I attended/spoke at/volunteered at SQLSaturday #8 - Orlando today and had a very good time. There was close to 300 attendees and things went well. The sponsors did a great job and provided some great prizes (3 Xboxes, an IHome, an IPod Touch, and a full class at End2End Training). As usual Andy Warren and crew (I had a small part) did a good job organizing and keeping everything moving. I don't envy Andy as being the lead for this event is a full-time job for at least 2 weeks. I did not have the opportunity to attend any sessions as I was busy helping out where needed, prepping for my Profiler session, and meeting people. It was great to meet in person some folks I'd met in forums, particularly on SQLServerCentral. There was Steve Jones, Brandie Tarvin, Brian Kelley, and Fraggle (Nathan, last name not remembered). I also met Rachel from RedGate, who doesn't think Hershey's chocolate is any good, and prefers Cadbury. There were many others as well, and since I'm horrible at remembering names, especially when I spoke with at least 50 people I'll stop naming new names. Then there are the old friends, Andy Warren, Chris Rock, Rodd Harris (also from NTM, where I work), David (who's last name I can never remember), and Dolores Toefel from the OPASS group.
My Profiler session went well and seemed to be well-received. There were no empty seats, nor was there anyone standing. I forgot to look at the session evaluations as I was quickly moving on to let the next speaker get setup and to get to my next task. I think I could have done a little more prep, especially for the trace I used for my replay definition. The next step would be to do an advanced presentation that spends more time on server-side tracing and querying and interpreting trace information.
I also went to the after party which was a lot of fun. It's great to sit and relax with other geeks, talk shop, sports, politics, and just goof around a bit. It looked like about 30-35 people went to the after party which was a decent turnout.
The next SQLSaturday is SQLSaturday #10 - Tampa 2009 January 24, 2009. I won't be able to make it as I'll be freezing in New Hampshire for a few months, but I bet it will be a good event to attend.