PASS Summit has been the largest and most appreciated Microsoft Data Platform conference in the world for many years. It brings together data professionals from around the world and creates a unique opportunity to meet and network with friends and colleagues, to learn from experts and from the best speakers in the world, and to enjoy and have fun, whether it's in the welcome reception or the SQL Karaoke party.
But this year it’s going to be so much different. It's going to be the first-ever virtual summit. You might be wondering how it is going to look like or feel like. How is PASS planning to deliver the same experience this year without actually bringing people together physically?
Well, I have news for you. PASS is working hard to bring all of us the best experience ever in PASS Virtual Summit 2020. Online networking activities, learning pathways, health & wellness breaks, regional spotlights and chat rooms are just a few examples. Still not sure how it's going to look like? Then let me take you through a guided tour.
It's Sunday, November 8. You have already registered to PASS Virtual Summit 2020, and purchased the All-in-One Bundle, which includes the 3-day conference plus two pre-conference sessions, and a lot more. You are so excited because you have two full-day pre-conference sessions ahead of you. It begins tomorrow. It was a tough choice because there are so many great pre-conference sessions to choose from in each day. If you need some advice, then you can read about my top 3 favorites here.
It's Monday morning. You are about to start a full-day seminar with one of the top speakers in the world, and yet you are still at home. What a strange feeling. You sit in your office with a cup of coffee, ready to take it in. The session begins, and after only 30 minutes, you already know it's going to be a great day full of learning. You can easily communicate with the instructor as well as with the rest of the class. And the nice thing about learning while you're in your office is that you are, well, in your office. You have your gear, you have access to your company network, and you can try things in your test environment during the session. You get a very good learning experience. Who would have imagined?
It's Tuesday. Another training day, another topic, another instructor, new and exciting things to learn. Read the previous paragraph again. Do you feel the excitement already?
After the session, you take a short break and prepare for the welcome reception. When you join the party, you see that some of your friends and colleagues are already there. You can chat with them, listen to some cool music together, and even learn how to make a delicious cocktail.
Remember that feeling when you want to start a conversation with someone you don't know, but you're too shy? Well, it turns out that it's a lot easier to meet new people when it's virtual. The virtual platform allows you to see who is there with you, their names and profiles, and you can easily start a conversation with people with whom you have something in common. What a party!
The next 3 days are packed with activities. It's simply impossible to participate in everything, so you need to plan your schedule carefully. You choose the best sessions that you just can't afford to miss from the long list of conference sessions. You remember to take advantage of the various learning pathways so that you can feel your progression through the conference and achieve new skills.
Once in a while, you decide to take a break from learning. You visit the community zone and share what you've learned with other members of the community. You meet a few friends, and you decide to go to one of the chat rooms and continue the discussion there. Oh, and there are also many "Birds of a Feather" discussions that you can join on almost any topic you can think of. At 4 pm, after quite an intensive day, you decide to take a yoga session. Wait, there is even a cooking class. How cool is that?
And what about the exhibitor hall? It's right there, with lots of booths to visit. You can "walk" around in the virtual hall at your own pace, decide which booths you want to visit, collect vendor QR codes, and get a chance to win some prizes.
It's Friday afternoon. The conference is almost over. What an amazing and unique experience. You're exhausted. You learned so many new things and acquired new skills. You made some new friends and even learned how to make a really good cocktail. You missed so many great sessions, simply because there were just too many of them. But you are aimed with on-demand access to all the sessions for 12 months. You have so much learning to do in the coming year.
And you know what else is cool? You collected a lot of cool ribbons…