SQLFriends: A Different Kind of Gathering

Imagine you had the chance to get together with other data professionals in your area in a setting outside of a training session or user group meeting. There's no formal agenda, just an excellent meal and some great conversation. Perhaps a respected expert is available to answer questions and bounce ideas off of. Does this sound appealing? If so, you should check out SQLFriends.

This past Friday I had the pleasure of attending the first-ever SQLFriends event!

SQLFriends is the brainchild of Aaron Lowe (blog | @Vendoran) who, as he described it, wanted to come up with a SQL Server community event based around networking instead of training. Events such as SQL Saturdays and conferences are a great source of training, but many people look forward to the social and networking aspects as well. So why not just have an event focused around networking? SQLFriends was created to fill that void.

The first SQLFriends event was a sell-out lunch at Buca di Beppo in Chicago with 30 attendees and special guest Brent Ozar (blog | @BrentO). Brent answered all kinds of questions about training, certification, consulting, and anything else we could come up with. There was also the opportunity to network amongst ourselves and meet some new faces. Several attendees mentioned how happy they were to meet at lunchtime because they can't fit evening user group meetings into their schedule.

All in all I'd say the inaugural SQLFriends lunch was a great success. Thank you very much to Aaron for putting it together. If you'd like to find out about future events, head on over to their website at http://sqlfriends.org/ or follow them on Twitter at @SQLFriends.