Day 1 and Day 2 of the PASS Summit (http://www.sqlpass.org) are spent by most folks in one of two ways. First, PASS has some great preconference seminars. So a large number of people come specifically for these great sessions. PASS always has some of the hottest topics and most popular speakers like Kim Tripp. Second, a smaller number of people catch up on their sleep because they a) didn't sign up for a preconference session, and b) they didn't tell anyone at work that the main conference runs Wednesday through Friday.
However, the first two days of the week are long and hard working days for the board of directors. We spend some time on things that are (for most people) less than pleasurable, such as reviewing budgets, giving status reports on our portfolios, and defining policies. But the majority of our time is spent debating and deciding important strategic decisions.
Now, the board is governed by a policy of confidentiality about things we discuss. But I can give you an idea of the level and type of issues we discuss by mentioning some things that were decided and acted upon in the past. My first example of what the board does behind closed doors is the issue of international expansion. In hindsight, you can clearly see that the board of directors decided that international expansion was very important and that the place to start is Europe. PASS supported its first European event in Dubrovnik, Croatia last summer. Then PASS followed up with a European event in Munich last May. And now, PASS has announced its 2006 European event in Barcelona in February 2006.
The board meetings at the event are long and quite an exercise for the brain. But at the end of the day, we're always able to look back on the progress we'd made and feel a sense of accomplishment. Once it's "Miller Time", we're finally able to kick back and relax a little. On Monday night, we headed down to the Ama Lur TexMex restaurant. It was a night for mucho margaritas and friendly chat.
Now one other hallmark of our board meetings is that the start early, usually 8:00 or 8:30, and continue through dinner until anywhere from 10:30'ish to 11:30'ish. That's just one of many reasons why it's so important for the board to get along well together, to genuinely enjoy each others company, and for us to work well as a collaborative team.