PASS SQLRally Update–Voting Pushed Back

[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:

This has been changed to:

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.