The last activity done before leaving on a trip is to check the weather and pack. I had packed earlier but still double checked on Tuesday to be certain that I had the appropriate clothing. WRONG! I had packed all jeans only to discover that it was going to be 80 degrees during our visit. I removed all but one pair of jeans and replaced them with capri pants, only to get to Las Vegas where it was colder than Nashville. That is okay it did warm up eventually. What beautiful weather we did had.
Ok, now back to my summary. We arrived on Wednesday knowing that there were things that needed done for the event. Our hotel was a timeshare condo that we purchased from a friend. It was great. We had a nice place. I really enjoyed this resort and will hopefully be booking it next year. It was close to the venue, close to a great little local bar and close to a dear friends house. Mark this one down as a WIN!
Thursday there was a BIG DATA Round up being sponsored by Dell at the House of Blues. My friends Karen Lopez [ B L O G | TWITTER ] and Stacia Misner [ B L O G | TWITTER ] participated in a panel discussion with a few others and then gave a 5 minute talk related to big data. It was fun because they took a regular session and broke it down to only last five minutes, I enjoyed seeing the quick version. After that they broke everyone into groups to have smaller discussions. It was really nice and Dell did a great job of putting that together. If you are interested in something similar You can contact Steven Phillips steven_j_Phillips at dell.com .
Friday we of course had the speaker dinner. First O’Aces is a great neighborhood bar with an excellent friendly staff and good food. I am pretty sure we were there every day but one. We had an awesome Greek buffet. I only wish we had broken out our speaker gifts and played some cards. A group of folks went to check out the strip’s new ferris wheel, called the High Roller. They said that the ride lasted about 30 minutes and cost them about $35 bucks. The cool thing I didn’t know is that the ride doesn’t stop moving, the described it like getting on a moving sidewalk. I hope to see some pictures from there adventure.
Speaking of cards I went to play solitaire and found out that I was missing a card. BUT I did end up with 2 five of clubs.
Saturday the day of the show! Joey made a comment something to the effect of “these things just have a way of coming together”. I remember thinking are you freaking nuts?! I busted my butt trying to get everything done, remember everything that needed to be there and get things set up. But he was totally right. We had a few little technical issues with getting printing going but, WOW it just all fell into place and once it gets started there isn’t much to worry about. Lunch was catering from O’Aces and again it was great. Nice spread of wraps, chips & salsa, fruit and potato salad. The facility ( The InNEVation Center ) had a great big room called STAGE 2 where we not only had lunch but a lunch time session that was being broadcast into the other rooms. There was no getting away from Joseph D’Antoni [ B L O G | TWITTER ] who was representing SIOS [ S I T E | TWITTER ] . Several great questions from the audience and some fun prizes! Thank you SIOS!
The after party was also a an exciting adventure on the windy patio with big cauldrons of open flame. The fire pit was here by named #SQLFire, #SQLBonFire and #SQLCampFire it just depended on who you asked. For some reason during this lovely evening we were all asked to randomly tweet @SQLScott for the next week. Didn’t matter what you tweeted just tweet him a lot. Several people left or didn’t attend to take in a Vegas show. After this I went to spend some time with #sqlfamily.
Sunday was the number one reason you should be attending these events and hanging out with like minded people. We were sitting around talking when all of the sudden we had a KILLER idea that snowballed from being a single session to being an entire track. The only hint I can give you is 7. Keep your eyes out for an entire track coming to SQLSat near you. After that you’d think we’d stop and rest, oh heck no! We had serious conversations about resurrecting SQLEscursions. It was full dialog including business models and market share. Where else can you go and get great ideas on things to present on that opens the door for 5 or 6 of your friends to write something too and work out a plan to create a destination SQL training event. The morale of the story is that we have the ability to attend a FREE (oh sometimes you have to pay $10 for lunch but honestly as an event organizer that doesn’t come close cover food for you that day) all day training event and potentially come out with a new business idea. I mean the options are endless.
What a great first time event! Stacia Misner and her crew did an awesome job. I am hoping that we have many events there over the years. If I had to come up with one item that was awesome and one that could be improved it would be the same item, the venue. AMAZING VENUE! I mean it was ultra modern, cool and fun but on the other hand it didn’t lend itself to helping the vendors out that much. You have to love the sponsors without them we wouldn’t be able to put on these events or they would cost > $100 per person with no refunds. So please don’t forget to show the sponsors some <3 visit the vendor area and sign up for their emails.
***One final note
I live in NashVegas, Music City or Nashville if you will. I have lived there 5 years now and have seen all of 2 country music stars only one of which is current. Don’t get me wrong I am sure it’s because we don’t get out much and go to places that one might encounter these folks. If you were not paying attention this weekend the CMAs happened in Las Vegas. Now we did think about hitting the strip Sunday night in search of a glimpse but we did not however. Any guesses on what I am about to tell you? I am almost 100% positive that Dirks Bentley, Cowboy Troy, Eric Church and part of the Lady Antebellum clan are on this flight. As a matter of fact Church is sitting directly behind me sleeping. Funny how I didn’t figure out who he was right away and made the comment “nothing like dressing like the uni bomber for your flight to Nashville”. Oh the irony of having to travel to Las Vegas to run into folks that live in my home town.
Also if anyone cares I won $200 on a video poker machine at O’Aces. By hitting 4 10s on two different nights!