Welcome to the 2012 PASS Summit.
So you made it, and you may have even gone to the Frist Timers meeting, or you might not even be a first timer (no matter how long you have been here, what suggestions do you have). Now that you are here, make sure you make the most of your time.
Bring business cards…
Hand them out, and make sure you ask for them. Take it one step further, bring a pen. As soon as you walk away from meeting someone new, jot some notes on the back of the card. There are so many people to meet that notes can help you remember who they are.
Read what others have said, these are just a few I grabbed really quick
Really? Do we really need to talk about why? It is so cool to have this community. Follow #SQLPASS
Pick just a few names out of the people that you want to meet, speakers or authors and even Microsoft guys and Gals. Force yourself to go shake their hand, I challenge you to not just go meet them, but tell them why they are on your list. There is so much work that goes into speaking, writing and well it is not very often that as a presenter, or as an author has the honor of knowing what we did to help individuals. I can tell you that the people who have shared with me how I helped them encourage me, and motivate me to do more. Tonight someone mentioned they went to a session I did a while back, and the applied what they had learned in one of my sessions and their salary increased because of it. The way he told me about it was, hey… you made me $14,000.00.
Most speakers have hobbies or interests outside of SQL Server. This is a great way to talk with people that you may feel odd going up to and talking with, watch what people tweet about that is outside SQL Server. Do you have something in common, and if so use that as a way to strike up a discussion. You can always ask me about my friend, sparky…
If we have meet in the years past, and I don’t remember your name I am so sorry. It does not indicate that I didn’t enjoy talking to you, but I do try to meet as many people as I can and well I never was really good about matching names and faces. But if you remind me of past discussion I bet I will recall.
The More you Put Into It
The more you will get out of it. Get involved, and step out of your comfort zone. Is it scary? Yes it is, I was a first timer once, and I was nervous about many of the things you may be. I still am… But today I bought a Kilt and I even went out a cut a rug a little, very little but I did it. Will stepping out of your comfort zone always turn into a great experience, maybe I can’t tell you, but you won’t know until you try.
Stop taking notes
Go ahead give it a try. OK maybe this is a little drastic, take very few notes. The idea I am trying to pass along is that there is so much more to most topics than what will fit into the time slots. Chances are if you are going to move a new technology into production and you are using the conference to give you a little information on it, then you are going to be doing some more research before you roll it out. If this is the case, is your time better spent focusing on the speaker and what the talking points, or is it better to take as many detailed notes as you can? Don’t miss the big picture because you are so focused on making detailed notes.