How do you prepare for conferences?

Sometimes just getting approval to attend a conference is a challenge, but getting the green light isn’t the only thing you should plan for.  Sure, you want to learn some things–but a google search can teach you too.  In fact this week we are hearing about new features and functionality from the Ignite event–and I am catching all of it in my bunny slippers.

Why attend a conference then?

Conference season is upon us and Steve and I share some thoughts on why we attend conferences and some of the strategies we have used in the past.

Episode Quotes

“There is an evolution from the time you go to your first one… after 10 you’re maybe a little bit more of a veteran there. But that doesn’t mean there are still not preparation steps.”

“We should all be looking to get something out of the conference and not just, ‘Well, I want to go there and learn something.’”

“Plan ahead, sign up for what you can ahead of time but also be ready to adapt to the last minute if things change.”

“We want to reach out to these people but we want to be careful about how we approach them and talk about something positive.”

“If you’re just trying to spam people that’s a different objective and you’ll be in a different circle.”

Listen to Learn

02:45   Today’s Topic: Conference Tips and Tricks
03:48   The right mindset in going to conferences
04:27   Find your people
05:11   Connect through social media postings
07:12   Check your plans and papers
10:34   Goals: Why are you attending the conference?
12:13   Finding your people, scenarios of networking with people
16:46   Never dine alone
20:03   Right place, right time, valuable personal interaction
20:35   Meeting Famous People: Do’s and Don’ts
30:02   What to do after the whole conference is over? Whose circle do I want to get into?

Meet the Hosts

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Carlos Chacon

With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at and provides training through SQL Trail events.

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Eugene Meidinger

Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.

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Kevin Feasel

Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.

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