SQLBits is happening again this March at the Celtic Manor resort in Wales. It’s the largest in-person Microsoft data technology conference in Europe and probably now the world; it’s also a lot of fun and something I would never miss. I imagine that a lot of you reading this post feel the same way that I do about SQLBits, but it occurred to me that if you’re relatively new in the world of Power BI you might not have heard of it and might not know why it’s such a great event to attend. Here are ten reasons why you, as a Power BI person, should go:
- Don’t be put off by the fact it has “SQL” in the name, this conference has lots of Power BI content. Take a look at the list of training days and conference sessions, and check out the (free!) recordings of sessions from previous events here.
- You could spend the whole event just going to Power BI sessions but there are also tons of sessions on related technologies like SQL Server, Synapse and Azure Databricks; there are also sessions on non-technical topics such as public speaking and how to make it as an independent consultant.
- Pretty much everyone who is everyone in the world of Power BI will be there. Want to see Alberto Ferrari, or Adam and Patrick from Guy in a Cube, in the flesh? Then come!
- It’s ridiculously cheap because it’s a community-run event and no-one is making a profit. In fact even if you live in the USA it may be cheaper to get a flight to the UK and come than attend a similar conference nearer home. People come from all over Europe (especially Scandinavia) to attend.
- No training budget? It’s 100% free to attend on Saturday 18th March – all you have to do is register and you get a full day of conference sessions without paying a penny.
- Can’t travel? Even if you can’t make it in person there’s a virtual option so you can watch sessions online. You really have to be there in person to get the full experience though.
- Apart from the learning opportunities, it’s a great place to network. I know lots of people who have found new jobs and advanced their careers from connections made at SQLBits – me included.
- Are you the only Power BI person at your organisation? Feeling lonely? Not sure that you’re doing things properly? You’ll meet people who do the same job as you so you can compare notes and complain about your users.
- It’s also a great place to meet companies that work in the Power BI space like Tabular Editor and Power BI Sentinel and check out their products and services.
- Most of all you’ll enjoy yourself. I know that might be hard to believe, especially if you’ve been to other tech conferences, but SQLBits is different: there’s entertainment every night, the Friday party is legendary and the infamous Power BI Power Hour is the most fun you’ll ever have with your favourite BI tool. It’s also a very friendly, welcoming and inclusive event.
Hopefully this as convinced you! If you’d like to find out more about SQLBits and how it’s run, I can recommend this recent interview with Simon Sabin on my colleague Kasper de Jonge’s YouTube channel.