SQLPASS Summit 2011: Meet New People

I’m really excited: I’m on the Orientation Committee for the SQL PASS Summit 2011. This means I have a group of eight people who I can help make the most of the SQL PASS Summit this year.

It's OK to be yourself. Even if you're this guy.

Want to meet new people?

If you’re returning the the SQL PASS Summit and would like to volunteer, send an email to OC_DL@sqlpass.org.

If you’re new to the SQL PASS Summit and you’d like a jump start on learning how to make the most of the conference and an opportunity to meet new people right away, drop a line to newcomer@sqlpass.org.

Know what? If it’s your second or third Summit, but you’ve mostly stuck to just going to sessions and you’re not sure how to branch out and meet new people— go ahead and email newcomer@sqlpass.org. This is all about helping people make the most of the conference, it’s not just helping people find the convention center.

How can you support the orientation committee?

If you don’t have time to volunteer, you can still help out. Share a story with me about how you found ways to break the ice and meet new people.

I’m going to do an online edition of orientation

I plan to blog here and follow along with the process. I won’t include every communication I send to my orientation team, but I’ll blog about what topics we’re talking about, what tools are available, and options for getting in on cool events.

In the spirit of getting started, here’s the first email I sent out to my team:

Hello!

I’m emailing you because you’re attending the SQL PASS Summit this year (hooray!) and you signed up for orientation for first-time attendees.

At least, I think you signed up. If there’s been some sort of confusion and you’re not interested in getting oriented for whatever reason (anything from “I meant to register for a sock convention” to “I just thought there’d be free food, I don’t want to read email*”), just let me know and I can unsubscribe you from my newsletter. No worries at all.

A Bit About Me
I’m Kendra Little and this will be my third SQL PASS Summit. I lived in Seattle for five years, so I mostly know my way around town– although I usually check a map to keep from getting lost. I’m a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server, a DBA and database developer of many years, a giant rabbit owner, and I love to draw. I’ll be a presenter at this year’s Summit (yahoo, Community Choice!) and I’ll also be attending sessions, catching up with old friends, and meeting new people. It’s going to be a really great time: it always is.

How can you get started?
You’ve done the perfect thing right off by joining orientation— this is a great way to start breaking the ice and meeting new people at the conference. Even if you already know lots of people in the SQL Server community, meeting new people can’t be beat. Great conversations make the best memories, and they also can produce the biggest results back at work.

Here’s what you can do now…

1) Respond and let me know if it’s OK to share your name and email address with this group. There are eight of you and one of me, so it’s a small group, but don’t feel pressured if you want to keep your info on the BCC. I’m not here to judge.

2) Send a quick biography for yourself. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy– just a couple of lines about what you’re looking forward to and where you’re from. You can include whether or not you’ve been to Seattle before. Bonus point: if it’s OK to share this with the group, let me know— that’d be fantastic.

3) Check out my Seattle 101 information to help with any questions about how to get downtown from the airport, where to get coffee, or good places to eat.

4) Send me any questions you have about the Summit, burning or otherwise. I should be able to either answer your question or help you find someone who can.

What can we do before the Summit?
My goal is to help answer your questions and help you plan your Summit experience. I’ll provide links and information to Summit events and planning tools and share which have been helpful for me.

Once we’re at the Summit, you can always come to me to help you figure something out. I’d also love to hear how your experience is going while you’re there.

Don’t have time to respond?
It’s OK. We’re all busy. I’ll be sending mails out prior to the conference and blogging and tweeting. Feel free to play along at home at whatever rate makes sense to you— you’re welcome at orientation even if you don’t have time to get connected before the conference.

Kendra

* There may or may not be free food– we’re going to have to wait and see. I *can* tell you how to score an upgraded breakfast, if nothing else.

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