Monday – travel day
Ah Summit time! The biggest and best time to meet up with SQLfamily. You always get pockets of SQLfamily at SQLSaturdays throughout the year but this is the time when EVERYONE is there for an all out SQLfamily reunion. This year was a little special too…it was my first year going as a speaker! Even on the way to the airport I could feel the difference, I had never left for Summit with presentation anxiety. I had a one hour delay on the way to Charlotte but even then was much less time to get there than Seattle. It was a nice change of pace too to be on the same time zone as home. I get to hotel, drop my stuff in room, and immediately head out to try find people. I was excited to start having those “heey, long time no see” moments. I went over to Buffalo Wild Wings for the very end of the networking party hosted by Andy Warren (blog|twitter) and Steve Jones (blog|twitter). I definitely found plenty of “hey” moments there. You have to give yourself extra time to get anywhere at Summit due to those moments. From there folks decided they wanted to try to do some sqlkaraoke and we walked a few blocks to try to find a place called Dixie’s. We walk up to it and find it was closed, permanently closed so decided to head back go to Carolina Ale House. We had amassed a fairly large group by that time and the folks at the Ale House were not prepared, staff-wise. Maybe it was just coincidence in the locations we chose but for being in close proximity to the convention center, places seemed unprepared for such a large conference. Next time the conference moves from Seattle it may help to make some calls into the local establishments for warnings if that wasn’t already done. From there we just ended up having drinks at the hotel bars and hanging out there.
Wake up fairly early and head over to grab a crepe with my good friend, Colin Stasiuk (blog|twitter). I then get registered and spend a little more time preparing for presentation. After that I went over for the SQLSaturday organizers meeting. It was a good meeting but it’s always hard to move mountains in meetings that large. There was mention of some changes coming to the website. If anyone has recommendations for changes they are collecting them now. I was also intrigued by a mentoring program that was mentioned for organizers. I have a circle of people I know who organize and I reach out to with questions so have created my own organic circle/support group. I would be afraid there are folks out there floundering without one so seems like a great idea to me. That and I always hated to be constantly bugging Karla (blog|twitter).
After the meeting I went through more prep for my presentation. At this point I was EXTREMELY nervous! Trying for so long to be accepted as a speaker at the Summit, the idea of it not going well just about make me sick to my stomach. Going back and doing a run through and saying the words out loud in my room helped calm the nerves. I did that until it was time to head over to convention center to prepare for the Quiz Bowl at the welcome reception. I was very honored to be asked to participate in it this year by Tim (blog|twitter). So we do some preparation and then head over to get ready to welcome the first timers. Had some good conversations with my group even though I looked ridiculous donning a spinning beany hat. They always try to help folks locate the volunteers and I’m sure someone somewhere had fun with the decision for those hats. Then it was Quiz Bowl time and we had fun even though we didn’t win for our contestant. Next I went to the volunteer party at Strike City, a bowling alley. After catching up with folks there and a terrible display of bowling I went over to see how things were going at Fox and Hound. Mr. Denny Cherry (blog|twitter) was hosting a party there sponsored by SQL Sentry and SIOS. It was packed and had a good time watching folks do karaoke. I set a decent curfew for myself that night so headed back fairly early. No way I wanted to be super tired for my presentation the next day.