SQLSaturday #13 update
It all started with phone call with Andy WarrenÂ last Friday (February 13); that seems like a lifetime ago.Â I was concerned because things weren’t going so well with the planning for SQLSaturday #13 here in Atlanta on April 25 (sorry; it starts becoming a habit.Â I can’t say the name without giving a location and a date).
Anyway, I’m coordinating this event, and it just wasn’t feeling right.Â I had been exchanging emails with Andy, and he suggested a phone call to give me some advice.Â It was a good idea; among Andy’s suggestions was that I tackle one problem at a time.Â Our schedule was only about half full, our registrations were about half full, and we only had one or two sponsors.Â Andy suggested that I get the schedule filled up, and that would draw in registrations.Â With registrations, I could sell the show to sponsors.Â I agreed, and started thinking about where I could advertise for speakers.
I started by contacting everyone who had ever spoken at a SQLSaturday event in the past; I then posted the call for speakers to every LinkedIn group to which I belonged.Â I asked nearvy regional user groups for speaker recommendations.Â I did all of this on Friday afternoon.
Response was swift; I got several responses, including one short email on Saturday:
“Celko can do extra slots.”
Out of desperation (and a little avarice), I wrote back and asked if he would consider being a featured presentation.Â The way I figured, Celko’s a controversial figure; a lot of people love him, and a lot of people, well, don’t.Â But, I had heard that he’s a great speaker, and even though I’ve disagreed with some of his methods, he is a smart guy.
He agreed.Â I posted a couple of postings to different newsgroups advertising Celko’s presentation, and wanted to see if the numbers would go up.Â They eked up a notch (5 or 6 registrations), but not much.Â I then asked the email master at AtlantaMDF to send out a blast to all registered members announcing the event.
Sunday came and went.Â No email.
Monday and Tuesday came and went. No email.
On Wednesday, I nudged the email master.Â At 3:39 pm the email went out.Â By 4:02, we had jumped from 76 registrations to 100 registrations.Â I was hoping for 120.Â By 4:45, we had 118.
After consulting with the other team members, we decided to bump up the available seats to 140.Â By 7:00 AM today, we had hit it.Â Andy suggested we bump it to the fire code limits; I now have a limit of 200 seats, and a little over 150 registrants.
Of course, we picked up otherÂ speakers along the way; we now have 26 scheduled sessions (I was expecting 15), and I’m now having to turn people away.Â Â I’m still waiting for sponsors to respond, but I’m very hopeful that we’ll get a good response SINCE WE”RE TWO MONTHS OUT AND I”M LOOKING AT STANDING ROOM ONLY.
Sorry for yelling.Â I’m a little excited.
It all started with a phone call.