As some of you are aware, the PASS Summit for 2013 does not yet have a home. We have already sent out an RFP to roughly 15 cities. At the most recent PASS Board meeting we narrowed the list of cities down to five. I am not able to name those cities at this time, as we have asked those five cities to prepare their final numbers for us to review. We expect to have those numbers in about a month or so at which time the Board will call for a vote and we will select a city.
Even though this decision is weeks away I have been spending a good amount of time trying to figure out what would be the deciding factors for me to support a Summit in one city versus another. My short list is as follows:
- Microsoft support (in terms of employee attendance, not in terms of sponsor dollars)
- Location to a safe, walkable downtown (ideal for networking and socializing)
- Easily navigable conference center (you don’t need to walk for 20 minutes to get from one end to the other)
- Affordable hotels
- Affordable dining
- Airport hub (need to minimize travel for all attendees)
- Length of travel time to and from Summit
Those are the ones that immediately come to mind. Please let me know if you feel there is something else to consider, I am certain I am forgetting something.
In addition to the list of considerations I also need to weigh the importance of each. So, which would have more weight, affordable hotels or Microsoft support? Maybe being a downtown is better than having affordable dining? I don’t know I have the answers. But I do know that the more people I talk with the more I find that everyone has a different focus. Some people want a city like Seattle strictly because of Microsoft being there in full force, while others are tired of traveling to Seattle every year (myself included).
It is not an easy decision for us to make and I wanted people to know and understand it is on our minds now, well in advance of the decision. If you want to provide feedback in the comments below, please do.