Today is Anniversary of SQLAuthority and it completes 13 years and this is a 4918th blog post. That means on average every year I have published around 378.3 blog posts a year. Let us read the blog about 13th anniversary.
13 years ago on November 1st, 2006, when I started this blog. I started this as my personal diary where I will save my scripts. I had no idea what actually blog was and honestly I did not expect that it would bring me to where I am today. Instead of talking about SQL, let us talk about a different topic today – Conferences. This is the 13th anniversary of SQL Authority and today is the 4918th blog.
Last year I attended and presented over 18 different international conferences in different 14 countries. This is a huge rise from the previous years of presenting at 10 international conferences. I think I had a great time presenting at the various events but I personally think 18 international conferences are indeed too many conferences to attend and present. Here is how categories all the conferences.
- SQL Saturday – 5
- SQL Conference – 2
- Open Source Conference – 1
- Dev Conferences – 7
- Professional Development – 1
- Organization’s Private Conference – 2
It is very clear from the numbers that I have attended a maximum of the Dev conference. It is quite common for a SQL person to be recognized in the SQL conference but in the Dev conferences, it is totally possible to not get recognized often as even the smartest Dev might not be using SQL Server or something else.
Advantages – Art, History, and Networking
The biggest advantage of attending the conferences was that I go to meet new people, see a new city and learn from a more diverse audience. Honestly, I have learned a lot from fellow speakers and improved big time on presentation skills.
I also got a chance to see new cities and be part of the speaker dinner at some very previous/rare locations. I must say that every city has visited I have not missed seeing the city library and the local art museum. I must say that I accepted to speak at a certain event location solely to see the artistic beauty of the city.
Disadvantages – Health, Clients, and Time
While doing all the presenting I was hoping that I would get many new clients and new business for Comprehensive Database Performance Health Check. In the real sense, though my clients increased by 12% the conferences as a source of new business decreased overall. This was something I did not expect and I have lots of notes about the entire experience. I am already using my new learnings to plan the future.
However, the biggest disadvantage of traveling to too many different places in a shorter period of time has a negative effect on health. Out of 18 conferences, 2 times I had presented when I had severe flu. I also had to skip often my CrossFit sessions because I was traveling and too tired to attend the gym sessions.
On several occasions when my clients reached out to me for help, I was actually busy with conferences and could not help them with their SQL Server Performance issues. I think this would have been not the case if I have proper planning of the conferences.
There are three clear lessons I have learned from attending all the 18 conferences in the 12 months.
Lesson 1: Never combine more than 2 conferences in a single trip. It becomes very hectic.
Lesson 2: Always make sure that you have all the demonstrations in the cloud. More than once, I had to download them.
Lesson 3: Do not expect that speaking will get you more business. Always keep on working on your alternative marketing path.
Going Forward – 13th Anniversary Onwards
Going forward I am going to limit no more than 12 conferences a year. While I keep on going to some conferences as I really love them, for the rest of the conferences, I am building a personal ranking list for on my 13th anniversary. Once the conference ranking list is filled up, I will take the top conferences and go present there.
I hope you like today’s update on the inside story of my business. I will more soon, let me know your opinion in the comments field.
Reference: Pinal Dave (https://blog.sqlauthority.com)