Money is tight – we all know that. One of the first places that companies cut in the budget is training. So what do you do if your boss won’t let you go anywhere?

You do have options. You can train on your own, or ask them to buy you books. But one of the best forms of learning is from lecture-style presentations, and you normally get those at PASS, TechEd and so on. If there’s a user group nearby, you should make the time to go.

Recently my friends over PASS held a “virtual” event. These are becoming more popular, and I hope you had a chance to attend that. If not, there are more companies that offer those. One that I participate in is the SSWUG.org Ultimate Virtual Conference, and their latest offering is coming on October 21, 22, 23. They have 75 sessions, some great presenters, and you get everything from SQL Server and Business Intelligence to SharePoint and .NET. Like many of these conferences, you get  on demand access after the conference, and they are also giving you a 6 month membership to SSWUG.org.

These conferences can be great because you can download the tips and tricks you learn, exhibit hall demos and whitepapers and tools and the live sessions in full-motion, high-definition video quality. It’s a viable alternative when you can’t travel.

Check the SSWUG offering out here: http://vconferenceonline.com/shows/fall09/uvc/.  As with most conferences, “early birds” get a discount.