Top Ten Reasons to come to SQLBits

It seems like every conference nowadays has to come up with a ‘top ten’ of reasons to attend, doesn’t it? Well, we at SQLBits thought we shouldn’t be left out and I got the job of writing it. So, even though it’s already been used in one of our promotional emails and Simon’s already put them on his blog, I thought I’d post them up here:

10. We’re going West (Newport, to be exact)! Which is great news if you live in Wales or the South West and you get fed up with all the tech conferences being held in London or the Thames Valley. Even if you don’t live in the local area it’s only 1hr 45 by car or train from London, it’s close to Birmingham, and with Bristol and Cardiff airports nearby it’s easy to get to from anywhere in Europe.

9. SQLBits has grown to three days. We have a day of pre-conference seminars on Thursday November 19th; on Friday November 20th we have a special SQL 2008 and SQL 2008 R2 day; and on Saturday November 21st we have our flagship free community conference. That’s probably all the SQL Server education you’ll want or need this year.

8. Meet other SQL Server professionals. Are you the only DBA in the village? Do people think you’re talking about your private life when you say you’re a “BI consultant”?  Do you have to pretend to be an estate agent or a lawyer at parties to avoid the stigma of being seen as an IT geek? At SQLBits you’re among friends: no-one will mind you talking about clustered indexes or the finer points of MDX syntax.

7. Attend an advanced technical training course. Got some budget for a training course, but don’t want to spend it on yet another basic Microsoft Official Curriculum course where the instructor only read the course notes the night before? Our pre-conference seminars are run by world-class SQL Server experts and will give you the knowledge you need to do your job. Our big draw is Donald Farmer doing a whole day on Gemini and self-service BI, but I’ll be running an introductory MDX course too…

6. Win some swag, drink some beer and eat some pizza. It’s not all work, work, work at SQLBits: we have great giveaways, there are loads of opportunities for socialising and there’s beer, pizza and games at the end of the day. And if you like golf, you might be interested to know that the venue, Celtic Manor Resort, has three championship courses and is playing host to the 2010 Ryder Cup.

5. Check out the latest SQL Server-related products. Don’t have time to download and test the latest tools and utilities? Our sponsors will be happy to demo them for you and provide eval versions. They’ll probably also have loads of those cheap plastic promotional freebies that your kids love.

4. Find out what’s coming in the next version. Our new SQLBits Friday event will give you the lowdown in what’s new in SQL 2008 and what’s coming in SQL 2008 R2 (including Madison, Gemini, StreamInsight, Master Data Services and changes in Reporting Services), so you can plan for the future more effectively.

3. Bring the family. Want to come to SQLBits, but feel guilty about leaving the family at home? No need, they can come too! The venue has its own swimming pools, a spa, tennis courts and restaurants as well as the golf courses. Repeat after me: “It’s not a conference, darling, it’s a luxury weekend break…”

2. Deep technical content. We won’t make you sit through hours of marketing guff from some sales guy who doesn’t know a database from a spreadsheet – SQLBits is all about SQL Server professionals sharing their hard-won technical knowledge with the community. We’ve got big names like Donald Farmer (program manager on the Analysis Services/Gemini dev team) and Thomas Kejser (from the SQLCat team), and MVPs like Simon Sabin, Allan Mitchell and me speaking.

1. Did we mention that SQLBits Saturday is FREE? Yes, as always, the SQLBits community day on Saturday November 21st is free to attend. Top-class speakers, a massive selection of sessions and 100% SQL Server focused – and you pay nothing. That’s 100% cheaper than most tech conferences!

So, what are you waiting for? Register now at:

Oh, and if you are already registered you might be interested to know that voting has just opened, so you can pick the sessions you’d most like to see.

Last of all, would you like to win free admission to the training day of your choice, the Friday event, and free hotel acommodation at Celtic Manor for the Thursday and Friday night? Then check out our mugshot competition:

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