Last year, I wrote a number of tips leading to PASS Summit 2012. As time is short (and also I am not as familiar with Charlotte), I prefer to write a summarised check list instead.
The list below is dedicated to my PASS Summit First Timers group, which I think may be useful for Alumnis as well. If there is anything that I should add here, I would really appreciate it if you could share it with us.
1. If you are not local, make sure your accommodation and travel arrangement is done. It may also be a good idea to organise for travel insurance. Session schedule is out already and so is the Schedule Builder. (If you are in my First Timers group, you would have sent me your top 3 things of what you want to achieve at PASS Summit. It is a good idea to use these top 3 things to guide your session selection)
Based on past experience, it would be a good idea to choose an additional backup for every time slot, just in case the preferred session is cancelled, the room is full or the session is not really what you are after. In the past, there is Guidebook for it too, which will most likely to be announced on the week of PASS Summit.
2. Melissa Coates who is based in Charlotte, has posted a fantastic article on the layout of the Convention Center.
3. Networking and staying connected is an important aspect of PASS Summit (or PASS community in general). So I highly encourage you to check PASS Summit Connect page.
4. The PASS WIT team pours their heart and soul into organising the WIT Luncheon. It is free for everyone to attend. Similar to last year, the discussion is in panel format that allows attendees to voice their thoughts and opinions. Check it out here.
6. Have you ever heard of SQL Karaoke? It is a lot of fun! Get your singing voice ready or just chillax! You have the option to attend the Tuesday one (thank you SQL Sentry and SIOS) or the Wednesday one (thank you Pragmatic Works); or both.
7. Don’t forget to visit the Community Zone - I would feel very honoured if you could stop by and say hello to me at either of my booth times – Wednesday: 10:15 am to 11:30 am and Friday: 9:00 am to 10:00am.
8. Get your questions answered! If you have some questions that have been tickling your brain, either Performance Tuning related, SSAS or Professional Development topics, get ‘em ready. PASS Summit gathers MVPs around the world, from as far as Australia, Europe and Africa, as well as SQL Server CAT team and Office365 / BI team too!
9. Bring a notepad, your Surface RT/Pro, laptop or iPad to take notes. Don’t forget the charger too! For international travellers, don’t forget a plug adapter.
10. Business Cards, with your latest details!
11. If you have been thinking about getting certified, PASS Summit is a great time to do it ! I passed my 070-465 exam last year at PASS Summit. You can pass yours too! Did I mention, it’s 50% off?
13. Connect with other First Timers and Summit Buddy on Twitter with hash tag #SQLFirstTimers
14. Attend a webcast for First Timers by Rick Heighes on 3 Oct 2013 at 12:30 PM ET. http://sqlblog.com/blogs/
15. Post your thoughts and suggestions for the First Timers Orientation here before the Summit starts http://feedback.
16. Check the First Timers page regularly for the latest news: http://www.sqlpass.org/
17. Lastly but most importantly, please stay healthy. Drink plenty of water, eat healthily, maintain your exercise regime (check out #SQLRun and #SQLWalk) if possible and do things in moderation. We want you to be able to learn and have fun at your absolute best condition.
See you there!