SQL Saturday 99 – Emergent Networks Interview

Welcome to the fifth of a few sponsor interview posts from SQL Saturday 99.  After reading Arnie Rowland’s (Blog | @ArnieRowland) Paying For Free post, I thought it might be worthwhile to do a little bit more to interview our attendees and others to the sponsors that enabled us to have our Minnesota event.

In today’s post, I have an interview with Emergent Networks.  Emergent Networks was one of the Gold sponsors for the SQL Saturday event.  They are a returning sponsor from last year.  This year they brought out a race track to the event. This was pretty cool, I saw a lot of people hanging out and playing with the cars.

1. Thank you for sponsoring our SQL Saturday.  Why did you sponsor the Minnesota SQL Saturday? Last year was excellent.  The people from Emergent who attended last year were surprised at how good it was and how great an opportunity there was to connect with a different kind of customer – highly technical, self-motivated, and non-managerial.  For 2011 we wanted to be involved as soon as possible.

2. What services/products does your company offer? We design, build and support SANs, Servers, Networks, Unified Communication systems.  We are partners with and/or certified by EMC, Juniper, Dell, and Microsoft.  We provide website and .Net development, plus SQL Server DBA/BI Consultation.  We also have a full managed services/helpdesk offering.  

3. Have you sponsored other SQL Saturday events? Yes.  Bronze – SQL Saturday 58 (Minnesota), Bronze – SQL Saturday 98 (East Iowa), and Gold this year.  

4. What are your thoughts on SQL Saturdays? A pretty amazing event, more impressive than expected.  Surprised there weren’t MORE vendors – WAY MORE vendors, given the quality of people walking through the halls. 

5. Anything else you’d like to share about the event? The morning check-in was really busy. Well-handled given the huge volume of traffic that came in such a small amount of time. SQL Saturday volunteers were very helpful and professional.

Lunch-in-a-box was efficient and easy.  It seemed that the lunch sessions were not well planned out – people didn’t know where the speakers were and the rooms were empty for quite a while. 

[We] really liked Grace Church as a location.  No distractions, lots of room, and very low-key/efficient.  The people at the Church were attentive and helpful when we needed anything.

At times it felt hurried between sessions.  Not sure if 60 minute sessions would be better or worse.. Only change this if it would not diminish the sessions.

One suggestion – maybe do not give vendors tickets for the drawings.  We did not feel right handing in tickets to win prizes being offered from other vendor companies, and felt it was weird when other vendors entered tickets for our drawings.

Having the prize draw tickets already pre-cut for the attendees would be easier.  People were fumbling with the sheets trying to tear the tickets off.

Thank you again to Emergent Networks for sponsoring our event and for some great suggestions.  There were definitely a few logistical issues that we’ll be trying to iron out for next year.  If you receive an after event e-mail from them, please give them a couple minutes to see if they may be offering just the class you are looking for.