Last year after returning from PASS Summit, I blogged about The benefits of attending PASS realized!, where I provided a specific example of how attending had helped me in troubleshooting a problem in my environment. I love PASS Summit, its the only event I know of, next to maybe the MVP Summit, that draws so many of the SQL Server Experts from around the world, and they all love to help people with their problems. However, today really highlighted that what you take away from PASS is more than just the limited amount of information you might pickup while actually attending the sessions.
One of the options that is available when you register for PASS Summit is the option to purchase the conference DVD set. The last two years I opted to not purchase the DVD set, but I won’t be making that mistake again this year. In the last nine months, I have logged into the 2009 Summit site and accessed the online videos of the Summit sessions at least once every two or three weeks. Today, a discussion on Twitter about parallelism and CXPACKET waits popped up, and I referenced Bob Ward’s (Blog|Twitter) session about wait types where he covered this wait type with good detail, as well as how to look at when it might, or might not be a problem for your system. It just happens that the 2009 sessions are online for attendees, and the person I was talking to Tom LaRock(Blog|Twitter) had attended the summit. I also still have access to the 2008 presentation slide decks and materials, which happens to be the first year I attended the Summit.
How much would you pay to have Adam Machanic, Paul Randal, Kimberly Tripp, Kalen Delaney, Andrew Kelly, Brian Knight, or any of the other experts in SQL Server available at your fingertips to go over that topic you hear them speak about? Well you can have that without going to Summit, it will cost you $595 for the DVD set as a non-attendee. However, if you attend Summit, the DVD set is only $195, so that is $400 that would go towards your conference costs if you had registered and purchased the DVD set. Even if you don’t attend the Summit, I’d try and fight for the DVD set for your employer. Even at $595, they are one heck of deal, when you consider the quality of the presentations that are included in the set.