SQLSaturday was the brainchild of Andy Warren, Brian Knight, and Steve Jones.
The idea was to bring the conference experience to local areas, with grassroots organization and a free day of training supplied by speakers, and supported by sponsors. Saturday was chosen as this was the day when the community could attend without interfering with work, and many schools, universities, and other spaces would have space available at a low or no cost.
While these events were originally intended to support the SQL Server platform and those that work with it with events on Saturdays, the events have expanded to take place on most days of the week and encompass many other technologies and platforms that are data related.
All of these events are the result of many organizers, volunteers, and speakers that have donated time and resources to ensure their local events would be a success. SQLSaturday could not succeed without their efforts.
The first event was in Orlando, on November 11, 2007. Since that date, over 1,000 events have taken place worldwide.
The goal of these events was to allow local organizers to run a free event for their local community.
The franchise was built to help them with marketing, mentoring, and tools that faciltated the execution of each event. The initial goals were to use local speakers, keep costs low, and allow sponsors to reach an audience they might not otherwise get the chance to interact with. The evolution of the events included the addition of pre-cons on the days before events as well as a lunch fee to enable organizers to defray the costs of providing lunch.
The initial logo was developed by Andy Warren.
The Second Evolution of SQLSaturday
SQLSaturday #33 - Charlotte, the franchise was handed over to the PASS organization to manage and support.
PASS continued to support the franchise and assist local organizers in running events. They hired a community liason, Karla Landrum, who promoted and mentored event organizers around the world. With their support, the franchise grew to run over 100 events in a single year.
PASS also hired Nico Neugebauer to help grow the franchise outside of the US. With his and Karla’s efforts, there were many more events that took place around the world.
The logo was also changed with new colors.
The Third Evolution of SQLSaturday
PASS rebranded themselves and the site, changing logos, and adding a few requirements. They instituted a global partner program to allow large vendors to support many events by donating money to the program and having PASS distribute the money to local organizers.
The new logo incorporated the PASS angle brackets look and a new color scheme.
PASS also hired Cathrine Wilhelmsen as the new community liaison to continue to support the franchise.
On January 15, 2021, PASS ceased operations and the franchise closed. The Data Saturdays project started to ensure that events could continue to run.
The Fourth Evolution of SQLSaturday
Redgate Software purchased the assets of PASS in an auction. The SQLSaturday domain, trademarks, and other related assets will be donated to the SQLSaturday corporation, which is a community-run organization. While Redgate maintains a seat on the board of directors, the rest of the board is community appointed and helps to steer this franchise in the best interests of growing events around the world.
This site continues to support the SQLSaturday events with infrastructure, mentoring, and sponsorship where possible.
These are some of the milestones throughout the history of the franchise. If you think we are missing any, please feel free to contact us.
- SQLSaturday #100 - SÃO PAULO 2011
- SQLSaturday #200 - Philadelphia 2013
- SQLSaturday #300 - Kansas City 2014
- SQLSaturday #400 - Torino 2015
- SQLSaturday #500 - Boston 2016
- SQLSaturday #600 - Chicago 2017
- SQLSaturday #700 - Colorado Springs 2018
- SQLSaturday #800 - Atlanta - BI Edition 2018
- SQLSaturday #900 - Vitoria 2019
- SQLSaturday #1000 - Oregon Virtual 2020
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