the submissions in a track are locked into the Summit Showcase category. Yes, that many Summit speakers are interested in SQLRally as well. Another sign that this will be a great event.
We needed to communicate with some of the people who submitted abstracts to clear up some confusion we had when reviewing their submissions and we had to give them adequate time to respond.
Finally, we decided that we wanted to make the voting process an opt-in process. So we will be sending out an email to the PASS member list with a link asking you to opt-in to the voting process. Only those people who opt-in will be emailed the voting link each week. The planning team was concerned that PASS members who are not interested in or able to attend SQLRally would consider the voting emails to be spam, if we sent each voting announcement out to the entire PASS member list.
What’s the final outcome?
The event team believes that delaying the process by a week and giving the voters more time to review the abstracts will lead to a better event.
The planning of SQLRally has been a learning process for all involved as it is the first one. We are identifying issues in the process so that the next group planning a SQLRally will have a solid foundation to build upon.
Thanks for your patience.
Posted @ 12/14/2010 12:50 PM By Kendal Van Dyke
[cross-posted from Jack Corbeett's blog at wiseman-wiseguy.blogspot.com]
Well, we have 3 days left in the PASS SQLRally Call for speakers and we are doing well. We have over 70 completed submissions, there may be more in a “saved” state, with a great mix of topics across the three main tracks of Development, DBA, and Business Intelligence.
One area where we currently have a limited number of submissions is in our Professional Development category. Our goal is to have 3 professional development sessions (one a deep dive) so we’d like to have double-digit submissions in this track, so that the community will have nice group of sessions to choose from.
With our goal of having 48 unique speakers, we are still looking for more submissions across all tracks and for all levels of ability, from 100 level to 400 level topics.
So, have you submitted yet? If not, what's holding you back? Here’s a post by Brent Ozar that talks about how community involvement helped propel his career forward: Rock Stars, Normal People, and You.
(Note - if you have submitted you might want to double check that your abstracts are in a "submitted" state; we've noticed some abstracts are in a "saved" state which means they're still considered a work in progress)
Posted @ 9/9/2010 6:27 AM By Kendal Van Dyke
Hopefully by now you’ve heard about the PASS SQLRally event that will be held in Orlando, May 11-13. Andy Warren, Kendal Van Dyke, and I are the local members of the planning team and we are making our best effort to give you a look behind the curtain to see what it takes to make an event like this happen. Session/speaker selection is an area we are concentrating on because we would like to have the selection process be one of the differences between the SQLRally and the PASS Summit. Andy has already shared his thoughts and Arie Jones has a very well-thought out response on his blog here. This post focuses on the regular community sessions while Andy had already blogged about the Pre-Con process.
So what are our goals in the session/speaker selection process?
- Provide a high-quality event that provides a “taste” of the Summit.
- Provide a growth path for speakers.
- Involve the community in the process.
- Build a process that can be used as a template for other events.
So what are our plans for meeting the goals?
It really starts with being transparent in the process and getting input from the community along the way. This is why we are making the effort to blog about what we are doing and thinking. Some of our thoughts on session/speaker selection have been:
- Solicit abstracts similar to the Summit process but with a twist. A selection committee, likely consisting of a representative from the host chapter and 2 representatives from other local chapters, would rate the sessions and present at least 3 sessions (as available) for each slot to the community for vote.
- For 8-12 sessions, invite 24 previous Summit speakers to take part in SQLRally. We’d provide this list to the community who would pick the 8-12 speakers that they would like to hear from. These would be the “name” speakers for the event that get your boss to foot the bill.
- Invite best of Summit speaker for each track to present their 2010 Summit sessions.
- Solicit topics from the community and then have speakers submit sessions for those topics.
- Allow chapters to “nominate” speakers. Invite those speakers to submit abstracts.
- Assign session selection for different tracks to local chapters. For example, Orlando and Richmond might vote on DBA sessions, Tampa and Atlanta on BI, etc…
These ideas lead to some questions where we would love to hear what YOU think:
- Is there anything wrong with the Summit process?
- Who would/should be on the selection committee?
Having selected sessions for SQLSaturday and been on the Program Committee for the PASS Summit 2010, the hard part is deciding what is more important the content or the speaker. A great speaker can make poor content look good, while a poor speaker can make good content look bad. So should the community vote on the speakers or the sessions? Maybe a combination of both?
- Except in special situations such as those Summit speakers invited to submit and voted on by the community, not a Summit 2010 presenter.
- Experience presenting at chapters, SQLSaturday’s or similar events. We’d ask where, when, and what they have presented.
- Preferably a session that has been presented before. As Arie points out this may mean we miss some “new” features, but when I pay for an event I want to know that the material has been done before.
A key point in all of this is that we want the process to be repeatable so subsequent events can re-use and build on the process. While I wouldn’t say that the next local group that puts on the SQLRally would have to use the same process we use, I do hope that the framework we have laid will be able to be used to make their job a bit easier.
Please leave comments on the blog as we definitely are interested in YOUR thoughts on the process. There are no guarantees that your ideas will be included, but they WILL be considered.
Cross posted from Jack's Blog
Posted @ 9/9/2010 5:41 AM By Kendal Van Dyke
The starting point for a good meeting is an agenda and minutes. It took us a bit to catch up, but the minutes of our planning meetings so far are now available thanks to some work from PASS HQ, you can see them at http://www.sqlpass.org/Events/PASSSQLRally.aspx. I hope you’ll read them. I know minute aren’t page turners!
As I read them and think about all the discussion, it’s interesting how there are so many small discussions to be had and so many small decisions to be made. At a high level I think the formula is simple and direct, and now we just do all the things we can think of to make it work. In some ways I wish I could ask all of you on a lot of these, but that just doesn’t scale. Instead, we’ll share the minutes along with supplemental posts, and ask for your input on things that I think you’re most interested in or consider to be fun; picking the logo, pre-con process, and speaker selection.
Anyway, read the minutes.
Cross posted from http://www.sqlandy.com/archive/sqlrally-meeting-minutes/
Posted @ 9/1/2010 11:54 AM By Bettina Boyle
Hopefully you’ve heard by now that PASS is launching a new event format called SQLRally in May 2011 in Orlando. It will be a two day conference, preceded by one day of seminars. Because it’s a new format, we can – if we choose – build a new process for how we pick these seminars. I wrote the draft below after reading some notes about the Summit process and some conversations with Jack Corbett and Kendal Van Dyke, trying to make it more open, more democratic, but still recognizing the fiscal realities of picking seminars. We will be paying these speakers, and in turn attendees will be paying to attend these seminars. That means we may have to exclude some topics that lack broad enough appeal, and that is ultimately a value judgment.
My hope is that we can do this and announce the five seminar speakers at the Summit at the same time we open registration. The reason for that is to generate some buzz around the event, to give potential attendees something to show the boss while we work on the really hard part, selecting the speakers for the conference. That means we’ve got a short timeline if we want to make that goal.
As I write this I’m struck that it’s hard to figure out where to start. Who gets to write this draft? Who approves it? As we’ve modeled SQLRally it’s a partnership between PASS HQ, the Board of Directors, and the local chapter, so I think ultimately it’s fair to have them make the final decision. But we don’t want to make that decision without a discussion with the community, so that brings us to this post today.
I hope you’ll comment on this process, and try to see it not just from one view point. Eventually we’ll settle on something, we’ll try it, and then we’ll revisit it afterwards to make changes for the next time. I don’t expect we’ll get it all right the first time, but it won’t be for lack of trying!
And now, the draft….
Pre-Conference Seminar Proposal
Note: This is a draft. We encourage those interested in submitting a proposal to begin work based on this draft, understanding that there may be changes as we go through the discussion process.
PASS is accepting applications to for three full day (7 hours each) seminars and two half day (3.5 hours each) to be delivered on May 10, 2011 at the Marriott World Center in Orlando. Applications will be reviewed by the selection committee and winners notified not later than October 29, 2010, with the official announcement of accepted seminars being made at the 2010 PASS Summit.
Our biggest goal is to select a set of seminars that will be interesting to a broad set of main conference attendees and that will be perceived as worthy of the additional expense. The second goal is to grow the next generation of seminar speakers for the Summit (Note: being selected for a SQLRally seminar does not imply or guarantee acceptance as a seminar speaker at the Summit).
Presenters must meet the following requirements to be considered:
- Have not been selected to present a pre/post seminar at the 2010 PASS Summit
- Be available to present the seminar on May 11, 2011
- Be available to attend the entire conference on May 12-13, 2011 and deliver a one hour presentation (subject to session acceptance)
- Meet at least one of the following:
- Be a current SQL Server MVP
- Have been selected as a primary or alternate speaker at the 2009 or 2010 PASS Summit or similar sized event
- Have taught a full day course on SQL Server previously
- Submit a complete application prior to the deadline by midnight on Sep 30, 2010 (Pacific time)
- Agree to the confidentiality provisions of this document (not complete)
Presenters will be paid $2000 for presenting a full day seminar, or $1000 for a half day seminar, and will be granted complimentary admission (non-transferrable) to the main conference. Presenters are responsible for their own expenses.
Abstract Review Process
The selection committee will be comprised of one representative from PASS HQ, one representative from the PASS Board of Directors, one representative from the SQLRally partner Chapter, plus three community members. Each abstract will be review to make sure it meets the qualifications listed above, those that do not will be declined and the submitter notified. Eligible abstracts will be scored using the criteria in Appendix A. The top three abstracts in each category will be selected to proceed to the community voting round.
Note: We have not decided on how to choose the three community members. One method would be to randomly select a chapter leader, a previous pre-con speaker, and a community member from a pool of applicants. Too bulky?
PASS HQ will announce the candidate abstracts/presenters by October 7th and open community voting for a period of 2 weeks. The abstract with the most votes in each category will be selected as the winner. Ties will be decided by the Selection Committee.
Winners will be notified by email and required to confirm their final acceptance within 7 days. In the event that any winner cannot be contacted, the Selection Committee may void the selection and pick the abstract from that category with the next highest number of votes.
Abstracts must be prepared using the provided form and submitted to PASS HQ not later than midnight on Sep 30, 2010 (Pacific time). Candidates may only submit one abstract for consideration. Candidates who submit multiple abstracts will be disqualified. Candidates are encourage to put as much detail in to the application as possible, it both aids the Selection Committee and provides a strong basis for building the advertising material that will be used to market it if accepted.
It is our intention to stick as closely as possible to this document for the selection process, but this document does not cover every eventuality. In the event that the Event Team decides to deviate from the process outlined above, they will explain at the time the winners are announced why the change was necessary.
Appendix A – Seminar Scoring
NOTE: Huge gap here, looking for help!
1. Speaking qualifications
2. Community name recognition
3. Overall quality of application
4. Broad Community Interest in Topic?
5. Community Participation
Appendix B – Seminar Application Form
Part 1 – Presenter Data
1. Full Name
2. Mailing Address
3. Email Address
4. Primary Phone
5. LinkedIn URL
6. Twitter Handle
7. Blog URL
8. Biography (300 words max)
9. Is MVP
10. Is MS Employee
11. Basis for qualification
- Current MVP
- Past Summit presenter
- Teaching experience
12. Details of presenting experience (list event/topic/paid or free)
13. Links to video demonstrating presentation skills (minimum 1 required)
14. Details of community participation not listed in item #12 above
Part 2 – Abstract
a. Full Day
b. Half Day
3. Summary (300 words)
4. Suggested pre-requisite knowledge, if any
5. Skill Level
7. List 5 skills that attendees will take home
8. Seminar outline
a. Broken down into one hour modules
b. List high level discussion points
c. List planned demos
PASS Board Member
Cross posted from SQL Server Central
Posted @ 9/1/2010 11:50 AM By Bettina Boyle
Prior to creating SQLRally the world of PASS consisted of the PASS Summit which is our annual mega-event, the European Summit, SQLSaturday, chapter meetings, and the occasional launch event. With all that going on, did we need another brand? What market void does it fill? And how is it different from our other events? I think those are interesting questions on their own, but if you happen to be interested in business they are even more so – you’ll face the same kind of decisions at some point.
Let’s start with the branding question. We debated having an ‘east coast’ Summit, a Summit Lite, and even a SuperSQLSaturday. There might come a time when we need to conduct more than one true Summit in a year, but for now we really want to keep it as the top of the pyramid, have it remain the event to attend if you’re a SQLServer professional. We worried that a ‘lite’ version would dilute our most powerful brand, so we crossed that off as well. Leveraging our SQLSaturday brand was certainly interesting and we even called it SuperSQLSaturday a bit entirely to help us focus on the mission statement, but ultimately the brand didn’t work; this was going to be a ‘for pay’ event and we it’s very important that we preserve SQLSaturday as free.
The market void was obvious and loudly heard by the Board, we needed to take better care of our East coast members and until we can move the Summit, we needed an interim solution. Reactionary? Maybe, but sometimes it’s good to react to customer wishes, and we didn’t make the decision based solely on that. We needed an event format we could take to other countries that don’t yet have the critical mass for a Summit of their own. We also needed to build a progression for speakers – what I call a farm club.
We knew we needed a new brand and logo, but what we really needed was the vision, the understanding of what this event would look like, how it would be different, how it would be the same, and more. A lot of what we talked through in the process of building that vision was understanding the differentiators. Look at some of these, and then we’ll come back to the vision again:
||Avg of 250
||$995 – $1995
Hopefully as you look at that you’ll see that SQLRally is positioned in the middle, maybe just a bit closer to SQLSaturday than the Summit depending on where you focus. There are other differences, for example we won’t be recording sessions at SQLRally. SQLRally will be slower paced than the Summit, less formal.
Over the long term we expect that location will always matter, traveling a short distance will always be attractive in terms of time and money. But location isn’t everything. We’re also betting that SQLSaturday will drive people to attend SQLRally, especially if they have to fund it themselves, or if the boss still isn’t sure about the value of flying them to the Summit. We also think that people will have a great time at the SQLRally and part of that will be absorbing the sense of ‘if you think this is fun, wait until you go to the Summit!’.
To me, SQLRally fills an obvious gap in a lot of ways. It’s also important to see that this is a big part of what PASS does for the community; it finds ways to bring together smart and passionate people and then tries to stay out of the way while good things happen. Of course there are a lot of details still to go, and we’ll try to share a lot of them with you between now and May 2011.
PASS Board Member
Cross posted from SQL Server Central
Posted @ 8/10/2010 7:00 AM By Kendal Van Dyke
With 63% of the total votes our winner is Speedometer! Congratulations to azzam on 99designs and thank you to everyone else who submitted logos and took the time to vote for their favorite design.
Posted @ 8/5/2010 7:57 AM By Kendal Van Dyke
We received over 100 submissions for our 99designs contest to design the SQLRally logo. The SQLRally planning team, with help from the PASS Board of Directors, have narrowed the list down to 3 finalists. Now it's up to the SQL community to help pick the winner! Check out the 3 logos below, then head on over to the voting page and cast your vote for the best design. Voting is open until Monday, August 9, 3 PM Eastern\12 PM Pacific time. Don't wait, vote today!
Posted @ 7/22/2010 10:30 AM By Kendal Van Dyke
Now that the PASS SQLRally (formerly known as the spring event) has a name it's time to start building a brand…and you have a chance to help! We're running a logo design contest and you're invited to enter. At stake is fame, a $310 prize, and consideration for bidding on the SQLRally website design if you're picked as the winner. Remember we're targeting the cost of the SQLRally at $299 so if you win you could cover the cost of admission.
The contest is open now and runs until 1 PM EDT, July 29, though we reserve the right to extend it depending on the quality and number of entries we receive. So what are we looking for?
- Logo to be used on website (we will be creating a new event site, ideally with the logo designer), conference name badges, simple onsite signage, possibly on bag or tshirt
- Consideration to racetrack/car rally imagery
- Require both one color (B&W) and color versions
- Future requirements include website design. Preference will be given to the logo designer to bid on future design extensions.
- Should give some consideration to the existing PASS organization color palette/font however not at all restricted to using existing:
- Black and White PASS logo used primarily in print applications
- Grey: 70% Black
- PASS Red: Pantone 1795 C, CMYK 0, 94, 100, 0
- PASS Blue: Pantone 294 C, CMYK 100, 58, 0, 21
- Light Blue: CMYK, 100, 30, 0, 0
- Font: Helvetica Neue
Think you've got the winning design? Head on over to 99designs to check out the full design brief and submit your entry!