It’s the end of 2023, the second year of the independent, US 501.c.3 charity that runs SQL Saturday. I wanted to take a few minutes to review the year and let you know what we’ve done, what we’re doing, and what we’re planning for 2024.
Overall, I think SQL Saturday saw healthy growth in 2023, though still not back to the levels we saw in 2019. I think we’ll get there, but it will take time.
The 2023 Review
My goal for SQL Saturday events in 2023 was to get 25 events. We had 28 in total, 2 of which were virtual events. We even had 3 events on the same day, Oct 21 (Silicon Valley, Toronto, and Belo Horizonte).
After holding 18 events in 2022, this was nice growth for the brand. Of our branded events, there were repeat events (from 2022) in 10 cities. We had two 2023 events in Baton Rouge, one being BI-focused.
While most events were in the US, we had 1 event in Canada (Toronto), 1 in Bangladesh, 1 in New Zeland, 2 in Peru, 2 in Costa Rica, and 3 in Brazil. The two virtual events were also focused outside the US in Haiti and Sri Lanka. I hope that we continue this growth as the global brand is very well recognized and supported by vendors, speakers, and attendees.
We had 1 event postponed due to a problem with a venue, but I expect this to be rescheduled in 2024. We also had 5 events from 2022 that did not repeat in 2023. Some of these were venue issues and some were due to organizers not being able to commit to the time and effort required to run an event. I hope that we can get these events back in 2024.
We received USD $25,000 in sponsorship funds from Microsoft and distributed all of that, paying bank fees of USD$139.99 to distribute those funds without impacting events.
We also negotiated free PASS Data Community Summit admissions again in 2023 for SQL Saturday organizers, to allow them to attend the event without the need to purchase a conference admission.
The Corporate Status
As a corporation, we continue to do well in 2023 and finished the year in a strong financial position.
We finish the year with USD$7,044.31 in the bank, with $1000 still to be distributed to one more event.
This year we received a few donations as well as advertising revenue. We also had very limited expenses. Here is a summary of our income and expenses for 2023. Amounts in USD.
|Corporate Hosting Fee
Running SQL Saturday cost roughly $200 this year, excluding volunteer time spent on the franchise. I have only had a few engagements with the board, primarily seeking guidance on a few matters. Most of the effort of running the corporation is done by me, as President, with 5-10 hours a month spent on emails and communicating with the organizers of events.
I do worry a bit about sustainability in the future if I am not devoting time to running the corporation, but I hope that I can find someone passionate about SQL Saturday who would want to take over some of the monthly administrative and communication tasks with organizers.
Board of Directors
We have had the same board that I appointed in 2021 with no changes. In 2023 we had planned to try and rotate some of the board members off and pick new ones, but my schedule was a bit overloaded and I didn’t have a good plan for accomplishing this. I hate to just pick new ones, but I also don’t quite know how to run an election. I’m slightly uncomfortable with having board members vote for new board members, as we might get into the situation where PASS was in previous years with a select group of people controlling the board.
I am open to suggestions here and I am asking if anyone on the board wants to step down. We have not asked a lot of them in terms of commitments, and I do not know if that will change in the future, but I do think we ought to
Looking forward to 2024
We already have 7 events listed in 2024 and I have 3 other tentative ones that are finalizing their space arrangements. I am hoping that we see more user groups get back to growing their communities after the pandemic and thinking about a large event to bring people together.
I am also encouraging user group leaders to work with peer groups, perhaps Power BI/analytics or dotNet groups, to combine and co-locate events to make logistics easier and share the effort. Plus, marketing to two different groups might bring in more attendees.
All our events (and others) are listed at https://sqlsaturday.com/. Spread the word and let others know about events near you. If you want to speak, volunteer, or help organize an event, contact the organizers. They are always looking for help.
If you or others want to join our mailing list, you can register here: http://eepurl.com/hwVBKn. Please feel free to pass this along to others.