SQL Saturday organizers do an amazing job putting together their events. The number of hours that the organizing team for each of these events put in to get these events to come together is just staggering. They schedule pre-cons, speaker dinners, the event, the after party, snacks, coffee, breakfast, etc. And all on their own time without getting paid for it.
As speakers we need to do better about attending things like the speakers dinner and after party when the organizers put them on. They are frankly part of your job for being at the event. Now if you have to fly home the evening of the event, I get that. But if you are there in town, socializing with the organizing team, sponsors, speakers and attendees for a couple of hours is kind of part of the deal.
I’ve heard about a couple of SQL Saturdays where the after party was pre-paid because that’s how group events are arranged. After a short time of talking to people, the bulk of the speakers and attendees suddenly took off to go somewhere else leaving about a half dozen people at the after parties. This left the organizers with $1000 in beer and food that was already paid for, that no one drank or ate.
Scheduling these sorts of social events which conflict with the official events is basically a dick maneuver. Especially when you don’t tell the event organizer that you are going somewhere and taking all of their event attendees with them. If the after event it’s your kind of thing you’ve got a couple of options.
1. Don’t go to the after event
2. Go, pretend to have a good time and suck it up
3. Go, pretend to have a good time, then once the after event has been a success, go socialize. You are going to stay out all night anyway. Let the good times roll.
4. Fly home Saturday night
But for the love of god, don’t ruin the organizers after party for their team and their attendees just because you want to do something else. When you run your local event, you get to plan everything. When you attend someone else’s event you do what they have planned, you act professional and you ensure that the attendees have a good time at the official events. If you don’t like these rules, we’ll call them “Denny’s Rules” don’t go. This is why when I have a BBQ at the SoCal SQL Saturday’s, I have it on Thursday nights. I know that I don’t have room for everyone, so the people that do come, come a day early so that we don’t impact the official event.