Posted in SQL Server, T-SQL Tuesday

T-SQL Tuesday #145 – In Person Events

Happy T-SQL Tuesday, everyone! It’s the last one for 2021 so I want to try to finish out the year by participating.

This month is hosted by Xavier Morera (b|t). Xavier has asked us a couple of questions to get us going on this month’s topic:

  1. Which is your favorite conference and why?
  2. Which is the best venue that you have visited for a tech conference?
  3. Who is the best presenter that you have ever listened to?
  4. Which location would you like for your next event to take place and why Costa Rica?

I’m going to start with the last question first. I have never been to Costa Rica but I hear lovely things about it. It sounds like a lovely place to go and talk about the Microsoft Data Platform. I feel like this is a no-brainer. 🙂

I don’t know if I have a favorite venue or speaker but PASS Summit was my favorite conference. Don’t get me wrong – I loved attending SQL Saturdays in person but there was something about Summit. I feel like this is where I really was able to connect to the #sqlfamily and begin to find my place in the community. I would leave Seattle feeling inspired and excited to keep the connections and learning going through the year. I was looking forward to traveling more for events before the pandemic hit and caused all of that to go away.

To go a little further and get a little introspective on the subject of virtual events and the prospect of going to back to in person events, it’s been interesting to see how the speaker and community event landscape evolved during the pandemic. We’ve been lucky that we’ve been able to keep things going the way we have. But I do think virtual event fatigue has set in. If we look at some of the people who have been active in the community before the pandemic hit, we see that some of them have taken a step back. On the other hand, we’ve seen a lot of new speakers step up. There have been opportunities on the international level that may never have happened had we not gone virtual.

What I think will be the most interesting is seeing what happens as more in person events begin to happen. Are people ready to go back to in-person events? How are we managing the pandemic and what other safety precautions are we putting in place and are they enough? What does this mean for speakers and attendees who were able to take advantage of being part of events because they were virtual but may have too many barriers to attend them if they go back to in person – cost, work, family obligations, etc.? We know that in person events created disparities to begin with but are we working on ways to address those issues going forward? From a speaker perspective, there are a lot of conversations out there about whether speakers should be paid and when (and making sure all who should be paid are!) as well as making sure our events in general are inclusive and diverse. Also how do we handle situations when events come up short? It seems like we are able to point this out some events but not all of them, which in itself creates division in the community. How do we show improvement and how do we encourage and help each other to grow? These are all things we have need to address before the pandemic, but have we put in enough thought and effort into these to make sure we move forward?

I don’t have answers for any of these questions but I know that is a community that cares about it and tries to do better. Again, these are issues that have existed before the pandemic but it seems that they’ve become even more important now.

I am looking forward to seeing people at actual events soon – I missing hang out with y’all! I may even try to submit for an in person event soon. Until we can hang out at an event IRL again, stay safe!

And thanks again to Xavier for hosting this month!

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