It’s been four years since Redgate’s first SQL in the City and in that time we’ve hosted the event 16 times in a range of cities. It’s become something of a well-oiled machine and I’m pretty confident we’ve got the dynamic down to a ‘tea’.
What I most look forward to is seeing everyone come together on the day of the event. From the early morning arrival line with people collecting their name badges, looking both eager to learn and ready for a coffee at the same time, it’s amazing that everyone has a shared goal.
Throughout the day it’s nice to notice first-time attendees mingling with others and networking with speakers. It’s the smiles I really like to see. Whether people are amazed at the food, or jotting down something a speaker just said, everyone gets something out of the day and seems really happy about it.
Redgate people want to attend the event too because it’s a fantastic way to meet end users and keep in touch with feedback. I have to limit how many Redgaters go along because ultimately I want to make way for attendees to be there! I do, though, ensure there’s a mix of Redgaters, from those working in development teams, to those who think up marketing ideas, to those who are on the phone with customers, because a strong team makes an event what it is.
Tons of leg-work goes into creating the agenda, from choosing speakers to deciding the session content. There’s a group involved in discussing suggestions that have come in, as well as thinking of session ideas and who might be best to present it.
Like other teams at Redgate, we use Agile project management methods, and we’re always taking on board feedback, making sure we’re listening to everyone to ensure the event keeps pace and delivers.
This year, we’re providing three tracks offering session learning, Hands-on Labs, and content suited to different types of professional. Across all three rooms at any one time, we think there will be something that will evolve user learning and develop people’s knowledge of working better with SQL Server and Redgate tools.
I especially like the end of the day, because I get to enjoy a cold beer with the attendees, crew and speakers. Everyone comes together and reflects on the day and what they’ve learnt, and for me this is a really special time because it’s the end result of months of planning and preparation.
It’s those lasting moments, those thank yous and kind words that make planning and marketing SQL in the City special. Without them, I don’t think I’d be able to plan numbers 17 and 18 this year. I’m even looking forward to 19 and 20, wherever we decide to host them. But I can’t start those until I get the London and Seattle events this year completed, because I’m hungry for the feedback to ensure that we’re making our attendees happy and we’re putting on one of the best SQL Server events.
When you see me at the next event, please do let me know what you think. I’ll welcome your comments and look forward to meeting you.
In the meantime, why not find out more about the SQL in the City events coming up?
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