OPASS 2010 Holiday Social Recap
Tuesday evening was the last user group meeting of 2010 for OPASS, and this one was less of a meeting and more of just a “Thank You” to our members here in central Florida. We had an attendance of around 50 which we encouraged members to bring their spouses or a friend with them. We did start with some very exciting announcements which included:
- Info on upcoming virtual trainings
- Special thanks to the sponsors that helped make the Holiday Social a huge success, those being SQLShare, Consultis, RedGate, Idera, SQL Server Central, Apress, Wrox, PASS, and Microsoft
- Info on SQLRally
- The “birth” of MagicPASS in Celebration, south Orlando, led by Kendal Van Dyke
- Pam Shaw of the Tampa SQL Server Users group was able to come over and join us, and she discussed the upcoming SQL Saturday #62 and provided flyers to everyone with details on “Day of Data”
- Jack Corbett discussed some changes that OPASS is trying out in 2011 (more on this below)
- The Q1 speaker line-up for OPASS which are Kevin Kline, Brian Knight, and our INETA mentor here in Florida, Ken Tucker
- Other verbally committed speakers for 2011
- And lastly special thanks to our 2011 Quarterly sponsors, those being RedGate, Idera, and Telerik so far
One of the things that Jack, our new fearless leader (stepping into some big shoes, since Andy Warren handed over the baton), is trying for the OPASS meetings is a new location, moving further north of Orlando to Lake Mary, putting more distance between MagicPASS and ONETUG (the .NET user group that meets in downtown Orlando). The other change OPASS is trying out is adding more variety to the meeting topics, mixing in more than just SQL. Currently the plan is to have the primary topic be SQL one month, and something developer related the next month, but adding a short “shot” topic of the opposite technology for each month. So for example, in January we have Kevin doing “Ten Things Every .NET Developer Should Know About SQL Server”, and our 15 minute “SQL- shot” presentation is going to be done by a local member. Of course we will have to be flexible with speakers schedules, so it may not be exactly every other month that we switch between developer related and SQL related topics, but each meeting we intend to have at least something to offer to both walks of life. Lake Mary is like a tiny silicon valley here, with many IT companies, so this is what prompted both the above ideas, thus hoping to increase the number of folks who can attend the monthly meetings, and offering MagicPASS to those that are further south of here.
We ended the meeting with a Dirty Santa game, known to others as many things like Yankee Christmas and White Elephant. All the gifts were swag and licensed software provided by our sponsors, with a few Christmas type gifts for those who attended that aren’t into “geeky toys” (I know, who doesn’t love this stuff!).
Based on the many comments and emails post the event, all in all I think most everyone had a really good time. Two things that I am personally happy to see come out of it, we had a seasoned speaker named Lilly Schmidbauer offer to speak on SQL at a future meeting, and we are hoping she will sign up to speak at SQLRally and the upcoming WIT 24HOP. Keep an eye out for her! The other great thing, and something I was really hoping for, I was approached by a local company interested in sponsoring some meetings next year. Local support is something we are really trying to get more of here in this area, and happy to see that along with Consultis, someone else sees the value in this type of community support and what the OPASS mission is all about.
Happy Holidays everyone!