PASS: International Travels

Nihao!  One of the largest changes PASS is going through is the the expansion outside the US and Canada.  We’ve had international chapters and events in Europe since the early 2000’s.  But nothing on the scale we’re seeing now.  Since January 1st there have been 18 SQL Saturday events outside North America and 19 events in North America.  We hope to have three international SQLRally events outside the US in FY13 (budget willing).  I don’t know the exact percentage of chapters outside the US but it’s got be 50% or higher.

We recently started an effort to remake the Board to better reflect the growing global face of PASS.  This involves assigning some Board seats to geographic regions.  You can ask questions about this in our feedback forum, participate in a Twitter chat or ask questions directly of Board members.  You can email me at if you’d like to ask a question directly.  We’re doing this very slowly and deliberately in hopes that a long communication cycle gives us a chance to address all the issues that our members will raise.

Bill Graziano at SQL Saturday Silicon Valley 2012After the Summit we passed a budget exception allocating an extra $20,000 for Board members to travel to local events.  I think it’s important for Board members to visit new areas and talk to more of our members.  I sent out an email asking where people had attended events outside their home city.  Here’s the list I got back: Albuquerque, Amsterdam, Boston, Brisbane, Chicago, Colorado Springs, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, London, Louisville, Minneapolis, New York City, Orange County, Orlando, Pensacola, Perth, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Redmond, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Sydney, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Washington DC and Wellington.  (Disclaimer: Some of this travel was paid for by employers or Board members themselves.  Some of this travel may have been completed before the Summit.  That’s still one heck of a list!)

The last SQL Saturday event this fiscal year is SQL Saturday Shanghai.  And that’s one I’m attending.  This is our first event in China and is being put on in cooperation with the local Microsoft office.  Hopefully this event will be the start of a growing community in China that includes chapters, SQL Saturdays and maybe a SQLRally or two in the future.  I’m excited to speak with people that are just starting down this path and watching this community grow.

I encourage you to visit the PASS Global Growth site and read through the material there.  This is the biggest change we’ve made to our governance since I’ve been on the Board.  You need to understand how it affects you and how it affects the organization.

And wish me luck on the 15 hour flight to Shanghai on Friday afternoon.  Rob Farley flies from Australia to the US for PASS events multiple times per year and I don’t know how he does it so often.  I think one of these is going to wipe me out.  (And Nihao (knee-how) is Chinese for Hello.)

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