With only a few days to go before SQLBits kicks off, here’s some last minute tips on what you need to bring to ensure you have a fantastic experience.
Your Good Self
This is priority number one people! If you put your name down on the list you had better make sure you turn up. It takes a phenomenal amount of effort and community mojo to put on an event of this scale, Europe’s largest SQL Server event no less. When folks don’t turn up on the day, that’s a wasted opportunity and a great experience denied to someone else.
I want to see you there and share DBA tales from the trenches but if you really cannot make it please do the right thing now and unregister so that some lucky data dude or dudette on the waiting list can get to enjoy the SQLBits experience.
The Right Mind-set
Simply turning up pretty much guarantees you good times but if you want to really get the most out of SQLBits then I believe that you have to immerse yourself fully and really get involved.
Ideally you’ll want to stay at the venue itself or very close by, so you can maximize the time you have with your old and new SQL chums. The SQLBits folks totally get this, which is why there are social events organised in the evenings for you to enjoy. I can tell you from personal experience that these are not your typical stuffy networking events, they’re actually great fun!
Throughout the event there will be opportunities for you to step up and get involved with the SQL community. I highly recommend you do.
No really, bring some business cards. I know a lot of technology folks “hate” the whole idea of networking but I guarantee you that after 10 seconds you’ll get over it and wonder what all the fuss was about.
If you suddenly see that SQL Celebrity, MCM, MVP or Twitter buddy you’ve been wanting to talk to zooming down the corridor trying to get to the buffet next session, you may only have seconds to connect. I’m sure you’ll make a great and memorable impression but don’t leave it to chance, hand over a card with your contact details and ask for theirs.
A Plan To Achieve
With so much SQL action packed in, time races by and before you know it the day is behind you. Naturally your main focus will be digesting all the awesome SQL knowledge on offer and if you’re not careful, you’ll miss great opportunities to meet new and interesting people.
Just so we’re clear you’re not trying to win networker of the year here, it’s more about being mindful of opportunities and being ready to enjoy them.
I know that some folks don’t like approaching other people or breaking the ice. If I could offer one piece of advice it would be to not over think it. Simply introduce yourself and start talking about the sessions you just attended. Before you know it, you’ll be swapping DBA battle stories and bad mouthing developers (unless your speaking to a DEV of course ;-) ).
If you want to get really ambitious about networking a great way to get things rolling is to make it a game of sorts. Commit to yourself that for each session you attend you will get to know the person sitting either side of you.
Whether you want to meet new SQL folks, get your questions answered or learn something specific, if you have a plan of what you wish to achieve ahead of time you are more likely to get what you want out of your SQLBits experience.
Most important of all, bring your passion for technology with you. I know you’re passionate about SQL Server and our awesome community because I am too. I hope you have a fantastic time at SQLBits and I look forward to meeting you.