Inclusivity and making everyone feel welcome has been at the heart of SQLBits from day one.

We believe that many conferences cram too many people into too small spaces, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety to attendees and not providing a conducive environment in which to learn.

Unlike other conferences, we’re run by a team who work in the industry themselves.

We strive to provide an environment that facilitates learning, networking, and collaboration and doesn’t require any group or person to need to ask for special consideration. We have learned that by cultivating an environment suited to the atypical, everyone benefits.

How do we do this?

  • Using venues with plenty of space, in fact, much more space than we have people! We choose soft mood lighting for the expo hall. We even have little spinny SQLBits projections on the floor. The atmosphere is relaxed and supportive, with no hectic hustle. We choose accessible venues – go here for information on 2024’s venue, Farnborough IECC.

  • Giving our conferences a theme. This is unusual, one of the most identifying characteristics of SQLBits, and always much looked forward to by the delegates. It makes things more fun, and fun equals less stress – less stress equals a more relaxed and engaged attendee!

  • Whilst we organise our seating to allow everyone more space than your average conference, we recognise not everyone wants to sit in a busy(ish) session room. Therefore we provide alternative means of attending sessions by streaming them onto big screens in our expo hall and providing headphones to listen in.

  • We provide opportunities to network that are so fun they’re not even recognisable as networking – our famous evening events that break the ice, an organised run, giant games in the expo hall, BSL (British Sign Language) sessions, and opportunities to meet some of the industry’s heroes.
  • Providing loads of breaks with really tasty refreshments, and the opportunity to choose bite-size or longer sessions throughout the day to best suit your brain patterns. Plus, access to the session recordings is included as standard with your ticket, so you can go back and review whenever you need to.

  • We serve bowl food to avoid lengthy queues and the inevitable frustrations and stress caused by standing in them. Dietary requirements are catered for, of course, we ask about this at the point of sign-up and registration.
  • Keeping sponsors to a minimum and to highly relevant companies to the industry, so no one has to run a gauntlet of being sold to by a company they have no reason to engage with.
  • By enlisting a team of Bits Buddies, volunteers are specifically available to be a pal to delegates who might be flying solo and need a little extra support. Meet them here.
  • Making it easy to find where you need to be – there’s nothing more stressful than getting lost, so our signage is excellent and session rooms close to the main expo hall.

“SQLBits has elevated my meaning and my perception of a community conference to a totally new level. Thank you for your hard work and creativity!”


In short, we have spent 15 years developing a conference that many of our attendees describe as the best conference in the world!

What specific initiatives do we have in place?

We want everyone at SQLBits, delegates, speakers, and volunteers, to feel confident, happy, and enabled to attend. The following is a list of initiatives the DEI committee introduced over recent years to facilitate this, following feedback from delegates.

  • Childcare facilities at the conference, provided by certified childcare professionals.
  • Onsite therapist, contactable via mobile
  • A multi-faith prayer room
  • Speaker room/quiet zone
  • Sign language interpreter
  • Mobility aids
  • Financial assistance to attend
  • Wellbeing activities, including free bookable massage slots and yoga tasters to start the day
  • Diversity monitoring – you might notice we are asking for some personal details from 2024 delegates. This is completely optional but also allows us to understand how we’re doing in enabling access to a wide range of people.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We welcome Jess Pomfret (@jpomfret) as a guest writer to give some insight into the efforts SQLBits are taking to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.  SQLBits is one of the biggest volunteer-run data platform conferences in the world, it’s been running for 15 years! The aim is not just to provide top quality training, ample […]

How are we doing?

Are we doing enough to make you feel welcome and enabled to attend SQLBits? Have we overlooked something? If you have any suggestions or feedback, please drop us a message below or email us at Your email will come directly to our DEI Lead Traci, will be treated with complete confidence, and will be discussed by the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at one of our regular meetings, after which you will receive an update on how we plan to move your suggestions forward. 

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Inclusivity News

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