The Summit is over and after getting about 28 hours of sleep the past two nights combined I think I am ready for Monday morning.
I arrived in Seattle on Saturday and met up with some friends for dinner. On Sunday I took part in the “FreeCon” being presented by Brent Ozar. It was great to spend a few hours with people I have come to know (some for years, some more recently). We talked about a lot of different topics such as blogging, consulting, and presenting. After getting my freak on FreeCon fix I ended up taking part in the Underground Seattle tour. After the tour I realized I had not eaten a real meal in quite some time, so I grabbed a quick bite to eat with Wendy Pastrick (blog | @wendy_dance) before we headed over to Zig Zag’s (our Sunday traditional hangout).
On Monday I altered my typical breakfast by heading over to Top Pot doughnuts. After hearing Andy Warren (blog | @sqlandy) talk about it for a few years now I just had to see the place for myself. I bumped into Wendy on the way as it was right near her hotel and we joined Andy and Steve Jones (blog | @way0utwest) for a quick cup of coffee. Todd Robinson made his way over soon after and then myself, Todd, and Wendy walked down to La Panier for a real breakfast treat. I stop at La Panier for at least one breakfast every time I am in Seattle.
I managed to grab a few photos and headed over to the convention center for a quick board meeting. After the meeting was completed I wandered up to check on how the pre-con seminars were doing and somehow managed to interrupt three of them unintentionally. Shortly after that it was time for the pre-Welcome Reception for the first time attendees. We didn’t do a good job of keeping the alumni out of the hall and that led to things being a little more noisy than we would have liked. I also don’t have any feedback on how my OC members fared with their groups, I hope to get that feedback soon.
I took part in the Quiz Bowl and soon after the event was over I found myself in a cab and headed over to the Garage for the Volunteer Party. Spent a couple of hours there before finding myself in another cab and heading over to Bush Gardens for some karaoke. After another couple of hours there I finally found myself walking home and looked forward to a few hours sleep before the keynote on Tuesday.
The keynote started off and it got everyone talking. If I had to rank the keynotes as a group I would have put Day 3 (DeWitt) at the top, followed by Day 1 (Kummert) second and Day 2 (Clark) a distant third. I know that it is important to include “markitechture” in the keynotes, but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy listening.
I didn’t attend many sessions at the Summit as it seemed to be that I had conflicts almost all day long. I had some board meetings to attend as well as had some required time in the Confio booth in the vendor hall. And when I did have time to attend a session I found myself asked to attend a different session by a good friend or two which I obliged. I also passed up some sessions to show support for friends or first time speakers. And one time I went to a session walk out in five minutes because I forgot I had a meeting. In other words, I was hustling all week long. And I knew that whatever sessions I missed I will be able to watch on the DVD anyway.
I did spend some time in the hallways with some good friends such as Rob Collie (blog | @powerpivotpro). I also enjoyed all my conversations (and there were a lot) with Rob Farley (@rob_farley) who sat next to me at the blogger table. And one of the highlights had to be the few minutes I got to spend with Lynn Langit (blog | @llangit), I was very excited to be able to bounce an idea off her and get some very valuable feedback.
One of my biggest takeaways from the Summit is my focus for next year as a Director. I have been tasked with revamping the 24 Hours of PASS format. I’ll blog more about this later, but the 24 HoP is my sole focus for the next few months. I will also be taking part in the Marketing calls with Rick Heiges (@heigesr2) as I hope to get some marketing ideas of mine underway at some point next year.
There is no doubt this was the nest Summit ever. Simply the best. Better than all the rest…