It’s The Final Countdown to PASS Summit 2014!  And, now that that is stuck in your head, it’s time to get started.  With just a week left until Summit 2014 in Seattle, WA, its crunch time for getting everything planned, researched, registered, gathered, and packed before flying out on Saturday morning to Seattle, WA.

With only 6 days officially left until PASS Summit 2014 begins, it’s crunch time to get things prepared and ready for the event.  In actuality, it’s less for me as I’ll be flying out to Seattle a little early — on Saturday — to experience the area a little bit before the insanity starts.

Counting down to Summit!

This is my second time attending Summit and my first time attending Summit in Seattle, WA.  I think I have a pretty good handle on planning the Summit-related activities (for info on that, see my previous post from 2013 which is still almost entirely relevant)

The Summit 2014 Schedule has been available via the website for a while now, both in grid form as well as Schedule Builder (which is new and improved this year).  Additionally, the Guidebook mobile phone app has just been released as another way to choose sessions.

Sample of PASS Summit 2014 Schedule Grid

Additionally, as per usual, there are a host of luncheons, evening events, and after hours events to consider and possibly register for.  I’m planning on attending quite a few!

For me, the new stuff is all of the stuff specific to Seattle — what to pack/wear, layout of the convention center, where things are in relation to the hotel, and getting to/from various events and the hotel.

This year, I’m trying a couple of organizational techniques to help keep everything in line.

  • I used the online schedule grid and schedule builder to choose at minimum a primary and secondary session for each time slot (and in some cases a third as well).  If I don’t make it to some, or change my mind here and there during the day, that’s fine, but it gives me a default — a starting point.
  • I’ve selected my primary and secondary sessions within the Guidebook app on my phone.  To me, this is the easiest way to track and choose between sessions as the day is ongoing.
  • I embraced data visualization and started a Google Calendar to track when and where everything that is not a session is going on.  I won’t attend everything on it, but it lets me see what overlaps as well as gives me an idea for some defaults.
Sample of Google Calendar of PASS Summit events
  • Since I’ve never spent much time in Seattle and a couple of things are a bit spread out, I thought it’d be fun to further embrace data visualization and plot some of these things on a Google Map.  This gives me an idea of how far things are apart as well as what transportation options there are (cab is always one, but sometimes light rail, monorail, or streetcar might be as well)
Sample of Google Map for PASS Summit events
At this point, I think I have things pretty well figured out.  The next big nut I have to crack is getting packing started and getting everything needed together, packed, and ready to go.  Seattle can be a bit of a tricky climate to pack for…cool, but not cold.  Some form of light rain frequent.  The forecast is a bit far out still to be accurate, but it’s already looking like pretty typical Seattle weather!
Sample of weather forecast for the week of PASS Summit 2014
I’m looking forward to seeing everybody at Summit in a few days.  I’m sure these next few days will absolutely fly right by and the countdown ticks down to zero and Summit begins!