SQLSaturday Advice – Scheduling

One of the things that I’ve seen cause a few headaches at SQL Saturday events is the scheduling. First, before anyone gets upset, I think the organizers have done a good job, and I haven’t really seen anything wrong with what they’ve done. I just think here’s a little room for improvement.

Easy to Hard

One thing that I noticed at an event earlier this year was a number of sessions that covered the same technology, but at different levels of difficulty. For example, I saw a beginning Powershell and a more advanced Powershell session in the same schedule.

However the advanced session was first, and the beginner one later. That’s fine in a vacuum, but if I’m getting into Powershell, or wondering what it’s about, I’d rather go to the beginner one and then if I want more, I can go to the advanced one later.

So the first piece of advice is to schedule beginner content first, and then more advanced content. I might even try to schedule things back to back if I can, but definitely get beginner content out first.

Big Names

I don’t really consider myself a big name, but a lot of people know who I am, and I think there’s some attractiveness to having me at your event. The same thing goes for Andy Warren (LinkedIn | Blog | @sqlandy), Thomas LaRock(Blog | @sqlrockstar) and a few others.


I would suggest that you look at your list of people, after you’ve scheduled content in order from easy to hard, and then make sure that your out of town people, or your big names, aren’t speaking at the same time. Attendees that are coming because of a few big names will want to see them, so spread them around. Make sure that you have your MVPs, your high profile people spread out so that your audience can go see them.

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2 Responses to SQLSaturday Advice – Scheduling

  1. Andy says:

    It's hard to get right. Often we're working speakers arriving later in the day, or needing to leave early. I swear we start out logical, and somewhere along the line it just gets a little crazy!


  2. Steve Jones says:

    I'm not sure you ever get it right, but it does help to try and schedule the names you use to draw people separately.


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