Rate a Session for GroupBy

One of the things that I struggle with is understanding whether a session at a conference like a SQL Saturday is worth watching. I also struggle writing abstracts and attracting people to my own sessions, so I think the idea of GroupBy allowing rating and reviewing of abstracts in advance is fantastic.


First, let me encourage many of you to go take a minute today and rate an abstract. If you see something that you like, leave a note. If you aren’t sure of something, or don’t like something, or even have a question about the content, leave that note as well.

I’ve been fortunate to attend lots of events. I speak at many, but I try to view a session or two at each as well. I’ve seen some great ones, and some poor ones. I do try to provide constructive criticism, and I do so privately. If you’d like feedback from me at any event, please ask.

One of the things I’ve seen is that the abstract often doesn’t quite match the talk, or the abstract doesn’t really help me understand what will be covered. It doesn’t matter if someone has tried to write a cute description or a plain boring one, the writing doesn’t always match the talk well.

I know I make mistakes in my abstracts. I know sometimes I write something that I realize later isn’t quite what I think will work in the talk. I’d like the chance to edit and correct small items. More importantly, I’d like to be sure that if my abstract topic (and talk) could slightly be tweaked in a way that more people like, I want to do it.

Take a minute and give some feedback. Be honest, rate what you want, don’t take up too much of your day, and help improve the conference schedule.

I’d love to see PASS implement this as well for the Summit. I realize this can be hard, but I would prefer to see some give and take in advance to help build the best set of sessions that people want to attend.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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2 Responses to Rate a Session for GroupBy

  1. Brent Ozar says:

    Thanks, glad you like the idea over there!

    I’m kicking around a thought about how to handle the presentation slides after the winners are voted in. What if you had 30 days to submit the slides after your session was voted as a winner, and then the slides are also put up on the page for group review for 2-4 weeks before the event?

    Not every session translates well in just slides alone, but I can imagine scenarios where people are able to point out issues, discuss whether the deck matches the abstract, etc.

    Presenters would hate it, but attendees might love it. Any thoughts?


    • way0utwest says:

      I like the idea of having slides done earlier. I know presenters get busy and want to wait, but it always irks me to see people waiting until a week (or less) before an event to actually build slides or demos. I’d like to actually see something earlier, with feedback that might help me fix things ahead of time.


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