April 24, 2013 by Mike Hillwig
One of the best decisions we made very early on was to enlist the help of Paresh Motiwala to coordinate our volunteers. That man kept me sane.
The backbone of a successful SQL Saturday event is the volunteers. They do everything from picking up the coffee to staffing the registration tables to helping people find the restrooms. And we had an amazing group of volunteers.
Being completely honest here, I’m not sure what Paresh did or how he did this. I just know that he had the list of things that needed to be done, the list of people willing to volunteer, and he made the rest happen. Paresh is a natural leader, and he’s incredibly organized and process driven. Getting him to lead our volunteers is something I hope to do again next year.
There is one thing that I did that I will never regret. I enlisted the help of one of my closest friends, Andrew Mannone. He’s not part of the SQL Server community. That also means he didn’t care about seeing certain speakers, and it meant that he could stay close to the registration desk all day. I introduced him to Paresh, handed him my credit card, some cash and said “Whatever you guys need, just take care of it. Don’t ask. Just do. And get me a receipt.” Those are the friends you know you can count on. And it worked well. Next year, I’d like to get a few more volunteers from outside the community for the registration desk. That will mean our volunteers can sit in on sessions as well.