Memories from SQL Saturday Orlando 2021

A few memories from this past weekend, during the first live SQL Saturday event in the US this year.

I’ve had plenty of plane flights this year, actually this was my 10th trip in 2021. However, most of those have been for personal reasons and with my wife. This was one of the few my myself, and the first where I was flying to an event by myself. I spent a few minutes reflecting on how often I’ve done this, how my first SQL Saturday was in Orlando, and how much I’ve missed this.

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The morning of the event, I drove over from across the street. It was lightly raining, and while I knew roughly where things were, I’ve missed seeing these signs.

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An older logo, but this still works. This brings back memories of setting up for the evnet in Denver, and being glad that we had signs arrows pointing both ways and trying to get sorted out to put the right sign in the right spot to point to the event. We messed that up a few times.

Registration was quiet. I am a little sad about that, but I understand a few things. Likely some people were busy with kids, thinking about Halloween the next day (or that night). Some were nervous or not ready for events, and some thought this was virtual. All fine with me.

Glad to see @sqlgene there.

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The rooms were small, and a minor hiccup. The screen fabric was supposed to tape up, but the fabric walls didn’t work. Fortunately, the hotel had magnets. Who knew, the walls were steel.

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I had never met Jean Joseph, but I was impressed with his efforts this year to help the community. He ran a Data Saturday, then did the Future Data Driven event. I was impressed with his work, effort, and enthusiasm.

A real pleasure to meet him in person.

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There were a few vendors there, but it was good to see the interaction. Even with a smaller crowd, it seemed that plenty of people stopped by to chat with them. Shawn Myers here, from Tintri, talking with Patrick, one of the attendees.

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It was great to see friends from the past. Jamey Johnston drove down and joined us to deliver a Power BI and Row Level Security talk.

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I got to talk with him a bit as well. Jamey is a friend and one of the few people I’ve hung out with away from events. We have had a couple ski trips together and are hoping to get another one this season.

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I had the chance to also catch up with Kendal Van Dyke, Microsoft employee, and a friend I’d see both in Florida and Colorado at times. It’s been too long and I was glad to see Kendal come and support the event.

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Catching up with fellow speakers is always a pleasure. I don’t know when I last saw Kevin Feasel in person, but I do remember sitting in the top of a double decker bus in Cambridge with him, driving to an after event dinner a few years ago, and I miss the chances to sit and chat with him and others.

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Aaron Cutshall is another speaker I’ve run into all over the country and I have no idea when the last time was, but it has definitely been too long.

I caught up with fellow SQL Saturday board member, Taiob Ali as well, and I loved his excitement about the event. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to come see him at an event in Boston sometime in 2022.

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I missed taking a picture with Rob Volk, and I’m sorry. He is a dear friend that I’ve literally seen all over the world. The US, Europe, the UK, and Australia as well. We got the chance to have breakfast Sunday morning before I left, and as usual, it was another memorial few moments, too short, but very enjoyable.

I also updated the About page on SQL Saturday, as I realized Rob had crossed 100 events as a speaker. Contrats to him!!!! Please let him know as he’s volunteered his time and effort to teach and inspire people all over the world.

A quick trip, Friday afternoon to Sunday morning, and a nice view as I left Orlando. I enjoy taking pictures coming in and out of cities, and then seeing if I can recognize them years later when they pop up at memories.

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Another great set of memories, and inspirational to think about going this more often in the future. A few people were excited about the future and looking forward to helping more events come about in 2022.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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