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UKOUG Tech and EBS Conference – what have I learnt for next time?

So, UKOUG Tech and EBS 2009 Conference was the first conference I’ve ever been to. I headed out to it full of nerves over whether I’d get lost, have the right materials to take notes with, etc, so I thought I’d write a list of things I’d do differently next year. It may come in handy for next year’s first-timers, who knows?!

So, for my next UKOUG conference, I will:

  • make plans as to when to meet up with people I know, if they’re also going to be attending, especially for lunch and in the evenings
  • compare agendas with said people
  • talk to my optician re. what I can do to make it easier to see the slides; different glasses just for the long distance viewing, maybe?
  • make sure I have plenty of ibuprofen and paracetamol at hand, just in case!
  • pick up the conference goody-bag prior to my first presentation – do this by making sure you go round the entire exhibition hall, as this time, they were handed out at the very back!
  • not worry about having to buy a separate notebook; one is included in the conference goody-bag
  • try not to fill every available slot with a presentation; it will be information overload!
  • try to get enough sleep!
  • be prepared to be overwhelmed and try to take it in step when that happens
  • make much more effort to overcome my shyness and *talk* to more people, and especially the people I have talked to online that I really want to say hi to!

Things that I already did which turned out to be really good ideas:

  • wear comfortable shoes
  • read (and comment on!) lots of blogs throughout the year from different people (to a) gain a wider perspective and b) get familiar with the wider Oracle community)
  • become friends with someone who has been to previous conferences and knows a few of the regular attendees
  • come prepared to learn
  • follow the signs to the halls and pay attention to the most excellent and helpful ICC staff!
  • explore the area before the conference starts
  • Twitter like mad and use the appropriate hash tags! This is a useful means of introducing yourself to other conference attendees and also the wider Oracle community *{;-)
  • work out what sessions you’re going to attend prior to the conference start; having a plan of action for the day in advance helps a lot!
  • be prepared to enjoy yourself!

All in all, I had a great time and I learnt a lot. I also met lots of people that I’d never dreamed I would actually meet, and hopefully have begun broadening my network of contacts!

I would wholly recommend attending the UKOUG Tech and EBS Conference, and would happily go again next year, I get the opportunity to go again!

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