Be gentle, It’s my first time
I have never attended a SQL Conference, but yesterday I took steps to rectify that situation. I registered for SQLBits Goes West, which is being held at the Celtic Manor in Newport, South Wales. Check out the SQLBits website for all the info. I am not able to get the Thursday off work but will be attending the Friday and Saturday sessions as well as any social events that crop up.
Building Your (My) Network
I have read several blog posts about networking and the value of your network. I can safely say that in my experience I count the value of my network very highly. It is a resource to be treasured, nurtured and utilised. One of my goals at SQLBits, and something that I am really looking forward to, is meeting more SQL Server folks. I currently follow a handful of people on Twitter and will be growing that number as quickly as I can over the next few weeks in an effort to get to ‘know’ a few more people before setting foot in the Celtic Manor. If you’re going and I’m not yet on your follower list, look me up (@lukehayler).
With a host of speakers and up to 350 participants there is a huge potential to extend your network. As I said before, I have not been to a conference and have only attended one SSUG (in person – many live meetings), so am going to be working the crowd as best I can (care of @BrentO’s weekly links):
I believe that I am actually quite a shy person, but there are those that could not disagree with me more. You’ll have to be the judge….
People who I believe are attending that I’d like to meet/meet again:
- Brent Ozar (Blog | Twitter)
- Jamie Thompson (Blog | Twitter)
- Simon Sabin (Blog | Twitter)
- Martin Bell (Blog)
- Dr John Tunncliffe (Blog)
- Vivek Serou (Blog | Twitter)
- John Stevens-Taylor
Conference: Booking a place at the SQLBits conference was straight forward. Just go to the registration page and follow the instructions. Apparently there are ‘only‘ 350 places, so be quick.
Accommodation:I have opted to stay at the Celtic Manor (Manor House Hotel) as it was not that much more expensive (with SQLBits discount) than other options close by and it affords me the convenience of being onsite (so no taxi fares, which make up the difference in the price anyhow). The key here (as per SQLBits website) is to call the Celtic Manor booking line on (+44) 01633 410 262 and book a room on the SQLBits book direct. This will mean that you get the discounted rate of £70/night instead of the £99/night.
Transportation: I will be catching the train from London Paddington to Newport, South Wales (care of First Great Western). I highly recommend booking this in advance (National Rail) – Normal return fare (anytime – travelling 20th Nov at 7am returning 22nd Nov at 10am) is (GBP) £173, booking in advance = (GBP) £44! That’s a fair saving, allowing me to get in a round of golf. If only…
Breaking down the costs:
|SQLBits Conference||Friday only||£99*|
|Manor House Hotel||2 nights @ £70||£140|
|Travel by Train||Return London Paddington||£44|
*Early bird special. This offer ends today (30th September), so hurry! has been extended to 31st October.
There is also an option on Conference registration for car sharing if you would prefer to try and save a bit more (including the planet).
Share the Love
I love the community, those people that are constantly giving back and are more than happy to share their knowledge with ‘the rest of us’. So thank you to those who share and to those who speak/organise & sponsor these events.
I am thoroughly looking forward to learning a lot, meeting some great people and making a few friends along the way. Hopefully I’ll see you there.