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PASS to Cease Operations on January 15

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PASS, formerly known as the Professional Association for SQL Server, will cease operations on January 15. The non-profit organization, which was known primarily for its conferences, is unable to meet its financial obligations.

With the registration shortfall from PASS Virtual Summit, a lack of cashflow, and considering future obligations that PASS has on the books (i.e. 5 years’ worth of convention center and hotel agreements), PASS has no choice but to cease its operations and pursue dissolution. During our December 03, 2020 Board meeting, the PASS Board unanimously approved taking next steps in this unfortunate, but necessary, direction.

[…]

[After January 15,] PASS servers will cease to function and members will no longer be able to access any PASS resources. So, in the meantime, you can watch sessions on our website, and download session recordings that you’ve purchased or that you have access to as a PASS Pro member. Please take full advantage of this exclusive content while you can.

In the Special Board of Directors Meeting minutes, it was revealed that PASS needs 800K USD to stay operational and as much as 2.6M to “maintain the current membership offerings”.

When COVID-19 forced PASS to cancel their summit, they had already collected 1.3M in registration and sponsorship fees. As a full refund would have emptied their cash reserves, a virtual conference was held instead. The virtual conference brought in nearly 2M in revenue, but also 478K in debt as sponsorships were credited towards next year’s conference.

Cancellation fees for venue and hotel bookings further inflated this debt, placing the “outstanding debt as 1.87M with a total potential deficit of 3.2M”. It goes on to say that future hotel and convention center cancellation fees may incur an additional 6M in debt over the next five years.

Though officially independent, PASS was originally was created with funding from CA Technologies and Microsoft in 1999. Unfortunately for PASS, Microsoft is unwilling to invest in the organization, “stating there was no cash investment or support available at any level at this time.”

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  • Of course MS won't help

    by Sam King /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    This amount of money is literally a rounding error on Microsoft's balance sheet. And Microsoft's profits are at all-time highs. And this conference is specifically for promoting one of their cash-cow products. And it's where they typically make their annual SQL Server announcements.

    Naturally, they're not interested in saving PASS.

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