PASS recently announced that the annual PASS Summit would be held in Charlotte, NC in the year 2013. The event will be the first Summit held outside of Seattle after a five year run there. I wanted to put together a quick blog post to help people understand a bit more about the event, the location, and how we arrived at our decision to choose that city over others. I will do so in a FAQ format so that I can add in additional questions as they get asked.

What week will the 2013 Summit take place?

The Summit will take place the week of October 13th, 2013.

Why Charlotte?

When deciding a host city for the PASS Summit there are a lot of factors to consider. Many of the factors are fine level details, but some are very high level. One such detail would be the ability for a city to host an event that has more than 3,000 attendees. That detail eliminates many cities. Other details that help to eliminate other cities are dates available, costs (facility costs, hotel costs, etc.), and the ability for people to travel to the city either directly or within one connecting flight (which is hard to predict so far in the future both for domestic but especially for international). Other factors are the ability to have a strong Microsoft presence.

For the 2013 Summit we narrowed our selections down to Dallas and Charlotte and in the end we felt Charlotte was a better choice for the Summit in 2013.

Where will the Summit be located?

We will be at the Charlotte Convention Center.

What hotels are preferred?

We don’t have a list of preferred hotels at this time, but once we do we will announce those to everyone. For now I can say that there is a Westin across the street and the Hilton Charlotte Center City is adjacent to the Convention Center. There are 3-4 other hotels located within a few blocks as well.

What is there to do?

As any good DBA would tell you, “it depends”. What is it you want to do while at the PASS Summit? [HINT: the answer is network with friends and colleagues] Charlotte offers many places for such events. They also have the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which I assume is a history of the best bootleggers and moonshine makers the Southeast has ever seen. Either that or a detailed list of people who became famous because they didn’t know how to make a right turn. Anyway, it sounds like fun (no, I don’t know if they give out samples of moonshine there, like you get Coke at the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta).

If anyone is concerned about what to do when not at the Summit then I encourage them to reach out to me and I will make every effort to help you find something to do, or somewhere to be (when not attending sessions, of course!)

What makes Charlotte special, are they known for anything in particular?

That is a hard question to answer, because what things I may find exciting about Charlotte may not be all that exciting to someone else. So, I would encourage you to head over to http://www.charlottesgotalot.com/ and explore for yourself. From what I have seen it would appear that there are a lot of things in and around the Charlotte area that would hold someone’s interest.

Personally I am looking forward to spending time at either Discovery Place or the US National Whitewater Center (or both). Well, that and BBQ, of course. In fact I hope to find (and eat) an entire pork belly while at the 2013 Summit.

How will I get there?

For the majority of attendees you are going to arrive by plane. Here is a list of airlines that have flights to Charlotte. Once you get to the airport a taxi to downtown will cost about $25 USD. There is also a bus available to downtown for $1.75 USD. You can get a complete list of options here.

Will anyone from Microsoft be there?

Yes, Microsoft has an office in Charlotte with some of the best SQL Server experts based out of that office.

I am local to the Southeast US, should I just skip the 2011 and 2012 Summits and wait for 2013?

Absolutely not, don’t be silly.