It’s been over a month, but I finally caught up on some blogging after a lot of travel. This post looks back at SQL Saturday South Florida 2023, which was one I attended.

This was my first time visiting the South Florida event, and I was excited to attend. I’ve been wanting to go for years, but the timing hasn’t been good with kids and other events. This year I was able to make it, and I’m glad I did.

This event is held in Davie, which is near Fort Lauderdale. I flew there and it was a short drive to NOVA SouthEastern University. This is a nice, open Florida campus, but unfortunaltey, this was graduation weekend. Parking was tough to find though it was available. Lots of lots and garages in the area.

The library was used to host the event and it’s a nice, modern, open space. The one challenge was that the food and registration (and vendors) were on the second floor, while the sessions were on the first floor. This is a working library, and there were signs, but it’s easy to miss them. A few volunteers helped out and directed people.

Lots of great sessions on the schedule and it was exciting for me to see many speakers and a few attendees that I’d run into the month before in Jacksonville

One interesting issue for me was that I couldn’t connect to the projecter from my laptop. The next speaker also couldn’t and one of the volunteers diagnosed this as a bad cable. It got replaced, but a few of us copied our PPT to a flash drive and loaded on the computer in the room. Not great for demos, but a learning experience and I was glad that I could describe and talk through my session without demos. I did record and publish them later.

A few lessons learned from this event for me:

  1. Marketing really matters and you need a lot of it, especially when user groups have not met as often or gotten people to attend.
  2. Check for other events near your venue and plan for parking.
  3. More signs and volunteers are good when you spread out the event. I might also describe the venue or include a map on the site.
  4. Communication is important. The organizer and I struggled to get connected, mostly with email constantly going to spam between us. I need to ensure I have a 2nd way to get ahold of people.

I also found some Notes from SQLSaturday South Florida 2023 by Andy Warren.

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