With SQL Saturdays being rebooted, and the SQLSaturday.com website live, it’s time for events. I am reaching out to some people that have run events in the past, but I really would like a more people to think about running an event in 2021. Please, contact me if you need help.
We are still in a pandemic around the globe, and while vaccinations are happening, I don’t know that many people will be able to attend a live event in 2021. With that in mind,
2021 is about the schedule.
By that, I mean that attendees don’t have to travel and block out a particular day to go to a SQL Saturday at a local venue. Instead, they can attend any SQL Saturday in a close time zone, if they have the time. Therefore, I don’t care when the Denver SQL Saturday takes place, but rather, I care that I watch a session or two when I do have time. I may not be able to spare an entire Saturday, but I can watch a session or two if I have the choice on any given Saturday (or other day).
Therefore, I have a goal.
A SQL Saturday every week for the rest of 2021.
I realize it won’t be every week, as it takes at least a few weeks to get an event together, but I want to plant the seed now. Let’s aim for one every week from June 1 on.
To make it easy, I’d give organizers these targets:
- Stick to 2-3 tracks only, 4-5 sessions each.
- Broadcast in a cheap, simple format. Streamyard is cheap, and Agorify looks interesting.
- Use mostly local speakers but pick others if you need them. Make this “local” with local talent.
- Use a short call for speakers (2 weeks) and then just promote your event.
- Promote locally as much as you can to attract and engage your local people for 2022.
- Don’t worry about speaker gifts or other extras.
- Make it a fun day for you and your fellow organizers, but easy.
No matter when you normally have a SQL Saturday, think about just scheduling one for some time this year. We will get dates on the site, and without the need for a venue, you just need a Saturday when you are free. Or really, any other day of the week. Don’t let the “Saturday” limit you. There have been physical events on other days. Run your event on a Friday, or a Wednesday. Whatever suits you.
If a full day is too much, try to do a half day, 2-3 sessions across an afternoon and evening.
If you have never run an event, a virtual one is much easier, and it’s a good first step before you run a physical one. Take this year to practice giving back to the community.
Why Run Virtual Events?
Many of us are tired of physical events. We miss seeing others, and we miss the networking. Virtual events do not do a good job of duplicating what a live event is like.
I get that. I tend to dislike virtual events, both as an attendee and speaker. I am tired of video “stuff”.
We want events to come back in 2022 and beyond. We also want to keep learning and growing. This is for attendees and speakers.
Running your local event, say the Elizabeth SQL Saturday (my local city), means that I can engage my local audience and speakers. I can use this as a way to excite some of my local membership and get them thinking about the future. They may long for the event next year, even if they find attending a virtual SQL Sat LA to be better than my SQL Sat Elizabeth.
This also gives speakers opportunities to practice their skills, deliver new content, and get excited. There are fewer opportunities virtually and having a locally focused event might give some people a chance to improve, or start, speaking to give back to the community.
I really, really, really, really (can’t use enough reallys here) hope we get back to physical events by the end of this year, but I’m not counting on it. I do think we will be able to get venues and run events in 2022, which means looking forward, but keeping SQL Saturday going.