Conferences, Kscope, Kscope15, ODTUG, Oracle, User Group

Kscope15 Conference Planning

Kscope15Logo

What a weekend!! Fresh from two intense days in Hollywood, planning your Kscope15 Conference.  If you follow any of your Conference Planning Committee members on Facebook or Twitter, I am sure you saw images of us with picturesque backdrops, comments about how good the food was, etc.  I can definitely say it was fun.  I’m sure you have heard the saying “Work Hard, Play Hard”.  This was no exception.  Being a newbie to the committee, I knew it was work, but how much …. I had no idea. Planning for Kscope15 began before Kscope14 even started.  The time and effort this team puts in to ensure that you have the BEST technical conference experience is amazing.

What does it take to put together a conference like this?  This is my story as a first time committee member.

Upon arrival, I couldn’t check in because that wasn’t until 3 p.m. but never fear, Crystal(@Crystal_Walton) and Lauren(@lprezby) of YCC had plenty for me to do so I wouldn’t get bored just sitting around.  After a quick breakfast in the concierge lounge, they shared with me the plan for my part in the Kscope15 promotional video.  Ohhhh that’s why I was asked to bring that “special” item with me.  Yeah, those funny videos that you see leading up to Kscope are filmed and produced by your ODTUG Board and the Conference Planning Committee. Off to the shoot we go!!!  After a morning of multiple takes, wardrobe changes, and a variety of locations, it was time to continue the business of the conference.

Lunch was a “working” lunch.  We had a tasting of all the wonderful things that will be on the Kscope15 lunch menu. Did anyone catch this tweet? “Just taste tested some gluten-free dishes for #Kscope15 and one of them was my absolute favorite!” There were a couple of items that you might see a lot of, and some that won’t make the cut.  Kscope attendees have high standards when it comes to food, so we took detailed notes on the comment cards. Yep comment cards.  I told ya, it was a working lunch.

Having had our fill from the tasting, our next task was a property tour.  This place is huge!!  One Gazillion square feet of conference space and we saw it all.  There is definitely enough space for the more than 300 sessions you will enjoy next June. Previously, I would have said “over 300 sessions”, but now I know better ;P!  Hey look, it’s late afternoon and I just reached my 10,000 steps goal for the day.  Getting that #Kscope15BeachBod ready.  Finally able to check into my room, I go upstairs take few minutes to relax and then head to dinner.  Guess what?  Button down shirt, French cuffs, slacks and dress shoes.  Yes, we had to dress up for dinner.  Not a problem, but it was odd seeing Chet in something other than shorts; being a Florida boy and all.  Dinner was incredible and I will highly recommend the Diplomat Prime restaurant, but please make your reservations.  The steaks are great and you can cut them with a spoon.  When dinner ends, the day ends.  Open up the balcony door and let the sound of the ocean lull you to sleep.  Tomorrow will be a busy day.

balcony

Day 1 was all about the business of the venue.  Day 2 was about the business of the conference.

Pull out the day’s agenda and get to work. Natalie (@EssbaseLady) kept us in line.  She is a phenomenal Conference Chair.  Content updates by Chet (@oraclenerd) and Opal (@opal_EPM) let us know where we stand on the outstanding presentations for the Kscope15.  I happen to be on the DBA/Dev review committee so I know there is some good stuff in store. Opal heads up the EPM track and Chet heads up the traditional track.  So much to organize.  These two do a tremendous amount of work ensuring the content is outstanding.

I was on tap next with the Marketing plan and review.  You thought it was all fun and games, but consider this:

chart2

 

or this:

Chart1

 

Can’t tell you what these represent, but YCC has some great analytics to help visualize performance.  It was awesome!! We look at EVERYTHING.  No stone left un-turned when making sure you have the best conference experience. Discussion of the traditional marketing campaigns is a must, but we’ll add some new things to get you more excited than you already are.

Mike (@Mike_ODTUG) followed up with a discussion on session evaluations and Ambassadors.  All I am going to say right now is, “Fill out the evals”. Whether it be on paper or through some app fill out the evaluations.  This is one tool your conference committee relies on to maintain the integrity and superb reputation of Kscope. Presenters also use this to fine tune their delivery skills and learn what works and what doesn’t.  It helps us all out.  I had no idea until that day the real value of session evaluations.  Also, if you want to find an easy way to get involved, consider the Ambassador Program.  It’s how I got my start.

Quickly moving through the morning in to early afternoon, the Keynote and Community Service events were hammered out as well as some of the other fun stuff.  When I say fun, that’s for the attendees.  If you noticed that I left things out  that you know and love about Kscope out, well that’s on purpose.  Gotta leave you guessing on some stuff right?

After adjournment we all started that trek back to our respective homes, trading in:

ViewFrom33

CPCBeach

CPCDinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

for weather much less desirable.

As a first time committee member this was an eye opening experience and one hope to be a part of for years to come.  Finally a special thanks to the other members of the #Kscope15 Conference Planning Committee:

Natalie, Mike, Chet, Opal, Crystal, and Lauren.  You all are the best.