Dive Into OpenWorld

It's big, it's exhausting—and it's a great chance to check in with Oracle folks.

One of the biggest events that Oracle puts on is Oracle OpenWorld, a five-day festival of Oracle executives, products, partners, and customers that takes over San Francisco each year.

This year's show (October 22-26) is huge—50,000 expected attendees, 7 demo grounds—with all of Moscone, as well as neighboring hotels, used for conference rooms. Heck, they're even going to close down one street and cover it with a giant tent.

It's easy to get overwhelmed, but you can really get your money's worth from the conference if you attack the proceedings in a masterly fashion. Our team goes to see what's on the road map for Oracle—what are the big things in the pipeline, what new partnerships have been created, what enhancements can we look for. Here's how to maximize your investment in the show:

Send a team. Yes, it costs more, but you can take advantage of group discounts, and I believe you'll recoup your investment once they get back to the office and start sharing the information they've gathered.

And about sharing that information—we make sure it happens by planning ahead. Our team members know what they're going to focus on at the show. When they return, each team member does a trip report and then provides information and informal training to the rest of the Oracle support team. I also create short reports on things I've learned and send them to key stakeholder groups. I tailor the reports to the audience, because we pick up information of both strategic and technical value. I e-mail technical tidbits to staff and strategic vision announcements to the executive team.

We always like to send a line-of-business person if we can—a power user or business analyst. This year we're planning on sending somebody from Finance because of the impact that Oracle Fusion might have on the business processes of that department. Sending users gives them a firsthand perspective, gets them excited about upcoming changes, and helps get the user community onboard.

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