Well I have survived another round being the lead organizer of SQLSaturday Indy. And now that I’ve had a bit of time to decompress, wanted to get a post out to detail some of my lessons learned. I always can use some good karma so hopefully will help some brave/crazy organizer soul down the line.
So the first lesson I learned this year is that Karla still rocks! And she deserves kudos/prizes/cash for putting up with all us organizers for ALL the SQLSaturdays held round the world. She is the PASS representation/liaison for us to PASS and it’s team of resources. They had an update to the backend system that organizers use back in May. There were some challenges from that but she always is so fast in getting us the help we need. Thank you Karla!
The second lesson is to test/workout the process to lookup a SpeedPASS to print prior to the morning of your event. I was a good girl and did as I was told to download all the SpeedPASSes the night before to a USB. I copied to 2 USBs just in case. You can never count on wifi and I had trouble with it on the laptop I was using to print SpeedPASSes. I had to use my hotspot from my phone. Even though I was good and downloaded the SpeedPASSes, the names of the files do not contain the registered person’s name and they are pdfs. So the process I did to look them up was as follows:
1. I had to look up the person on the SQLSat admin site.
2. This then brought up the link to get to the pdf speedpass. I then right clicked and copied the link name.
3. Pasted the copied link into Notepad. This then would give you the guid-ish file name.
4. Copied the filename portion of the link.
5. Then pasted the filename into the search of the files on the USB to find the pdf for that person.
There may be a better way to do this…kind of hope so! Please let me know if there’s a better way.
Another thing I learned was that I need to have a plan for leftover food. I’m not sure what others do but I always feel I need to order the amount that folks paid for knowing it will be too much from dropoff. I didn’t have a plan for it and was just forcing it on volunteers to take home but maybe we can find a group that can put some good use to it.
Next year I need to make sure to have some folks on the ready to clear/sweep the rooms after the final session is over. If you can imagine, speakers can get chatty at the end of the day *shock gasp*. I want to make sure everyone has chance at end of the day for the prizes so we try to wait till they’re all done. Also along those lines I also need to make sure to have someone ready to assist with prizes. Time REALLY stands still when you are trying to open raffle boxes with 200 people staring at you.
Another regret from this year is that we forgot to grab the camera when heading out very early in the morning to get to the venue. I had it on a checklist but those only help when you look at them. DOH! If anyone has any pictures would love to get them from you.
I want to thank again all my speakers who came to Indy! I hope we took good care of my sql peeps. They take away my Hoosier card if I don’t display that “Hoosier hospitality”. I want to thank my volunteers! You know who you are and you rock big time! I want to thank from the bottom of my heart, my family! You all got roped into this craziness that is SQLSaturday/SQLfamily and it’s all my fault! I am eternally grateful to you for all your help, support, and love! I get teary eyed thinking about how this event has become a family one. I hope the view you get into this event shows some of the goodness that drives my passion that takes me away from time to time.