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How you can make the best out of your time at Oracle conferences. 

Conferences can overwhelm even the most experienced Oracle users. With over 60,000 attendees at Oracle Open World and 5,500 at Collaborate, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of users, booths, and presentations. This makes having a clear purpose and direction of your conference goals essential before you arrive. Former deputy education minister, Levin, states “… most education events are packed with speeches and presentations, with almost inevitably not enough time for discussion or reaction.” To avoid this, we dug into the top 5 objectives any Oracle conference attendee should strive for: have a game plan ready, be technology specific, network with everyone, attend presentations and take the chance to meet with the presenters. Having the opportunity to relay all the information you gain from the conference back to your colleagues allows you to constitute your time attending and execute new ideas to implement back at home base.

Researchers state, “First, just getting accepted at a well-known and highly selective conference already constitutes recognition of the quality and relevance of one’s research, thereby constituting a signal of potentially considerable value.” Use your time wisely by seeking out connections that align with the current and future needs of your company’s technology. Attend presentations and connect with vendors that will build your knowledge of the market. According to scholars Günther, Grosse, and Klasen find the people who present at the conferences as they are an obvious source of knowledge. To find the right vendor, you must network and there is no better place than an Oracle conference. Network in every aspect of the conference, even with the guy who’s waiting in line next to you.

Conferences usually take place in cities that are hubs for leisure activity, attend activities outside of the conference to meet a wider network of people. An article about business tourism reports, “Leisure interests of business travelers were found to be of considerable influence. Almost 80% of respondents indicated leisure opportunities and recreational activities at the conference to be somewhat important, important or very important, with 22% evaluating this parameter at the highest level of importance on a 5-point Likert scale.” Everyone attending the conference has some form of professional goal with in the same market as you, find the people that have the most similar goals and interests as you to build a meaningful relationship for mutual benefit.

How can you take everything you’ve gained from a conference and bring it back to work? Did you attend the conference to represent your team or department? Find out what questions they have and try schedule a Q&A with a presenter in that field so you can get the best answers right from the source. It’s easier to find what you’re looking for if you have an idea of what you need to find. You learn so much new information at a conference that it’s important to take notes. Make the most out of the conference by sharing your notes with the company. The information you bring back to the conference should be valuable long after the conference has ended!

Blog Written by: Melody Vo and Brooke Waters
2016 Heartland Interns