PASS Summit Location Response

There has been a lot of chatter going back and forth as it relates to the official announcement that the PASS Summit will be held in Seattle for 2011 and 2012.  Andy Warren, one of the board members, has had a few different posts on the subject – PASS Update #24 and Summit Location and More.

I’d like to take the time to respond…

I personally like the conference being located in Seattle.  It gives me the opportunity to visit friends and family in the area before or after the conference.  However, I am certainly open to the suggestion of the conference being held elsewhere.  I am also certainly the going to do as much as I can to show up at the conference wherever it is held. (I’ve gone the past two years, which isn’t much, but it is essentially ever since I had heard about it). 

The things I enjoy about the conference are as follows:

  1. meeting and having lively discussions and extra circular
    activities with active members of the community (Forum Members,
    Bloggers, Twitterers, Etc – Any of which COULD be Microsoft developers,
    most of which are not)
  2. experiencing great sessions
  3. speaking with the developers / CAT Team
  4. seeing the products of the miscellaneous vendors

I think that the survey itself should have been thought through a
little bit better.  The questions, as Andy has pointed out, seemed
biased.  Even with those (presumably) biased questions the response was
taken in, considered, and largely ignored.  So, what was the point of
the survey? 

All of this leads me to wonder, how many people come to the conference year in and year out?  How many people show up once, or, perhaps once every five years, or once every release cycle?  How vocal are people in either group?  Do we know what the percentage of respondents to the survey there were compared to how often or how likely it is that they will show up to another event in the next few years?  In other words, what is the thought process, if any, for determining how moving the conference versus not moving the conference would affect the various demographics of the conference goers?  Does moving it mean that more people are not able to attend on a more regular basis?  Would the move encourage more one timers?  Knowing that the move would mean that there were less microsoft employees, would there be less people in either category who show up (if, in fact, there is a correlation there)?

How much of the process for the decision was based on the cost factor for the organization?  How much was based around the cost factor for the attendees?  Does the organization know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what it is that draws in most participants (attendees, speakers, sponsors, etc)?  If so, which of these groups is the most important in the decision making process?

I know that this isn’t a novel response.  I just think that the
responses I have been seeing have been interesting and wanted to throw
in my two cents.

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3 Responses to PASS Summit Location Response

  1. Andy says:

    Eric, I\’m not sure we know the answer to the question about the biggest draw, but we may well have the data and I just don\’t know the answer. I\’ll forward this link to the board and marketing to see if we can publish what we do have.

  2. Eric says:

    Andy,Thanks for the input. If nothing else, this topic is bringing out lots of interesting topics. I look forward to the continued banter 🙂

  3. Jack says:

    Good take Eric. You are asking very good questions, ones the board and the rest of us should be asking as well.

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