More than one person has asked me, “Why are you running your own pre-conference event instead of doing a PASS Summit pre-con? Isn’t that a bad thing, like you’re taking away attendees from PASS?”
I really, really want to do PASS pre-cons again, but for now, it all comes down to a few gotchas in the PASS speaker contract.
At PASS, we’re not allowed to use our scripts.
The speaker contract says:
You recognize and agree that the purpose of your session(s) is to provide educational content and is not to be used as a sales or marketing platform. Personal contact information and applicable copyright notices are permitted within the PASS provided PowerPoint template, however, company and/or third-party branded logos, products, and/or services, with businesses that you have a monetary relationships, are not permitted and are restricted to the biography slide of the PowerPoint template.
While they’re free, sp_AskBrent®, sp_Blitz®, sp_BlitzCache®, etc are all products, and we’re in a monetary relationship with our business.
If you’re an attendee who wants to learn how to use our stuff to make your SQL Server faster and more reliable, who do you want to learn from?
At PASS, we’re not allowed to give swag away for free.
At our in-person events, we like to give away t-shirts, stickers, prizes, and recorded versions of some of our classes to make learning easier for students.
No go at PASS, where the contract says:
Branded sales and marketing promotions, draws, or distribution of any kind of materials, including, but not limited to, company educational videos, shirts, mugs, buttons, food, magnets etc., are prohibited on the premises of the Washington State Convention Center, and The Conference Center, for the duration of the Event on any of the pre-conference and general conference days, October 24-28, 2016 except for PASS Summit exhibitor and sponsors within the established Exhibit Hall.
Catch that last part? It’s okay for sponsors, but not for speakers.
PASS says they’ll ban our employees permanently.
The scariest part of the contract says (when referring to the above swag section):
Breach of conduct may result in the immediate termination of your session(s) and/or possible exclusion from future PASS Events.
Ouch. I can’t ask Angie, Doug, Erik, Richie, and Tara to take that risk.
So we’re running our own less-expensive off-site event.
We’re renting out the Big Picture Theater in downtown Seattle for Monday & Tuesday before the conference. Trust me, these are the most comfortable chairs you’ll ever have for a training event, and the best projector screen!
We’ll teach you how to find the slowest queries in your SQL Server and tune them – all using our helpful free tools. We’ll give away fun prizes and laugh about ’em.
And it’s definitely not about the money – we’re passing huge savings on to you. The whole 2-day pre-con will cost you just $299 – as opposed to $495 for a ONE-day PASS pre-con.
Go check it out, and see you in Seattle.