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Why Weather Matters #sqlsat364


April 9, 2015 by Mike Hillwig

It’s hard to believe that SQL Saturday #364 Boston 2015 is next weekend. At this point, pretty much everything is coming together. Sure, we’re going to have some challenges over the next week, but for the most part, the hard part is done. All I have to do is whip out my American Express card a few times. Other than that, Paresh Motiwala and his small army of volunteers will do the remainder of the hard work.

The one thing that really worries me at this point is completely beyond my control, and that’s the weather. Seriously.

One of the challenges of hosting a SQL Saturday in Boston is getting the date just right. If we do it anywhere between mid-October and late March, we run the risk of getting a snowstorm. If we host it from mid-May to mid-September, we lose a lot of people who will be on the cape or somewhere in New Hampshire or Maine. Oh, and we need to avoid hitting the weekends of Easter, Palm Sunday, and Passover. I also try to avoid hosting our event the same weekend as other big SQL Saturday events, which helps us avoid competing for speakers and sponsors. That gives us a really tight window of opportunity.

By having our event in mid to late April, our biggest risk is good weather. Yes, good weather. Our event looks like it’s going to be one of the first really nice weekends in the Spring. That means our dropout rate will be incredibly high. Let’s face it, if you’re having your first nice weekend of the season, would you want to be in a conference facility or out in the sunshine preparing your garden?

It seems completely perverse, but I’m actually hoping for rain the day of our event.