October 1, 2014 by Mike Hillwig
Several months ago, I got an email from Karla at PASS HQ, asking me if I’d be interested in doing another SQL Saturday. It seems that the leader of our local BI chapter was going to be traveling on business and would be unable to host the Boston BI event. She made it pretty clear that I was in no way obligated to do this and my participation was completely voluntary. I checked with my team, and they were all up for the challenge.
In a way, we were completely ready. Having done two events at this venue in the past, we knew we had a formula that worked, so all we needed to do was repeat the success of the last event. Or so we thought. Over the next few weeks, we scrambled to get things into motion.
Our immediate challenge was to make sure all of the paperwork was in place. Because it was a different team running this event, we had to sign a new license agreement with PASS as well as get approval from Microsoft to use their venue again. Never mind that I was in the process of setting up my own LLC so that the event funds wouldn’t be funneled through my own personal finances. In very short order, Bay State Data Professionals, LLC was born.
After a mountain of paperwork, we were ready to roll. Or so we thought. It seems that the local BI team hadn’t reserved any space for Friday’s setup, let alone space for a precon. When we use the Microsoft facility in Cambridge, we always get the entire 4th floor for Friday and the entire facility (2nd and 4th floors) for Saturday. As luck would have it, Friday wasn’t available to us, so setting up would become a challenge. This also meant no precon.
Over the next week, Friday’s availability was resolved, and I started out in search of a precon partner and a key sponsor. Finding a precon partner proved to be incredibly difficult. All of the key BI people were already tied up with other engagements. Finding the key platinum sponsor was much easier. I went straight to our friends at Pragmatic Works. BI is their playground, and they were happy to sponsor us. I was happy to give them a great deal on a platinum sponsorship in exchange for something I really needed, a keynote speaker. Adam Jorgensen stepped right up and was happy to do our keynote.
Suddenly, things were falling into place, and it looked like we would have a great event. But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Tomorrow, there is more.