SQL Server Event Sponsors

SQL Server Event Sponsors

Sponsors play a huge part in SQL Server events. These are companies that provide funding that pays for the venue hire, meals and parties. Many of the Sponsors also take a stall at the event, providing an opportunity for you to meet them, learn about their Products or Services with a view towards understanding how they can help you in your work. It’s great to be able to talk to people, to get demonstrations on Tools that you might be interested in buying or (in my case with the SentryOne people), to get some tips on a Tool that your already using.

It’s not all about the freebies (but they are important)

I guess it’s a bit of payback for Dad being out of the house for a few days.

When packing to go to SQLBits this year, my five year old daughter asked me three questions – “what colour is your bed”, “what colour is the bath” and “will there be ducks”. I think that she was referring to Idera’s ever present selection of Ducks and she wasn’t disappointed.

I joke that I clothe my children from the Sponsors at SQLBits. Truth is that they’ve had some great T-Shirts over the years. Recent favorites have been the “perfectly oversized” Dancing T-Shirt from Adaptis that I had to put some neat footwork in to win and this year’s Solarwinds Spaceman.

While on the subject of T-shirts, can I make a suggestion? Many of the T-shirts are a huge “one-size-fits-all” square design. Not all people have a square sized body – when ordering shirts, if there’s a “fitted” or “tailored” option, please order a few of these – the shirts will have more chance of being worn, not re-purposed as dusters.

With some Sponsors, I feel a little guilty doing the “freebie run” if it’s a Product or Service that I’m not going to use. I tend to be truthful about this and do always promise to read their literature (and I do). While it might not be relevant today, it could be relevant tomorrow.

Having four Children means that things can get a bit tricky when sharing out the freebies. It’s a bit like Christmas with the youngest tipping the bags out on the floor and everyone getting something that they’re going to use. As well as the T-shirts and ducks, USB Sticks are always useful (once I’ve read all the product literature on them, of course), bottle openers, pens and notepads for the study. I’m using a SentryOne mouse mat right now! My wife runs a voluntary group – a local branch of “La Leche League” and she rarely needs to purchase stationary.

A chance to learn about something new

There are some companies that I have only discovered through Conferences. DBPro’s SQLGovernor is a classic example – they provide a Service that allows you to make savings through capacity management, making savings through consolidation and licence management. Never heard of them before, yet they have a proposition that I can take back to my employer that could help to make savings in our environment.

Opportunities for all

My purchases have been influenced by meeting with Sponsors at SQLBits over the years. When I had a need for incremental Data loading, Attunity were able to help me put together a Proof of Concept and eventually made a sale. Chatting with Idera about their Compliance tool meant that I knew where to go to meet a set of Information Security demands – another sale. As for monitoring, there are a number of tools on the market and discussions helped me towards my purchase from SentryOne, together with Development Tools and monitoring from Redgate.

I regard all of the above purchases as investments. They have allowed me to provide a better service to my employer in a cost effective manner.

Closing message

The raffle prizes are a great incentive to hand over contact details too, though they do make it impossible to leave early at the end of the day. The thought of having my name drawn out of the hat only to miss out on a prize scares me – someone went home with an iPhone X this year. Not me, but just imagine being told about it the next day.

My message to Sponsors is “Thank You” for facilitating these great events – SQLBits, SQLRelay, SQLSaturday and all of the other events just couldn’t happen without you.

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