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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:

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!

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  1. Karla, It was a great time for all. Both the techies and their wives seemed to have a fun time. It was great catching up with people I usually only see at the SQL Saturdays or PASS. The Tampa group has always had a social in December because they felt the season was so hectic that they did not want content people would miss – yet they wanted the opportunity to see anyone willing to show up. Ours has been much more informal – but this gives me ideas. Thanks for inviting me over – it was worth the drive. Best of luck with the changes you as a group are implementing. You have a talented pool of people – I am confident it will be great!

    • Thanks Pam, was so glad you could make it. It’s good for all of us to see how others do things and what their feedback is. I am certain Jack will do a great job with the chapter, and am anxious to see if the things being tried here will work on growing the actual attendance to the meetings. Thanks again, and we’ll see you in Tampa! Karla

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