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Sunday, August 10, 2014

SQLSaturday Baton Rouge Business Intelligence and Recap - 2 of 2

(This is the second part of a two-part post on a SQLSaturday Baton Rouge 2014 recap.)

Out of a total of 614 attendees in house on August 2, 264 responded to our post-event cross-platform flurry of online survey invitations to surveymonkey. After reviewing this valuable feedback, it is definitely something we should have also been doing all along. We got some great feedback and testimonials, like these actual responses:
  • It was great networking, learning, fun and there were light-sabers.
  • Some very good talks with great content, large community of very smart, talented developers, great networking, and awesome SWAG/goodies
  • Great networking opportunity, good way to get to know the community. Some talks were really excellent presentations on state of the art database techniques.
  • Lots of companies with great networking opportunities; lots of free training and free stuff. High quality and free is very unique.
  • It was a fun way to network and learn about how everyone is using technology that we can bring back to our own organizations. It is a chance to learn something new, and meet new people.
  • My first sql saturday and certainly not my last. Had a very nice time.
We also got some great info on stuff that we, our speakers and our sponsors could do better in 2015. You better believe we are listening to those and will follow up on it. I highly recommend to SQLSaturday organizers to followup your event with a survey like this.

As for what sessions people want to see next year? More demand for content at both sides of the spectrum, from expert level to beginner, and lots of requests for new technology topics, summarized by these actual responses:
  • I would like to see more "deep dive" presentations. Those submitted were good, but would like to see some that go more in-depth. Some did, but several were very high level. It's good to have variety, but I feel there could have been more "deep dive" sessions.
  • More advanced areas in each track 
  • more intermediate or advanced BI/BA
  • Cover beginning concepts to persons new to SQL
  • Basic SQL Server Indexing, Generally more SQL Server basics
  • Even the "beginner" level seminars were way above the heads of people like me who are truly beginners and who don't yet have real world experience with SQL. A few sessions truly targeting newcomers to the field would help.
  • Anything new and upcoming to keep me up to date with technology.
  • SQL 2014 specific stuff
  • Machine Learning
  • Underwater basketweaving
We asked attendees about their attendance during the day:

I was there all day!
I missed some of the afternoon sessions.
I missed some of the morning sessions.

We asked attendees how we could best reach them to tell them about SQLSaturday Baton Rouge 2015:

Email from SQLSaturday.com (back in March)
Social Media - (Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, Twitter, FriendFace)
A colleague at work
User Group meeting
Email from the User Group or tech community
Events Calendar from media outlet (newspaper, TV, radio)
My manager
Other (please specify)
Someone I manage

We asked attendees who their favorite booth was (by any measure they liked), and envoc's shag-carpeted, comfy-couch swag pad was the winner:

We asked who was the favorite speaker at the event, and the world-travelling Kevin Boles and his two auditorium-sized SQL Dev sessions carried the day. However, a whopping 37 different speakers received at least two votes their "favorite speaker", so great job to the 13 track, 5 session schedule lineup of speakers this year!

Percent Count
Kevin Boles 8.2% 19
Raghu Dodda 5.6% 13
Jennifer McCown 5.6% 13
Brian Rigsby 5.2% 12
Sean McCown 4.7% 11
George Mauer 4.3% 10
Cherie Sheriff 4.3% 10
Carlos Bossy 4.3% 10
Thomas Allsup 3.9% 9
Mike F. Robbins 3.4% 8

We asked about our jambalaya lunch (from Pot & Paddle Jambalaya Kitchen):

Lunch was great!
Lunch was just OK.
I chose not to eat the free lunch.
I missed lunch.

We got lots of good feedback about improving next year and praise for the this year. Too much to summarize here, other than that rest assured - we hear you!

Finally, on the suggestion of my wife with a business degree, we asked the classic "Would you recommend SQL Saturday" question. 

'Nuff said.

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