SQL Server Blog

Eat Lunch with the MVPs at PASS

Meet & Eat

In my post last week about where I have been (you know, the one where I promised I would be blogging more), I mentioned that I was helping PASS on a volunteer opportunity. It’s a pretty neat chance for folks to network, learn and watch how different people eat.

Birds of a Feather

The last time I went to a PASS Summit was 2006 and I don’t get to other conferences in general. I guess a new trend is “Birds of a Feather” sessions/lunches. The concept is good: give people a chance to coalesce around a common topic. Conversations will flow, business cards will fly, mouths will move (sometimes in between bites) and perhaps friendships and partnerships will form.

This year, I believe SQL PASS is organizing two Birds of a Feather lunches. One is for Chapter Leaders – each of the chapter leaders at PASS (worldwide, the SQL Server community is global after all) will sit at a table and people going to lunch can sit in an area they want to learn more about or are from.

MVP Lunch

dinner table

The lunch I am helping with is the MVP Birds of a Feather (BOF) lunch.

Most of us already know that the SQL Server MVP community is huge and comprised of folks who really enjoy sharing their knowledge, helping others grow and lately folks who really enjoy Bacon. (note to self: suggest to PASS Operations team that Bacon be on the lunch menu for this one)

This MVP BOF lunch is going to be the first full day of the Summit (Tuesday). There will be several tables each with their own MVP “Host”.

I have been reaching out to MVPs over the past couple weeks asking them if they are interested and what topics they may like to talk about (many more contacts going out this week, certain order to the madness…)

There will be 9 empty seats at each of these tables waiting for you and I to sit at.

The goals are two-fold:

  1. Meet some people who have expertise in an area. The MVPs are picking topics they know about and will give a quick little 5-10 minute chat on the area. Want to learn about a new area? Want to hear some insight into pet peeves from the MVP at that table?
  2. Meet other people with similar interest or learn about a new area. One table topic will be around location based BI in SQL Server 2008. I know nothing about that but I sure would like to know more. Find a topic you are interested in and have a seat, eat and learn about a new area. Exchange some business cards and make some new contacts to bump into later at the Summit.

I really hope to see you at the summit! There are still slots open to register for the summit and it is a great time of learning, networking and growing.

If you are planning on going, I really hope to see you at this lunch (I want to meet you but I also don’t want you to go hungry for the rest of the day 🙂 ) It will be fun to meet other people and help put names to faces and increase contact lists for people with similar frustrations.


I am not the one running the lunch or who thought of the concept .(in fact, I don’t know who came up with the concept) I am just helping reach out to the MVPs to coordinate the topics and get the right lists to the right people at PASS. I asked how I could help and Blythe (Twitter) said, how about this???

If you are going, are an MVP and you haven’t heard from me yet, sit tight until the early next week. If you still haven’t heard from me, shoot me an e-mail from my contact us page.

I am happy to be helping on this though, it sounds like a great opportunity. Seems to be a lot of focus on networking this year at PASS. Need help breaking the ice? Check out this video of a great, short presentation. Hat Tip to Brent Ozar  (Twitter, Blog)f or finding and sharing the video link awhile back on one of his weekly link roundups.

Mike Walsh
Article by Mike Walsh
Mike loves mentoring clients on the right Systems or High Availability architectures because he enjoys those lightbulb moments and loves watching the right design and setup come together for a client. He started Straight Path in 2010 when he decided that after over a decade working with SQL Server in various roles, it was time to try and take his experience, passion, and knowledge to help clients of all shapes and sizes. Mike is a husband, father to four great children, and a Christian. He’s a volunteer Firefighter and EMT in his small town in New Hampshire, and when he isn’t playing with his family, solving SQL Server issues, or talking shop, it seems like he has plenty to do with his family running a small farm in NH raising Beef Cattle, Chickens, Pigs, Sheep, Goats, Honeybees and who knows what other animals have been added!

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4 thoughts on “Eat Lunch with the MVPs at PASS”

  1. The MVP lunch sounds cool! At first glance the heading "MVP Lunch" seemed to me like an exclusive lunch (i.e. by MVPs for MVPs). I was glad to read the opposite (i.e. by MVPs for anyone)

  2. Great point! I agree strongly enough that I changed the title (I know, a cardinal sin of blogging but I Just sent it out)


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