Our February Immersion Event in Dallas, TX – Final Wrap-up

OK, I've written about our February Immersion Event in two other recent posts:

Sadly, this is going to be my last post about our February Immersion Event on Internals and Performance. It was a fantastic week getting to know our attendees – from Q&A during lectures to breaktime to chatting in the lounge in the evenings. Quite a few attendees were surprised that we hung out and chatted with them after class and during breaks/lunch. But, we still love what we're doing and we love hearing about all of the ways that you use SQL Server. And, to be honest, we also love hearing about your lives outside of SQL Server. I remember some great conversations about health (for me, it's trying to get healthy), animals (a few dog lovers!) and racing cars (and a few speeding tickets – but I won't name names here at all!).

We all learned a lot and we also had fun. I know quite a few of you have asked about when we're going to get to your city – so that you don't have to travel. However, I have to admit that traveling to some of these events (and actually being away from home) can be extremely beneficial. The networking and time spent hearing about other scenarios and even just the time spent relaxing (and not having to rush to get the kids or feed the dog or water the plants…) can allow you really dive in and think about nothing but learning for a week. I know this increases the cost of the week but if you get more out of the training itself by being less distracted then that certain offsets the costs. And, we're also trying to choose comfortable, quality hotels – for reasonable rates.

Getting away and disconnecting (to a point) will allow you to focus better and retain more. In fact, a couple of local attendees that made arrangements to stay late on Th and/or Fr evenings ended up commenting to me later (retrospectively) that they wished they had stayed late on the other evenings as well. On Friday, there were about 12 of us that had a bite in the bar and stayed until after 8. Quite a few booked their flights to fly out Saturday morning just to make sure that they didn't miss anything on Friday.

Summing it up

So, if I were to sum it up – an Immersion Event is about immersing yourself in the technology as well as in the process of learning. If you can disconnect for a week – and, REALLY disconnect – you might get even more out of it than just the daily lectures. Networking and learning from your peers is an important part of the experience. In fact, my favorite "fun" tweet of the week (there were TONS of great tweets on #SQLskills):

Love the class– great discussion even in the women's bathroom. (@Kendra_Little on Feb 21 after chatting with Vicky Harp)

There were side discussions – everywhere! And, Eric Humphrey created a twitter list of the class group here.

What did the attendees say DURING and AFTER the event?

Thanks to everyone for a great week!

Upcoming Immersion Events

We're looking forward the next few Immersion Events coming up as well:

  • Dallas, TX March 14-18: IE2 – Immersion Event on Performance Tuning
  • Chicago, IL May 2-6: IE1 – Immersion Event on Internals and Performance (same content as the class discussed in these posts)
  • London, UK June 20-24: IE1 – Immersion Event on Internals and Performance (same content as the class discussed in these posts)
  • Bellevue, WA August 1-5: IE1 – Immersion Event on Internals and Performance (same content as the class discussed in these posts)
  • Bellevue, WA August 8-12: IE2 – Immersion Event on Performance Tuning
  • Bellevue, WA August 15-18: IE3 – Immersion Event on High Availability and Disaster Recovery
  • Bellevue, WA August 22-26: IE4 – Immersion Event on Development Support

Immerse yourself!

PS – Become a SQLskills Insider to get special information (and sometimes early discounts/details) about our events as well as content available only to Insiders! Become a SQLskills Insider here: https://www.sqlskills.com/Insider.

5 thoughts on “Our February Immersion Event in Dallas, TX – Final Wrap-up

  1. Kim,

    Now that its been a year and a half is there any chance Immersion might return to Dallas? I just looked at the schedule and while London and Tampa certainly have appeal I can’t believe that Chicago is listed so many times and Dallas is not listed once. It may be hot here during the Summer but it’s a great location for business events in the late Winter and Spring months.

    1. Hey there Ed – We’ve chosen Chicago because it’s central. And, we run our events back-to-back at one location so that it reduces the amount of travel time for both our attendees and our instructors. And, we get to leverage a lot of benefits when we hold events simultaneously (like IE1 and IEBI in Chicago and IE3 and IEDev – also in Chicago). Our evening events and networking events allow even more folks to network.

      As for Dallas, we have nothing against it specifically but, it’s not as central. And, we truly have a limited number of weeks available (with holidays, conferences and other client engagements). Our plan for 2013 (as well as 2014) is that we will always have one East Coast location, one West Coast location and one location that’s fairly central. Chicago works VERY well for our central location and it’s highly likely that we’ll use Chicago for 2014 as well (the hotel prices are fantastic and with a little bit of planning – you can get very reasonable air fares to Chicago as well). In the end, we just can’t be everywhere. And, to ensure only the highest quality of courses – we can’t possibly add more events. Our team has a crazy travel schedule as it is. We just don’t have any additional training weeks available.

      I do understand your frustration but you also need to look at the total cost in travel and see if there’s a way to convince your company of the worth of traveling to an event. There are quite a few upsides to being away from your home location – mostly in learning. You can truly focus on nothing but the event. You’ll never get stuck in traffic and be late (especially when you’re staying at the hotel) and you never have to rush out. You can attend evening events and you won’t be distracted by the regular requirements you have when you’re at home. This way you can truly immerse yourself in the content and the training – and the networking.

      So, while I know this doesn’t give you the Dallas event you were hoping for, I do hope it gives you an idea on why we just can’t get to every city (and believe me, yours is not the only one about which I receive emails :). For 2014, we’re looking at a Northeast location for the East Coast event and a CA location for the West Coast event. Again, it’s probably going to be Chicago for the midwest event. But, none of that is set in stone – at all! We’ll release our 2014 schedule in Aug/Sept – just as we did this year.

      Hope that helps! And, I certainly hope that we’ll see you at an event sometime!


  2. To follow on to what Kimberly says above, one of the reasons we’ve started recording online training courses for Pluralsight is that we can’t go everywhere, and we realize the some people simply can’t travel. Having online courses available means we can scale to everyone around the world who can’t make it to one of our in-person locations. If you can’t make it to one of our locations this year, I suggest you check them out!

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