September is just around the corner—time for the kids to go back to school and for you to select a SQL Server conference to attend this fall. Here are descriptions of the three SQL Server conferences available this fall (listed in the order in which they're scheduled), along with their URLs, where you can find more information and register online.
SQL2TheMax, September 23 and 24 in Orlando, Florida, is run by Fawcette Technical Publications—the same people who bring you Vbits and the Visual C++ Developers Conference. In fact, those two shows will be held immediately before SQL2TheMax; you'll get a discount if you want to attend all three. SQL2TheMax offers 45 sessions presented by 26 speakers and will cost you $1295.
If you're tired of Orlando after TechEd and the Professional Developer's Conference but still yearn for a warm conference climate, you might consider SQL Connections, October 4 through 7 in Scottsdale, Arizona. You can choose from 40 sessions and about 15 speakers—all for $1095. Like the SQL2TheMax conference, SQL Connections runs several development-oriented shows immediately before the SQL conference. ASP Connections, VB Connections, and Visual C++ Connections are scheduled for October 1 through 4 at the same location. Also, your SQL Connections registration gets you free admission to the Windows 2000 Connections and XML Connections conferences that run concurrently with the SQL show. You can squeeze only so much into a single day, but you might appreciate the opportunity to add some XML and Windows content to your SQL learning experience.The fall SQL Server conference season wraps up in San Francisco with the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) 2000 North America Conference & Expo, October 25 through 28. The conference features more than 70 sessions and more than 50 speakers. PASS members can attend for $925; everyone else pays $1075. All attendees are eligible for the $175 early-bird registration, which requires you to register by September 13. PASS doesn't run any developer conferences before or concurrent with its SQL show, but the PASS 2000 show provides more sessions than SQL2TheMax or SQL Connections. Plus, you can sign up for several dynamite preconference workshops led by some of the industry's best- known SQL Server experts. If you can't decide which conference to attend, do what I plan to do—go to all three. Traveling from one information-packed SQL Server show to another is a rough life, but somebody's got to do it!