SQL Saturday #80 was a Success!

On Saturday July 23rd the WVPASS and Greater Wheeling Chapter of AITP joined forces to host the 2nd Annual SQL Saturday in Wheeling, WV. SQLSaturday is a one-day free training event for SQL Server professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server brought to you by the local SQL Server community and PASS (Professional Association for SQL Server).

The following is a quick run down of our stats for the event. We had 108 people signup, 85 attendees, 11 speakers covering 18 sessions on Saturday.   Many thanks goes out to the speakers, volunteers, sponsors and attendees for making this a successful SQL Saturday.

The Good

  • We had a great mix of MVP’s, experienced speakers and first time speakers. One of the greatest accomplishments for this event is giving Matt Velic (Check out his #sqlsat80 photo’s), Abi Chapagai and Shannon Lowder their first opportunity to speak at a SQL Saturday. The speakers all did a fantastic job. We received several comments from attendees thanking us for having fantastic speakers.
  • Registration was quick and smooth. Everyone was able to get in and get to the main room to socialize and enjoy a free breakfast. The volunteers did a fantastic job.
  • We took a step outside of the box with lunch and got burrito’s from Salsa Café. With only a few complaints this was a hit. Last year we did box lunches from Panera and it was expensive and we also got lukewarm reviews.
  • Speakers received their evaluation’s shortly after their sessions. Personally, I have spoken at a few events and never received my feedback so I completely understand how important it can be towards growing as a speaker.
  • WVNCC was a fantastic host facility. The staff was very friendly and able to get us everything we needed to be successful.
  • Hosted the event on a $2,400.00 budget. There will be more on this in a future blog post.

Stuff to work on Next year!

  • Speakers dinner might have been a little too early. We held our dinner at 6pm and a few speakers wanted to attend but couldn’t make it in time. We also had plans of following our dinner with a voyage of the Italian Festival but a rain storm quickly sidelined that plan.
  • SQLGolf was a great idea and fun until the heat kicked our butt around the fifth hole. Once we got to the eighteenth hole I forgot we were still playing golf.
  • We need more onsite sponsors next year.
  • Bacon was not included in breakfast.
  • Karla Landrum

    Sounds like it was a great event John, hope I can make it to your next one!


  • So glad to hear you guys had a great event and that everything went well! These things are harder to put on than many people realize. Remember that while you can always improve, you can never please everyone.

    I hope to see you again soon. I couldn’t make it to #64 and had to cancel, but I’m speaking at #90 and have submitted for #97. I will also be at the summit this year.

  • Karla – we would love to have you at next years SQL Saturday in Wheeling.
    Ryan – I hope to bump into you at the summit this year.

  • Thank you, John, for allowing me the opportunity to speak! You won’t make that mistake again next year! 🙂

  • Bill Pearson

    The event was great, and everyone – literally everyone – with whom I spoke was super-friendly and welcoming. I loved seeing Wheeling, and plan to come back sometime when I can spend a full weekend (I can imagine Fall is really beautiful) … the architecture demands some exploration, and the town looked kinda ideal for a pub crawl, to boot.

    The attendees to my sessions were especially gracious in their comments – even with the Edison presentation, which surprises many at first. Don’t you just love people that tolerate eccentricity?

    “Job well done” to your excellent team. I look forward to crossing paths again soon!

  • Matt – We would love to have you back next year!

    Bill – Thank you so much for your kind words. I am thrilled to hear that our SQL Saturday was able to showcase Wheeling as an awesome small city and a great community.

    I strongly recommend coming back in the Fall when the leaves change colors. Its my favorite season. We also have several good pubs for a bar crawl. I think next year we might replace SQL Golf with a SQL Bar Crawl.

    If you make it back to Wheeling give me shoot me an email and we can coordinate a bar craw and make sure you see everything.

  • Abi Chapagai

    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak. It was a great even and look forward seeing you all in next year SQL Saturday.

    Thanks, Abi