SQLBits is almost upon us. In less than 10 days, around 400 people will be descending on the Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales for the 5th instalment of what I am led to believe is a first rate conference. Great speakers, great sessions, awesome venue, _____________ attendees. That space is intentional. I plan to fill it in once I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of you and making a few (hundred) new friends.
So I’ve been reading a lot in the last few weeks. As the PASS Summit has just come and gone, there are a multitude of blog posts out there about conference preparation, travelling tips, ways to cut costs, what type of questions you should and shouldn’t be posing to speakers/vendors/other attendees, starting conversations with others, making new acquaintances, as well as those about the actual conference.
My preparations have be slow and steady. Research has been the main focus, with understanding what sessions are on offer, who the speakers are and what events will be taking place ‘after hours’. The first two items here are easily accomplished by venturing over to the sqlbits website where you will find a description of each of the intended sessions, the speakers and their bios with links to their websites and other web presences (twitter) if any exist – most do, but there are a few who seem to be ghosts on the information super-highway (ha! when was the last time that you heard that phrase…). Say what you like, but I believe that if you are a speaker then you should at least have a spot on the intertubez where people can find out more about you and download your slides.
I’ve ordered a bunch of business cards from moo.com. They’re of the mini variety and hold all the vital contact info as well as a mug shot of yours truly – so you can remember who to avoid look for at the next meet…
I’ve started to put together a few questions for key people that I’m aiming to stalk find, meet and get to know a little better. I’ll bribe them with whatever they need to persuade them to stick around long enough find out who I am and to answer my questions – I find beer works pretty well in most cases.
What to do, Where to go
In terms of sessions that I’m thinking of attending, it depends on the schedule. I’ve been informed however, that although the schedule for the sessions has been done, ‘technical difficulties’ have meant that they are not yet available for the rest of us. Let’s hope they fix the issue soon… wink wink nudge nudge. Once I know when the sessions are to take place I’ll post a list that I’ll be attending.
On to the important stuff. Social Events! I have been searching for a while now, but have still to find any reference to the ‘after hours events’ – think organised dinners and karaoke sessions at the PASS Summit. This is due to the fact that either there are no events (yet) or they haven’t been adequately advertised. So, if any of you readers do have knowledge of any planned social events, please let me know. If there aren’t any planned events, well…, we’ll have to change that. Pronto.
I’ll see you there. SQLbits 2009.