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One Week Away from SQL Saturday #72 – Hawaii

2011/03/24

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I cannot even begin to tell you how elated I am to see that with still a week to go, that SQL Saturday Hawaii just broke the 150 mark for registrations.  This has been a long 5 months with lots of challenges to overcome, and am still battling, but to see that folks on the islands are just as excited to have this event coming to them as we all get here on the mainland, just fills me up.   I feel good knowing that each presenter, with only 3 tracks running, will likely average close to 50 in their sessions.  I can count on one hand the number of SQL Saturday sessions I’ve seen that had that many in them (keeping in mind this is just based on the ones I’ve been to in the past 3 years).

I know many of you are probably sitting there saying to yourselves why is she so excited about 150, many SQL Saturdays get way more than that these days.  Well, let me tell you a little story!  When I first called Mike Fors, the PASS .NET user group chapter leader there in Honolulu, back in October, (and Mike, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this story!),  I asked him if he had ever heard of SQL Saturdays, and went on to explain what these community events were all about.  After that, I asked him, “how many people do you think would come to a free day of training like this there in Honolulu”.  Well, his response shocked me.  He said “maybe 25”.  After picking up my jaw, I queried him as to why he thought that, and he said “there aren’t that many DBAs on the island, and those that are here, know everything there is to know about SQL”.  I held my laughter in so hard, my chest hurt!  But I had to respect the answers I was getting, and trust that he likely knew best, as he is actually living there, not me.  But knowing that not all SQL Saturdays are alike, and not all are expected to be super large events, and hearing Andy Warren’s voice in the back of my mind saying “even if 50 people get free training, it is a good event”, I decided to continue twisting Mike’s arm convincing Mike that we should forge forward and make it happen!

So we officially announced the event on the website in January.  I kept watching the numbers and watching, and they stayed at 15 for a long time…and those 15 were the speaker submissions!  I was freaking out!  Kept emailing Mike and the other organizers, Jeff Bloom and Chris Bayot, and wasn’t getting any replies.  I finally reached out to Nancy Nasso at PASS, and asked her to try to get in touch with Mike.  She emailed him and expressed her concerns over the low numbers.  It turned out, none of them had emailed the announcement to their mailing list of members (Jeff and/or Chris run the SharePoint user group there).  Mike and I planned a call the very next day to discuss.  He tells me that things are very laid back in Hawaii, that no one plans anything that far in advance, that it would basically had been a waste of time to send emails out and to let folks know about it (of course I’m thinking of Pensacola, it’s laid back and I still start planning that event months in advance!).  His plan was to send the announcement out the day after their next user group meeting, which was back in February.  The 25th to be exact.  Literally in less than a week, they were at 55.  I could breathe again!

This past Monday evening Team SQL Saturday and I had a conference call, and the excitement brewing over there is just simply awesome!  They are all so pumped, have some great things planned for the speakers and the attendees, awesome authentic bento boxes coming in for lunch that day, and just overall thrilled to see that THEY are going to be pulling off a great event for their community.  A community that not many things come FREE to them, and not especially the quality of training that these folks are about to receive from some of the best presenters out there.  And the real icing on the cake for me, was to hear them say “Oh, we will be doing this every year from now on!”.  Mahalo guys (and gal, Chris is a WIT!), you made my day!

From → SQLSaturday

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