As I was talking the other day with a fellow data professional about PASS and SQL Saturday, I was a bit surprised to hear the perspective of a SQL Saturday attendee. My fellow data professional was under an impression that PASS was moving mountains for SQL Saturday events. Here is my attempt to shed some light on PASS and SQL Saturday relationship, especially during times of PASS demise and uncertain future of the SQL Saturday brand. I’m not here to beat a dead horse, but rather explain what PASS did for SQL Saturday.

Contrary to a common misconception (mostly a misconception by folks not involved with organizing a SQL Saturday event as organizers are well aware of what they signed up for), PASS role in SQL Saturday was very limited. Judging by my personal experience that started with 2017 SQL Saturday in Los Angeles event, here is what I’ve found.

Here is what PASS provides for SQL Saturday organizers:

  1. FREE listing on web site ( manages email announcement to all SQL Saturday speakers on a published event and registration for attendee/speaker/sponsor, supplies schedule builder, and integration with PayPal to collect sponsorship/lunch fee)
  2. Disbursement of Microsoft $850-$1,250 sponsorship fee
  3. Donation of $250 to each event
  4. Basic event guidance emails
  5. Customer service for when things didn’t work as expected (SpeedPASS is a good example here)
  6. Custom event logos (see Fig #1)
  7. Red tape in form of rules on number of events, location, timing, branding, privacy and etc…
Fig #1

As you can see from the Fig #2 and Fig #3, PASS involvement in SQL Saturday events organization was very limited. All events were run by local teams of organizers (most of the time with their own non-profit funding all the activities). Getting attendees, speakers, and sponsors is all hard work of local organizers. PASS has shielded itself from any financial/legal risks. All the risk was taken by the local SQL Saturday organizing team. All the headache of preparing and delivering the event, venue, logistics, and volunteering were done by local teams as well.

Fig #2
Fig #3

P.S. Now that you know where PASS and SQL Saturday have “intersected”, you can be sure that SQL Saturday brand is going to live on, even if that takes a brand new website with new brand name – Data Saturdays.