This year, PASS Summit 2016, PASS decided to forego the usual Thursday night Community Appreciation Event. This opened up Thursday night for a wide variety of options. Steve Jones (b|t) and Andy Warren (b|t) stepped up to the plate to help attendees, and they set up a Game Night at the Convention Center. Check out Steve’s recap blog post to hear how it went!
I’m blogging about this because I think this is a fantastic alternate event that has great potential and appeal to PASS Summit attendees. I’ve met many in our industry, who are less comfortable in crowded social situations among strangers. But give people a smaller scale, quieter space, with a simple & fun “common ground,” and you give those people a fantastic opportunity to network in ways that they never would have before.
I happen to have many non-SQL friends who fall into this category. And I want to share two brief stories about offering games as an alternative.
When I got married, our venue was split into two distinct rooms: a dining room and a bar/dance floor room. We liked this because it allowed those who wanted to dance it up to hang in one area while others could mingle & chill out in the dining room. After dinner, a few of those friends came up to my wife & I and asked if we minded if they broke out a table top game. We said “yes, absolutely!” We wanted them to have a great time that night and by letting them do an activity that fit them, we were able to enable that! I still think back to that with fond memories.
Earlier this year, two of our gamer friends got married. For their wedding, they had set aside a dedicated gaming room, where folks could have a quieter place to convene and still enjoy themselves. And it was absolutely a hit! Those of our friends, for whom dancing and drinking aren’t their thing, enjoyed themselves. The groom happened to spend a good portion of the night there too, doing what he loved, with his wedding guests! It was great!
I share these two stories, to try and help drive home the point that offering alternative events like Game Night, can really work at any kind of event. And I’m thrilled to see that it again worked at PASS Summit. I would love to see this expanded and continued by PASS. Let’s try to offer something to those of our PASS Summit colleagues who don’t care for hard partying. This can be it!