A Change of Scenery for the PASS Summit
May 18th, 20115
A Change of Scenery for the PASS Summit
May 18th, 20115

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:

Jeff Smith (blog | twitter)

Brent Ozar (blog | twitter)

Greg Gonzalez (@SQLsensei)

And surely more will follow (I haven't seen any reflective posts from the PASS BOD, for example).

By: Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a husband, a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him.

5 Responses

  1. dubai says:

    I have seen the Microsoft presence from a video and it really looks amazing. I wonder how did you do it for only 3 years?

  2. AaronBertrand says:

    Thanks Jerry, corrected the link.
    I was surprised, too, to discover that the distance between Toronto and Seattle is almost four times the distance between Toronto and Charlotte. Still, it's quite a ways away in either case.

  3. Jerry Hung says:

    For some reason the PASS link has %20 at the end
    Here is the working link
    I'm in Toronto..and actually want Seattle so I can be far away 😛 so looks like I really need to go for 2012 PASS then. And 2013 should be an easy sell

  4. Jeffrey Langdon says:

    I think it will be interesting to see how many first timers will attend the Summit based on geography.  I will certainly be one of them.

  5. hillbillyToad says:

    The PASS community really wanted a change, or at least a lot of them talked about it pretty publicly. Good on the PASS board for listening and giving them what they asked for.
    Hopefully the community will turn out in droves to support the event in Charlotte and not give the board reason to doubt their decision.
    I'm glad you'll get to stay at home for this one Aaron!