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Modified on 2010/07/24 21:41 by Sri Sridharan ( Dallas ) Categorized as Uncategorized


This is typically the first task an organizing team needs to tackle as your SQLSaturday designation number is not assigned until a venue is procured.


Here are some ideas where you might be able to find a location. For each one of these you should contact the facilities manager, or Dean of college/school:

  • Local Microsoft offices
  • Universities/colleges
  • Hotels/conference centers
  • Training centers

Venue Requirements

  • Classrooms - This doesn't necessarily have to be a true classroom but a room large enough to hold attendees in a classroom-type setup. Make sure you have enough rooms with possible access to additional rooms in case your event grows beyond your expected capacity. 
  • There should be enough 20% more chairs in each room for people of as you expect the number of attendees.  This allows for additional people should your expected numbers to be off.
  • Table(s) - If room doesn't have a table, make sure at least one is provided per room so that speaker can setup and present from.
  • Projectors/screens - some venues don't have enough screens or projectors.
  • Wireless access (optional)
  • Necessary presentation equipment - VGA cables, Power strips, spare power cables etc.
  • Access to facilities (coordinate with on-site staff)
  • Parking - Coordinate with the facility to make sure attendees park in correct areas. Make sure attendees are notified of any unusual parking setups (e.g. paid lots, restricted areas, construction zones)
  • Insurance covering attendees - Since the event is the responsibility of event planners, typically a facility will charge a nominal fee for liability insurance.
  • Handicap access
  • Bathrooms - Make sure they're open and clean prior to attendee arrival
  • Contact information for facilities - this is important in case of emergency such as plumbing, electrical, water failures.
  • Misc. - Many facilities do not turn on air conditioning over the weekend. Arrive early and make sure you coordinate with the facility to have heating/cooling working during event hours.
  • Scheduling - Check to make sure if your event will be the only event at the venue that day. If not, make arrangements for additional coordination as needed.


  • Choose a location that has easy access via highways/main roads. Keep in mind some attendees/speakers are coming in from out of town.
  • Choose a location that has hotel(s) nearby. Designate one of the hotels as official "event hotel".
  • Make sure area is safe


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