The Summit is much more than just geat content from excellent speakers. There is a great deal of other stuff going on at the Summit to really enhance your experience. In this post, I will not focus on the "after hours" events.
Do you want to get your hands dirty with Denali? Perhaps you downloaded the latest Denali bits, but you just never got a chance to install them. Or perhaps you just really don't know what's new with Denali and don't know exactly where to start. This is where the Hands-On Labs come in. We will have a room set aside staffed with knowledgable assistants to help you get your hands dirty with Denali. This is a great place to go right after you see a session on Denali and want to play around with a feature a little more.
Do you have a nagging SQL Server problem that you just can't seem to get a resolution to? Are you unsure of Best Practices for a server with 80 cores or want to know the latest on Virtualizing SQL Server? The SQL Server CLinic is for you! CSS (those MSFT support folks who know KB articles by heart) folks along with the SQLCAT team will be in full force here to tackle your toughest problems or to just simply answer a question.
In addition to these great resources, there will be Expert Pods located in the hallways close to the session rooms. These are tables that will be staffed by MSFT Developers, MVPs, and MCMs. Each Expert Pod will have a sing indicating the general topic that they are there to provide assistance upon. Did you ever wonder "why" a particular feature works the way it does? You can probably meet the guy who wrote that piece of code and get a great explanation of just hoy something was done one way and not another.
We also want you take advantage of special events that occur during the Lunch period. Each day, there will be an optional event to include with your lunch:
- Wed - Chapter Lunch - Come meet Local Chapter Leaders and Regional Mentors who cover your geographic area. Also learn about Virtual Chapter that are "Topic-based" chapters that normally meet once per month online!
- Thu - Women In Technology (WIT) Luncheon - This event keeps growing in popularity every year. Lunch is served while a panel discusses trendy topics in the Industry. Thursday is SQLKillt day. You do not have to be a woman to attend; and yoou do not need to wear a kilt either.
- Fri - Birds of a Feather Lunch - MVPs and MCMs will host lunch tables during the lunch period to share their expertise on a particular topic. This is a great way to get into a much deeper conversation with an expert and to expand your personal network.
Did you want to Meet the Board of Directors and share feedback about the Summit and PASS organization? The PASS Board Meet and Greet will be held on Friday at the beginning of Lunch. More details to follow.
One area that you will go by on a daily basis is at the base of the long escalators that take you from the 4th floor to the 6th. In this area, there will be a Book Store featuring books on SQL Server and BI. As you would expect, many of the authors of these books are in attendance and would be delighted to sign your book. Be sure to leave some room in your suitcase for a new book.
Don't want to lug you laptop around but still need to check email? The Internet Pavillion is the place to go. This area will be easily accessible during Summit Hours. PCs are available for you to browse the internet, check your email, or print out a boarding pass. Wired Network connections for those wishing to use their own laptop are also available. The PCs and wired connections are set upon high top tables for quick / brief access to the net.
As you can see, there is more to do at the PASS Summit than merely attend sessions.