What a fun day! I heard feedback from a lot of attendees about the preconference seminars. Everyone agreed that they received some of the best full-day training on SQL Server that they ever got. Most peoples brains were tired, but happy.
The day ended with not just one but two great receptions. The first was the PASS reception featuring the SIG Quiz Bowl. The Quiz Bowl was set up like a game show with four teams of three people who had to answer one general trivia question and a follow-up SQL Server question. I was really impressed with the game show set, equipment, and video system. If it weren't for a few hardware glitches in the contestant buzzer system, I would've forgot that it was all put together by volunteers. In the end, Team Sphinx were the winners (I think) and received iPAQs as prizes. (Thanks HP for your generousity!) Everyone else received a Barnes & Noble gift certificate - and all for volunteering to get up in front of the crowd and answer questions.
It was a lot of seeing the huge general session room full of attendees who were mixing and making new friends. I also got the chance to catch up with several of my colleagues from Quest Software, including Scott Stone from Houston and Hassan Fahimi from Irvine, California. I was especially pleased to meet up with Cheryl Davis and Patrick O'Keeffe, who came all the way from Melbourne, Australia to attend the event. In between the two reception, I took some time to out to practice my keynote address set for Wednesday morning.
The second reception of the night was also a blast. It was put on by my buddies from SQL Server Central (http://www.sqlservercentral.com) and featured tons of swag for every attendee. I was impressed that Steve Jones, Andy Warren, and Brian Knight (the three owners of SSC) invested so much in their event. First, the gave away very nice SSC polo shirts. (I'm wearing mine now.) Then, they gave away a copy of "The Best of SSC, Vol. 3". You can still buy a copy from their website if you missed the giveaway. They gave away another small book, though I can't recall the title. In addition to all of that, they had drawings throughout the reception for awesome prizes, like XBoxes, that filled a whole table. Their event had a fun casino theme and everyone in the door got $500 worth of chips. Of course, it was essentially funny money - but it was still fun. Thanks, guys, for sponsoring this event and building the community!
Now that the day is coming to a close, I only have a couple more hours of work ahead to catch up on my email. I hope to make in bed by 1:00 am so that I'll be semi-awake for the keynote tomorrow morning.