Top 7 Reasons Why Oracle Database Conferences Rock!

Posted on 24-September-2014 by Craig Shallahamer,

Why take the time and make the effort to attend an Oracle database conference or Oracle user group meeting? We're all busy, so there had better be some super good reasons to make the effort! For me, the benefits definitely exceed the cost.

There are many different conferences to choose from. There are professional conferences, leadership conferences, scientific conferences and business focused conferences. So why an Oracle Database conference? What's the big deal?

This is difficult for me to explain, so I've summarized why I love Oracle conferences into a "Top 7" list.

Number 7. Get free stuff from vendors

I suspect 50% of Oracle DBAs attend conferences because they love getting free stuff. If you want to maximize the good stuff, timing is everything. Get to the booth when the exhibition hall first opens, because vendors have tons of stuff to give away and they are full of energy. Also, just before the exhibition hall closes on the final day show up again. Vendors are tired and want to get rid of as much stuff as possible... and you just happen to be there!

Number 6. Become known in your industry

If you want to focus and excel in your career in a particular area, then pass on what you know. If you hold on to what you learn, no one will know you're an expert but you... and that's lonely. One of the best ways to become known and enjoy conferences is to speak at them. If this is something you want to do, please email me. I'll mentor you. I'm serious.

Number 5. Talk to others, if you want to

Want to talk with people who care about Oracle technology as much as you do? Conferences are a great way to break out of your rut and think... and if you want to talk. One of the reasons I like conferences is it gives me a chance to meet with past students.

Number 4. Learn, if you want to

There are always opportunities to learn at conferences. How many times have I heard someone say they were in a lame session. But when I ask if they read the abstract first, they say no. If you want to increase your chances of attending great sessions, read the abstract. Second, look for speakers you like. Third, sit next to the door just in case you need to make a quick exit! The worst you can do is look at the agenda and pick the sessions you want to attend. Do a little research and you'll be surprised how many good sessions there are.


Number 3. Be inspired!

How many places can you go to receive inspiration? Not many, is my answer! Because I can chill for a bit at conferences, observe what's going on in our industry and interact with a wide variety of people associated with Oracle technology, I tend to leave with a fresher and more refined view... or better said, "A Wider View." That in itself is worth the cost of any conference.

Number 2. Network with vendors, speakers, colleagues

I take it one step at a time. I always cruise the exhibition halls looking for new products and touching base with the vendors I know. Personally, I like to encourage the new vendors because it is a massive investment for them to exhibit. When I'm cruising, that's where I typically reconnect with students and other DBAs. It's a more comfortable and relaxing environment for me. If you want to speak with an expert face-to-face, a conference is a natural place to do this. If someone walks up to me with an AWR report, I'll make time for them. If they email me the week before, I'll do whatever I can to schedule some time with them.

Number 1. Be with friends

This one is personal. When I'm teaching or consulting, it's very intense and compressed. But at conferences, I get a chance to unwind, sit back, have a beer, and talk. I'm really involved with the IOUG conference and each year I look forward to reconnecting with this small group of friends. It's such a good feeling to be with "Oracle friends" without having to talk... about Oracle. I can just sit and listen without anyone wondering... What's wrong with Craig? You can do the same thing. Find an Oracle user group and volunteer.

Why Attend? Because Oracle conferences rock!

There you have it. Seven reasons why Oracle conferences and Oracle User Groups rock! If you're not planning to attend any, you're missing a great way to connect, advance your career, and have a lot of fun. See you there!!

All the best in your Oracle performance work!


If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me directly at craig at

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