While both events are only about a month apart, the easy answer is “Both”. Both SQL Excursions and PASS Summit are going to provide you with an amazing experience that are totally different from each other. The SQL PASS Summit is a large conference with several thousand attendees so there’s a lot of people, and finding the people that you want to talk to can be difficult at times. SQL Excursions will be an event which is much smaller is size, so getting some one-on-one time with the speakers will be much easier.
While some of the session topics are the same between SQL Excursions and SQL PASS, the content will be different. There is some content which works better in front of a larger audience and some which works better in front of a smaller audience. The sessions that Tom and I will be presenting at SQL Excursions will be geared specifically towards the smaller audience.
Both the PASS Summit and SQL Excursions have the location going for them. Seattle is great and all, but we’ve been there time and time again, and we’ll be there again next year. SQL Excursions is in Napa which is a unique place all its own. There’s really no place like Napa anywhere else in the US.
At the PASS Summit, the rooms are huge, and only so many questions are going to get answered during the session as the session times are very structured and rigid. While at SQL Excursions the schedule is very flexible, if there are a lot of questions on a topic we can dive into that topic more deeply and address more of your specific problems rather than talking in generics. At SQL Excursions the session lengths aren’t set in stone so if we want a presentation to run over, it’ll run over, no big deal. We have the room for all of the two days.
Access to speakers is always something people want more of at the larger conferences. Some speakers have to run off and go and work at their company booth, others have to run off to their next session, while others run off to go attend a sessions that they want to see. At SQL Excursions that won’t be the case. Tom and I will be there, ready to
be abused answer questions for the entire weekend. Have questions about a topic which we aren’t covering? Pull us aside during a break or lunch and chat. Neither of us have any other duties other than working with you to help you solve your SQL Server problems during the week.
I hope you take this opportunity to sign up for our Napa SQL Excursion, happening September 22nd-24th, as we can’t have a successful event without you!
P.S. Don’t forget, while this is a fun trip to Napa with your other half it is also a tax deduction as a business expense.