I arrived at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center around 8:45 AM this morning to register for the 2009 PASS Summit. Most of the morning attendees were already in their pre-conference sessions that started at 8:30 AM, but there were still a few people milling around and stopping by the registration desk.
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This year the Summit team put together seven different pre-conference sessions. These pre-conference sessions where heavily favoring Business Intelligent and DBA topics, but there was still an Application Developer topic. These technical sessions offer a full day of intensive training for attendees that paid an additional fee to attend these sessions.
The reason I arrived early to the summit was to attend a series of PASS volunteer meetings. Today I first attended the Virtual Chapter Leader meeting where we discussed the ins and outs of managing and growing the virtual PASS chapters. Then I attended the PASS Chapter leader meeting. PASS is continuing to offer support and grow their offerings to help promote the growth of local chapters. If you have not already found a local PASS chapter or would like to form your own chapter more information can be found on the PASS website (http://sqlpass.org). The last volunteer meeting I attended was a short networking workshop with Don Gabor. Don is a networking expert, and helps the volunteers to be successful in networking at PASS. PASS is all about networking and this session was to help guide volunteers in helping PASS attendees to they can get the most out of their PASS experience.
The official beginning of the three-day PASS summit is the Welcome Reception, which started at 6:30 PM. The reception started with Wayne Snyder, PASS President, welcoming attendees. He kicked off the reception by talking about the Friend Referral program. This program is where attendees refer a friend to sign up for PASS. Referring a friend entered you into a drawing sponsored by DELL. DELL Mini computers were handed out to the lucky drawing winners.
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Wayne Snyder drawing the DELL Mini computer winners
At the welcome reception, the different virtual chapters were busy promoting their chapters. They were there to help attendees understand the value of each virtual chapter, and the different services each virtual chapter had to offer. Attendees had the opportunity to sign up to be on the mailing list for the different virtual chapters.
People meeting with the DBA Virtual Chapter
The highlight of the welcome reception was the always fun Quiz Bowl. Think Jeopardy! The Quiz Bowl takes on a Jeopardy look and feel, but the categories and answers are PASS and SQL Server related. This year Quiz Bowl was hosted by Tim Ford (aka sqlagentman) with his able-bodied assistant Louis Davidson (aka drsql). This year the Quiz Bowl participants were SQL Experts. The experts were broken up into three different teams, red, white, and blue. The red team experts were Kimberly Tripp and Paul Randall, white team consisted of Brent Ozar and Kevin Kline, the final blue team was made up of Joe Webb and Grant Fritchey. The red team ended up winning the 2009 Quiz Bowl.
Quiz Bowl 2009 Participants (Right to left -Tim Ford, Kimberly Tripp, Paul Randall, Brent Ozar, Kevin Kline, Joe Webb, and Grant Fritchey)
There was lots of networking among the participants at the welcome reception. I met people from all over the US and a few from Europe. If the welcome event is any indication of things to come then this years PASS event will prove to be another great SQL Server event to attend. If you are not able to make it to this years PASS event dont fret. Ill be providing daily updates of the happenings and announcements made at the PASS Summit 2009.