SQL Saturday Raleigh Event Evaluation Review

Last week was SQL Saturday Raleigh.  I put together my thoughts on the event, but now the event evaluations have come in.  We had eight evaluations in total, so I’m pretty sure that’s nowhere near a representative sample, but it’s what I’ve got.  Overall, those evals gave the event a score of 4.5 out of 5.  I’m happy with that score, and it’s about what I expected.

Things that we’ll need to work on for next year:

  • The PDF schedule was not printable, due to color scheme.  I’m not sure I can actually do anything about that myself, although maybe I could email out the copy we created for the handouts.  That version is meant for a black and white printer and only uses greyscale.
  • Specify when sessions are two-parters.  We had two of them this year, and although I thought we did that, I’ll take that into consideration for next year.  Even better, I’d prefer not to have two-hour sessions next year.
  • Tiny chairs.  I was afraid of this when we scouted out the venue—William Peace University is a liberal arts school with chairs made for 18-21 year olds rather than database professionals (draw your own inferences here).  I think we can figure something out here though.
  • Vendors were crammed into a corner.  We thought it would work out better than it did, and we’ll end up doing something different next year.  To be fair to us, however, 4 vendors who indicated that they wouldn’t send anybody ended up having people show, and so our vendor space which was meant to hold 5 vendors had 9.
  • Send out parking instructions earlier.  The recommendation was 1 week ahead of time, but I’m thinking it’d be more apropos to do so on the Monday or Tuesday of the event.

Good feedback from people, and I’m incorporating it into next year’s plans.  What was very interesting was the “who was the worst speaker?” and “who was the best speaker?” questions, as one speaker ended up on both lists in equal numbers.  Honestly, I don’t think that information will be very useful for next year’s planning.

I would have preferred more event evaluation participation, but I can understand the number of entries being low.  Pittsburgh offered a prize to a random event evaluation submitter, and maybe we can do the same next year.

This pretty much wraps up SQL Saturday Raleigh.  We’ll have a meeting on Tuesday to debrief, I have some administrative details to finish up, and then we all take a well-deserved break before I try to round up next year’s crew.

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