Hawaii SQL Saturday #72 Recap
The month of April began with the very first ever SQL Saturday in Honolulu, Hawaii. I didn’t get to attend, but from what I’ve been told and watched all that day in pics via twitter, it was a great success for them. Their final attendee count via the website was 158, and 132 of those were actual “shows” for the day of the event. That’s a very good number for a first time SQL Saturday, and for only having three tracks. You can tell by some of the pictures (see below), these presenters had some very full rooms.
Team SQL Saturday Hawaii and I had a “debriefing” call this past Thursday to discuss what they felt went right, and what could they do better, and they wanted to go ahead and actually pick next year’s date for their 2nd Annual SQL Saturday (which I think they are looking at closer to mid April 2012). W00T!! Things that went right for them, the venue was very ideal, and parking was free from the college, so made it very easy for attendees to get access. The rooms were very large and held a decent amount of people, which was needed. Something they hope for next time is the ability to get into the facility the evening or day before and do the set-up of the vendor tables and post the signage. They weren’t able to do any of this until the morning of their event, so they felt very rushed, even though based on event evals submitted so far, the attendees felt the check-in process was very efficient. They had gone with very traditional bento boxes for lunch, but based on feedback so far, it sounds like they should go with another option for lunch time next year. They mentioned in the call potentially using the college cafeteria, which apparently provides a very nice lunch for such events.
As far as next year’s date, I recommended that they one, post it up as soon as they know, so more speakers can potentially be involved in the next event. And two, that they space the date farther away from other large conferences. This year’s SQL Saturday fell the same week as DevConnections, which I think a couple of those presenters would have tried to make it to Hawaii. They also plan to add more tracks next year, in particularly, a full track for SharePoint and BI. Their local presenter, Wen He [blog| LinkedIn ], did two SharePoint sessions, one including BI, and both rooms were packed out. (By the way, received an email from Wen post the event, thanking us for picking him and sharing an email he received from someone saying how professional a speaker he was and that he was TechEd quality. How nice! Wen, btw, bought a new $2K laptop for his SQL Saturday debut, said it was well worth it. Sweet!).
Many thanks to all the speakers, sponsors, Team SQL Saturday Hawaii, and of course the attendees for making SQL Saturday #72 a great event! Looking forward to next year, hopefully I’ll be at it!