The yearly PASS Summit is just around the corner, a little less than six weeks away. For those not familiar with this event, it is a gathering of several thousand data professionals for 4+ days of education and networking. The PASS Summit will take place in Seattle, Washington, from Tuesday, October 31st until Friday, November 3rd.
Networking at the Summit
Attending the PASS Summit is a great opportunity to learn and network. This will be my tenth Summit, and I can say without reservation that my participation in this and similar events has changed my career and my life for the better. I have made a great many friends and built innumerable business relationships through my community involvement. There was one year, my first as a Summit attendee, that I didn’t make the most of it, but I learned from that experience.
One of the friendships I built through my community involvement was with Mike Walsh. Mike is a fellow data professional who runs Straight Path Solutions, the partner company I rely on for database health and performance. He and I are now collaborating on a new video education channel, Data Excursion, where we recently talked about the upcoming PASS Summit.
As you can probably tell, we’re excited and honored to take part in this event.
Making the Most of the Summit Experience
For those of you attending the Summit this year, here are a few brief suggestions for getting the most value out of the experience.
- Watch Denny Cherry’s orientation video. This video is especially useful for first-timers, but is a good review for anyone in attendance. This video includes suggestions for where to stay, eat and drink, networking, and after-hours events.
- Bring lots of business cards, and take none of them home with you. If your employer doesn’t provide business cards (or if you prefer to brand on your own), you still have time to create and order your own cards. If you’re doing it right, you’re going to meet a lot of people, so make sure they have an easy way to remember and keep in touch with you.
- Plan to stay until Saturday morning. If your schedule allows, don’t leave on Friday when the conference is done. Stay over until Saturday and enjoy a leisurely dinner on Friday night. This is a great opportunity to meet fellow data professionals in a low-stress setting.
- Start building your schedule now. Look now at the schedule of educational and after-hours events, and start planning where you’ll spend your time. The 4 days of the Summit are going to be busier than you can imagine, so plan ahead to reserve your spot for the things most important to you.
- Network, network, network. You’ll not find a better concentration of fellow data professionals anywhere. Use this opportunity to get to know as many of your peers as you can.
- Buy the Summit recordings. Chances are good that you’ll not be able to attend all of the sessions you want to see. Pay a few hundred bucks for the conference recordings – you won’t find a better bang-for-your-buck in any other training.
If You Can’t Attend
Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to attend the Summit. If you can’t, there are a few ways you can still participate.
- Watch online. PASS will be streaming the keynotes and a selection of the content for free.
- Tweet it up. Twitter is the go-to communications tool for Summit happenings. Although you’ll miss out on the in-person networking, you can monitor the buzz and learn about any new announcements by following the #PASSSummit hashtag on Twitter.
- Buy the recordings. Yes, even if you don’t attend the Summit, you can still purchase the recordings from the sessions. The price is higher for non-attendees, but it’s still a good value for the content you’re getting.