This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be a part of Louisville’s (for those local the ‘ville) SQL Saturday event held at Indiana Wesleyan. Most of you who end up on this site are probably familiar with it, but for those that aren’t familiar with SQL Saturday events you can check out their site here.
Now to put on an event like this is nothing short of an incredible effort from volunteers, sponsors, speakers, and attendees. Being able to help co-organize the one here in Louisville has been a humbling yet gratifying experience. Let me see if I can break it down a different way for you, the reader, who may not have had the opportunity yet to volunteer or attend such an event.
You can see these people usually with matching shirts on and a lanyard with their name and a ribbon that only says “volunteer.” In the past when I’ve attended such events I knew people helped out to put something like this on, but never in my wildest dreams did I envision all that it took until I volunteered.
Volunteering is not for glitz, glamor, or glory. Instead volunteering is what helps the cogs in the wheel move to get the steam engine running down the track. It is the staple of helping afford the opportunity for free learning to attendees and colleagues in our field.
Many, many, and many hours go into planning and organizing an event; if you attend one of these events make sure you seek a volunteer or organizer out and say thank you for their time; they are doing this for free and on their own time away from their families.
Over the years, SQL Saturday Louisville has been blessed with some great sponsors. For the previous two years, John Morehouse (B|T) and I have taken great pride in working with some stellar companies. Without them, we would not be able to do what we do which is concentrate on the attendees and helping people learn.
Our Gold sponsors this year were:
Our Silver and Bronze sponsors this year were:
A major thank you for all of their contributions and it is always a pleasure to work with all of you.
It always amazes me at the number of speakers we have who send in sessions to our event. These speakers are people from all over the U.S. who are willing to travel and give their time so attendees can learn. Getting to spend time with each of them is not always an easy task, but always thankful to catch up with many friends at the speaker dinner.
It was awesome to see the attendees interacting with the speakers asking their questions and getting insight into the variously presented topics. And, because of so many good sessions to choose from, there was a buzz in the air.
As is the case with the volunteers mentioned above, speakers also travel on their own dime, away from their families – a simple thank you goes a long way. Also, for these sessions, I do want to point out that feedback cards are provided; please please please take a moment and make sure you provide good insightful feedback to the speakers. Each speaker uses this feedback to improve their sessions or have take-a-ways on what may or may not have worked. Yes, folks, these are important!
I won’t list every speaker we had; that is not the intent of this topic. But I will take a moment and say to each and every speaker who attended SQL Saturday Louisville 531 we thank you.
Two words – – THE PEOPLE. As I have stated, these last two years has been nothing short of amazing. Seeing light bulbs go off with attendees who are learning from some of the best, and having discussions with attendees is why we do what we do.
When individuals come to us stating it was their first time at the event, and they had no idea that there is a local Louisville SQL User Group opens the doors to help reach people in our tech community.
Steve Jones (B|T), who is part of my Fab Five, talks about Dreaming of SQL Saturday. If you have not had a chance to read his post, check it out. Attendees travel from quite a distance. Which tells me the people are eager to learn.
So, the question I opened with “Is SQL Saturday Worth It?” Considering what I know now versus what I knew then the answer is yes. Personally, being a product of these types of events, I am living proof of what can grow from the SQL Community.
Whether you volunteer, speak, sponsor, or attend, all of these make the wheel turn. It’s a team effort with a lot of hard work. So, next time you attend one of these events, please don’t take them for granted.
Here is to continued learning, as we move forward to grow this community!