With PASS Summit 2012 on the horizon, we here at Microsoft are getting amped for all the great things in store for the SQL Server community at this world-renowned conference! There are, in fact, so many things to get excited about that it’s difficult to name just a few. And so, we’ve enlisted the help of a few of our SQL-Server-MVPs-slash-PASS-members to sound off and tell us exactly what they are looking forward to at PASS Summit.

Read on for their take on the great things to come ahead and what you can expect out of your trip to Seattle for PASS Summit 2012!

FEATURED MVP:  THOMAS LAROCK

sql_rockstar_200pxThomas LaRock (@SQLRockstar) currently serves on the Board of Directors for PASS and is also a SQL Server MVP. Thomas can be found blogging at http://thomaslarock.com and is the author of DBA Survivor: Become a Rock Star DBA. Thomas believes you should like your data first, and go on a few dates before rushing into love.

Next month I will be attending the PASS Summit in Seattle. It will mark my ninth consecutive Summit. When I think about how lucky I have been to attend nine straight Summits I also think about what keeps bringing me back, year after year.

The answer, I believe, is quite simple -- it's the “Hook”.

What is the Hook? For each person the Hook is something different. For some people, it is the content found in the sessions, especially in the pre-conference seminars. For others it is the chance to interact directly with Microsoft developers at the SQL Server Clinic and ask them questions. You may even get to talk to the person that wrote the code! Or perhaps you want to make use of the hands-on labs, network with your peers, or take a certification exam. Each of these items alone could be the Hook for someone.

For others, like myself, the Hook has to do with the people that make up the PASS Community. That is what keeps me coming back each year.

I look forward to seeing familiar faces, to listening to familiar speakers and to asking questions of the developers that I have met through the years. But I also look forward to seeing old friends to ask about their families, to see how their jobs are going and to commiserate and share the experiences that we have had since the last time we have met.

Some like to refer to this as their "SQL Family", a term I enjoy using from time to time as well. That's my Hook. What's yours?