Let the Conversations Begin!

A good dialogue is a great basis for elections. Take advantage of these opportunities to voice your opinion: 

  • Participate in the elections forums below. To post, just log in at the top right of the page.
  • Join the #passvotes discussion on Twitter and review our Sept. 23 Twitter Chats with the candidates.
  • Watch recordings of our Sept. 24 Town Hall meetings with the candidates: Town Hall 1 | Town Hall 2
  • Contact PASS HQ - questions will be addressed or escalated to the NomCom Chair.


Blogs

If you write an elections-related blog post that you'd like to see here, please send us an email including the title and URL of your blog post and the date you posted it. We will be updating the list daily. 

Candidates


Community

Summit Location
Last Post 26 Sep 2013 03:47 PM by Tim Ford. 7 Replies.
Printer Friendly
Sort:
PrevPrev NextNext
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages Not Resolved
Andy Warren
New Member
New Member
Posts:6

--
23 Sep 2013 04:29 PM  
Candidates, I'd like to know where you stand on the issue of the Summit location - will you vote for moving it around the US to different cities/timezones, or do you think it should be permanently located in Seattle?
Ami Levin
New Member
New Member
Posts:12

--
24 Sep 2013 09:53 AM  
Hi Andy,

Thank you for bringing this issue to discussion.
The popular vote is of course to have a fair 'share' of local summits around all major US regions.
It will definitely make it more easily accessible to many members.
However, we need to look at the entire set of factors that come into play and I do believe that the summit's location in Seattle has a huge impact on its success.
First and foremost, is the unprecedented support we get from Microsoft.
Having the summit in their "back yard" provides a huge added value. For example, the large SQL Clinic put together by the CSS and SQLCAT which gives members the opportunity to meet with program managers and top support engineers. In Seattle, Microsoft deliver 50-70 sessions. I don't any of that happening at the same scale outside of Seattle.
Another factor to consider is the summit logistics and costs. With the experience that PASS has gathered with having the summit in Seattle, PASS has an optimized process already in place. We found our cost-effective, trusted vendors and service providers, we know the venue challenges and how to work around them. PASS HQ is in Vancouver, which makes logistics and shipping to Seattle easy.
Of course, all of these challenges can be overcome with any other venue across the country but that means investing more resources and spending much more money out of the limited budget. It also means there is more room for error.
However, I believe there are several in-between ways.
One option I support is having Seattle as the base location for the summit, and have a rotation schedule where every 3 or 4 years PASS will hold the summit in other regions. Here too, I think it is important to have no more than 2-3 additional base locations so that in the long run, the extra resources required are kept to a minimum.
Another idea is to have more than one annual summit. I know this idea has been around for a while and I believe that it is well worth investigating. In a sense, the BAC summit is a step in that direction, and I believe it can be used as a case study to evaluate the effectiveness and resources required to hold multiple summits.
The bottom line is that in the short terms, there is no solution that will please all members.
If elected, I will vote for the first option (3-4 year rotation) and at the same time try to see if we can make a solid case for hosting multiple summits.

Thanks again for your concern and support,

Ami Levin
Amy Lewis
New Member
New Member
Posts:8

--
24 Sep 2013 10:37 AM  
Hi Andy,

Thanks for the great question. I know this has been on the mind of many in the community, especially with the move of the Summit to Charolette.

There are many factors for chosing the best location for the Summit. The Summit location must be decided considering where the larger segments of the PASS org.'s members are located, ease of travel to that location, cost, relationships with vendors in the area, facilities available for the Summit given the growing number of members, Microsoft's contributions to our Summit and would they be available at locations over than Seattle.

We have seen tremendous growth, especially the past few years. I would recommend the PASS Board of Direcrtos to do a review of all of the above factors after this year's Summit and compare it with past PASS Events in Seattle. Added to the mix of input as stated above, should be the demographic location of the majority of the PASS Community.

-Amy

Want to learn more about Amy? Please check out the below links:
Candidate Page: http://www.sqlpass.org/Elections/Ca...Lewis.aspx
Board Application: http://www.sqlpass.org/LinkClick.as...&mid=18041
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/amy-lewis/3/429/47b/Edit
Richard Douglas
New Member
New Member
Posts:12

--
24 Sep 2013 12:32 PM  
Hi Andy,

Thanks for posting your question, I know this topic rouses a lot of emotions for a number of people.

Personally I believe that moving the event around can be a good thing. Figures from this years Summit as Charlotte will be key in seeing if this is a viable ongoing concern. The BA Conference was not held in Seattle and that did not seem to suffer from what I have read.

In the UK we have an event called SQLBits which makes a point of moving around the country in order to make it easier for people to attend. An organizer of the event told me a few years back that they see a hardcore following of a few hundred people who would follow the event wherever it went and the rest of the attendees tend to come from the surrounding area, most of these for the very first time. I see no reason why the same would not be true of moving the PASS Summit round the US. Previous PASS surveys seem to back this statement up.

An argument I have heard for keeping the Summit in Seattle is that Microsoft can provide more employee's on site for Ask the Expert areas and a large number of sessions. However, this does not seem to stack up when you consider that TechEd has been held in 7 different areas since 1999 and will see it's eighth different location in 2014:


* Atlanta - 2001, 2011
* Boston - 2006
* Dallas - 1999, 2003
* Los Angeles - 1996, 2009
* New Orleans - 1994, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2013
* Orlando - 1993, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012
*
San Diego - 2004

* Houston - 2014


It is likely however that if the summit were to move then Microsoft would undoubtedly reduce their presence which is understandable. They have a budget like every other company and increased travel costs would result in reduced staffing at the event. If this is perceived to be a problem I am sure that a large number of MVP's would be more than willing to step into the void if they were asked in advance. If we discuss the issue of the number of sessions that Microsoft provide, is this really a problem? There was a huge amount of submissions this year and yes it is possible that not all of these sessions will be of the same standard as Microsoft may be able to provide, but think of the extra viral marketing that could be received by more people blogging and tweeting that they have been chosen to speak at the largest SQL Server event on the planet! Microsoft are not going to hold back their best staff as that would prove counterintuitive to what is essentially an awesome showcase for their product.

The one time that I believe that you really need a lot of Microsoft staff is a release year, at this point we will all be clambering to hear about the internals of the latest feature and how that widget will save our company, make us all superhero's in the eyes of our colleagues and make us all mortgage free. From this perspective I would suggest that we revert back to Seattle on release years.

PASS Summit 2012 was my very first PASS summit as up until that point none of my previous employers would pay for me to go, so Seattle holds a very special place in my heart. I would love to look around Microsoft (Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, if you are reading this I would love a tour) but for the good of the community I feel it would be better to move the conference around.

Large companies can afford to send their staff across the US, whether it is in Seattle or Orlando would make little difference to their overall budgets. Take a moment to think about all the small - medium companies (the backbone of most economies) who can't afford the conference fee and then the travel and expenses on top. Moving the conference around will engage with more members and surely that is what we all want? We want to inspire our members to be all that they can be. We want them to have the same experiences of being part of the SQLFamily and to promote PASS Chapters in their area. Don't they deserve the same opportunities as those who live in the Seattle area?

It is for these reasons that I would vote to move the summit around the US instead of keeping it in Seattle with the caveat of it returning on release years until such time that we outgrow the venue.

Regards,
Rich
Neil Hambly
New Member
New Member
Posts:11

--
24 Sep 2013 05:32 PM  
Hi Andy

We again touched on this in our Town Hall Chat today, my thoughts on the location of the Summit are as follows

We have it in Seattle every 3 years, on the other 2 we look to hold it @ other location in the US, this year we are in Charlotte and another year it can be more positioned in the another part of the US, however with this said there is still the argument that the Summit is just be a US event and not held outside the US

I do believe we need to consider hosting this type of event outside the US, so this is what I would like to see happen over the next 2-5 years (just my opinion)

Summit-US 2 events in Seattle (2014 & 2016), 1 in Charlotte (2013), 1 in mid states (2017), 1 in South (2015)
Summit-EMEA An EMEA Summit in 2014 or 2015 and then every 1-2 years thereafter
Summit-ASAI An ASIA Summit in 2015 and every 1-2 years thereafter

I acknowledge that the Summit home is Seattle and wish to keep it special association with Microsoft location and great conference facilities and other Seattle landmarks we know and love

I'm also mindful of the advanced planning that these would take with multi-year booking lead times, increased HQ load for ant new non Seattle based events, if we want growth then we need to accept the growing pains that come along

Neil Hambly
http://www.sqlpass.org/Elections/Ca...ambly.aspx

Allen Kinsel
New Member
New Member
Posts:10

--
25 Sep 2013 05:36 AM  
Andy,

As someone who fought by my side on the Board to get the summit moved from Seattle this year I think you know exactly where I stand on this issue but, Ill reiterate for everyone else.
3 years ago I firmly believed that the benefits of a Summit outside of Seattle outweighed any perceived drawbacks. The intention was always to analyze the performance after one Summit away from Seattle and see how it did. Today I still believe the same thing is true but I want to reserve complete judgment until after the Summit in Charlotte

More information about me and my platform can be found on my site
http://www.allenkinsel.com/pass-election
Allan Hirt
New Member
New Member
Posts:1

--
26 Sep 2013 10:58 AM  

Posted By Richard Douglas on 24 Sep 2013 12:32 PM
Hi Andy,

Thanks for posting your question, I know this topic rouses a lot of emotions for a number of people.

Personally I believe that moving the event around can be a good thing. Figures from this years Summit as Charlotte will be key in seeing if this is a viable ongoing concern. The BA Conference was not held in Seattle and that did not seem to suffer from what I have read.

In the UK we have an event called SQLBits which makes a point of moving around the country in order to make it easier for people to attend. An organizer of the event told me a few years back that they see a hardcore following of a few hundred people who would follow the event wherever it went and the rest of the attendees tend to come from the surrounding area, most of these for the very first time. I see no reason why the same would not be true of moving the PASS Summit round the US. Previous PASS surveys seem to back this statement up.

An argument I have heard for keeping the Summit in Seattle is that Microsoft can provide more employee's on site for Ask the Expert areas and a large number of sessions. However, this does not seem to stack up when you consider that TechEd has been held in 7 different areas since 1999 and will see it's eighth different location in 2014:


* Atlanta - 2001, 2011
* Boston - 2006
* Dallas - 1999, 2003
* Los Angeles - 1996, 2009
* New Orleans - 1994, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2013
* Orlando - 1993, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2012
*
San Diego - 2004

* Houston - 2014


It is likely however that if the summit were to move then Microsoft would undoubtedly reduce their presence which is understandable. They have a budget like every other company and increased travel costs would result in reduced staffing at the event. If this is perceived to be a problem I am sure that a large number of MVP's would be more than willing to step into the void if they were asked in advance. If we discuss the issue of the number of sessions that Microsoft provide, is this really a problem? There was a huge amount of submissions this year and yes it is possible that not all of these sessions will be of the same standard as Microsoft may be able to provide, but think of the extra viral marketing that could be received by more people blogging and tweeting that they have been chosen to speak at the largest SQL Server event on the planet! Microsoft are not going to hold back their best staff as that would prove counterintuitive to what is essentially an awesome showcase for their product.

The one time that I believe that you really need a lot of Microsoft staff is a release year, at this point we will all be clambering to hear about the internals of the latest feature and how that widget will save our company, make us all superhero's in the eyes of our colleagues and make us all mortgage free. From this perspective I would suggest that we revert back to Seattle on release years.

PASS Summit 2012 was my very first PASS summit as up until that point none of my previous employers would pay for me to go, so Seattle holds a very special place in my heart. I would love to look around Microsoft (Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, if you are reading this I would love a tour) but for the good of the community I feel it would be better to move the conference around.

Large companies can afford to send their staff across the US, whether it is in Seattle or Orlando would make little difference to their overall budgets. Take a moment to think about all the small - medium companies (the backbone of most economies) who can't afford the conference fee and then the travel and expenses on top. Moving the conference around will engage with more members and surely that is what we all want? We want to inspire our members to be all that they can be. We want them to have the same experiences of being part of the SQLFamily and to promote PASS Chapters in their area. Don't they deserve the same opportunities as those who live in the Seattle area?

It is for these reasons that I would vote to move the summit around the US instead of keeping it in Seattle with the caveat of it returning on release years until such time that we outgrow the venue.

Regards,
Rich


Have to disagree a little here, Andy. I live in Boston (and yes, I did speak at TechEd Boston but that is somewhat irrelevant to this discussion). Whether I am flying to Charlotte or Seattle, the costs for me are basically the same. Airfare is anywhere from $300 - $600 round trip depending on when you get it, and hotel room rates are comparable (roughly $200). I've been to Summit when it hasn't been in Seattle, so it's not like Charlotte is the first time this has happened.

So I think you are not quite understanding the economics of travel here. No matter where you host the event at least here in the US, I don't think you're going to save much for anyone who has to fly - period. And let's say like the BA Conference it's held in Chicago - is Summit going to get a huge influx of DB folks from Wisconsin driving down? Probably not. Even if they drive down, they still need to pay for hotel.

I'm not saying that Summit shouldn't be elsewhere. I think a change of venue is nice. But to say it should be because it would be cheaper for SMBs is quite laughable. And to say that large companies can afford to sent people - not sure what companies you work with, but I know plenty of companies with fairly deep pockets who won't send people to conferences or training. Not sure you have a firm grip on what's going on out there.

I would venture to say no matter where the venue is - Seattle or otherwise - 90 - 95% of the people are flying in and staying in hotels.
Tim Ford
New Member
New Member
Posts:1

--
26 Sep 2013 03:47 PM  
Plain and simple... Seattle. We drink from the fountain of Microsoft. You don't move the fountain, you go to the fountain.
You are not authorized to post a reply.

Active Forums 4.2