RSS Feed

Number Five


October 20, 2015 by Mike Hillwig


Me in front of the Tweet Wall

This weekend was SQL Saturday #437 Boston BI Edition, or as I like to call it, Number Five. It was the fifth event that my team has run, and this one may have been the smoothest of the five.
Over the past three years and five events, we’ve built a formula that works. This time, we mixed it up by adding Andy Mallon (w|t) to the team. Over the past several months, Andy and I have become very good friends, and the level of trust I put in him was staggering. At one point I handed him my Amex card and said “Just don’t buy a car.”

We’re incredibly fortunate to have sponsors that give us money to run such an event. And our user community is so eager to learn. I close every event by asking if their heads hurt. The response is always a resounding yes! That means we did our jobs right. Our speakers come in from near and far to teach. And my team gives up time away from their jobs and family to set up for an incredible event.

Me at SQL Saturday

Photo by Paresh Motiwala

This year, Andy was in charge of food, which is a big part of the organization. He turned to his friends at Flour Bakery and Cafe to provide lunch. This is the bakery owned by James Beard Award nominated chef Joanne Chang. She’s the one who beat Bobby Flay with her sticky buns.

I wish people saw just how much work a SQL Saturday event is. The amount of prep that goes into it is unbelievable. And I just can’t thank my team enough. From Robert (t), who picks up on the details that I miss, to Melissa (t), who picks up emails left and right from attendees and sponsors, to Paresh (t), who snaps photos and makes sure our volunteers know what needs to be done. But really, it was Andy this time around who had become my right hand.

As I mentioned, it was our fifth event. It was also the fifth event sponsored by Pragmatic Works. We publicly thanked them. And we thanked Nick, part of their New England sales office, who is always one of the easiest sponsors to work with.

Andy in front of the Tweet Wall

This time around, I wanted to try something new. It was something I saw the folks in Pittsburgh do. We had a tweet wall, with the hash tag #sqlsatbostonbi, we encouraged people to tweet the heck out of our event. And tweet they did! We used a website that creates a presentation based on tweets and photos on Instagram. It was a lot of fun.

We announced something that is important. I just can’t continue hosting two events like this every year. So I’m going to lead the spring SQL Saturday and Andy will lead the fall BI Edition SQL Saturday. By trading off with each other, it will be a lot more effective and much less exhausting.

So one more SQL Saturday is a memory. Next up is the PASS Summit.