This week we held a Twitter Q&A with Jonathan and Craig all about the Community Corner, now you may have read that and thought… What is the Community Corner at SQLBits? Let us tell you!
What is the SQLBits Community Corner (CC)?
Community Corner is a place in the exhibition arena at SQLBits that serves many functions. It’s a great place to go to meet the people that organise and attend the local user groups across the UK (and even Europe and further away!). You can talk with them about where their groups are, when they run, and what content they have planned for the coming year, and you could even ask for a speaking slot at said user group.
The Community Corner can also be used as a simple place to name as a place to meet up with others when they arrive or at other times in the day, such as lunch and breaks.
The Community Corner also hosts some occasional sessions (Typically community, career, diversity, equity and inclusion based!) – most often they are non-technical and a great way of gaining tips on the soft skills side of working with people that work with data.
And most possibly the most important thing to know about the community corner is…It’s often not in a corner.
Now we have asked the ‘what’ we can now ask ‘why’…. Take it away Jonathan and Craig!!
Why do we have a community corner at SQLBits?
The Community Corner is exactly what it says on the tin.
You’re at this huge event, with hundreds of sessions and thousands of attendees/speakers but what brings all these people together. What’s out there in the form of local meetup, forums, group chats, small events and other conferences that people can interact with to take the experience of SQLBits and make it last, and build it up, Craig explained to us on Twitter.
Jonathan continued to tell us that the Community Corner is a place to discover the community through mini sessions, chats with friendly faces, and discover what holds all of this together.
It’s also there for everyone to have a little area of SQLBits that is just a little bit more relaxed.
There are seats and beanbags so you can take the weight off your feet (Or even take a nap, it’s more common than you think!). There is often some sort of entertainment that is tied in to the whatever the theme of SQLBits is too – Last year we had a mini treasure hunt!
What can I do in the Community Corner?
To put it simply, it’s a place to get to know the data community in all its flavours, groups, events, tech niches, and enthusiastic volunteers.
Craig dives in and mentions that rather than having a stand with leaflets, you can come see mini sessions on a variety of topics, talk to product group teams, MVPs, meetup leaders and everyone in between. Or just sit back and relax and share some laughs about career mistakes with another attendee. (Oh and trade stickers and candy!)
Jonathan takes a more community centric route in his explanation in which you can come along and meet anyone and everyone – whether it’s a planned meet up or just see who is around during the breaks, the CC is a great place to interact with other conference goers as and make lifelong friends without overwhelming stress. You can meet new people on your own terms.
Last year we also had a number of British Sign Language sessions which were very popular and brought some people together for 30 minutes who would perhaps never have made contact otherwise, it was amazing to witness and attend!
What is being hosted in the community corner this year?
As Craig ran the Community corner last year (and will continue to do so this year!) he discussed with us on Twitter that last year at SQLBits we had various “meet the speaker “ sessions which included MVPs, the D,E and I Committee, Microsoft PG, and we had small training sessions. We hope to have all of these and more in 2023. If there is anything you would like us to include please let us know by getting in touch!
Why is it important to have a specific area for relaxation and networking?
Big events can be pretty exhausting for attendees, and IT conferences especially so shared Jonathan. Thousands of people, intense technical content, etc. So, having a place where you know you can go that you can go and chat about nothing in particular and perhaps meet a new contact, find out about user group activities can be a real boost to energy levels.
In regards to networking – it’s the community that drives people to put on these events, speak at them, attend them, and volunteer at them. Drawing from that wealth of knowledge and experience inspires people, improves careers, lives, and skills and everyone is eager to share. Without the community, we would all be half the data professionals we are today!
If you have any questions about the Community Corner, have any ideas for activities, want to share your experience from SQLBits, then please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or @SQLBits, @fatherjack or @CPorteous on Twitter! We welcome any and all ideas with open arms, no idea too silly!
Don’t forget that the early bird pricing finishes at midnight on the 13th January 2023 so if you’re planning on joining us this March, now’s the time to buy!