In 2013, the PASS Summit will move from Seattle, which it has called home in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, to the warmer climes of Charlotte, North Carolina. (Read the official PASS announcement.) There are a lot of big benefits to this move:
- folks in the eastern half of the US, never mind Europe and beyond, will lose less time to travel
- in spite of a few complaints already, Charlotte is a hub for US Airways, so there should be plenty of direct flights
- Microsoft presence will still be good because there is quite an expansive support operation in Charlotte
- it's not Seattle, so it probably won't be overcast or drizzling throughout the entire event
For me personally, there are a couple of additional benefits to this specific location:
- there are a half dozen direct flights in each direction, every day, through an airport I can practically walk to
- SQL Sentry's offices are located in Huntersville, just minutes north, so it is literally my company's stomping grounds
Other than the fact that it actually means *more* travel time for west coasters, there is only one potential downside I see. The biggest value I've taken from the PASS Summit in previous years is the Microsoft presence. A lot of people respond to this by saying, "well, I don't actually go to many sessions from Microsoft speakers." The speakers specifically aren't the people I'm talking about. I'm talking about how many members of the dev team can come downtown for lunch or an afternoon meeting without incurring the time and T&E cost of flying across the country. This is a benefit that is especially meaningful for the group of SQL Server MVPs who attend the Summit. Hopefully this presence won't be too muted because of the cross-country trip. Even if it does, I need to try to remember that we have other exclusive occasions where we get to spend a significant amount of time with the dev team (e.g. the MVP Summit).
Anyway, based on the community response so far, there are a lot of people who are quite happy about this change, and I can't say I blame them – even though I thoroughly enjoy attending the Summit in Seattle, it is going to be a refreshing change of scenery. Here are a few other blog posts that crossed my path today:
And surely more will follow (I haven't seen any reflective posts from the PASS BOD, for example).