The 2011 conference season is starting to come to a close. There are only a few large conferences left such as VM World, SQL PASS, and Dev Connections. Many people are currently working with their bosses to get sent to these conferences.
However while going through these conversations here’s something else to keep in mind. Odds are your company has just started going through the 2012 budget process. Now is the time to get some requests in to attend some conferences next year. When talking to your bosses about conferences for 2012 don’t just request one conference, request them all. The way that the budget process works is that your boss starts with a big number, and slowly hacks that number down to get to a number that his/her boss can approve. If you request a single conference with a budget of say $4000 for ticket, hotel and flight and it’s time to reduce that line item, there’s only one place to go, $0. Boom, no more conferences for the year. However if you has a team of 3 people, and you all want to go to one conference request a budget line item of $96,000 (3 people * 8 conferences * $4000 each). When asked for a list of the conferences be prepared to provide a list.
- SQL PASS
- VM World
- EMC World
- Dev Connections (There’s a couple of those)
- Build (This is similar to what PDC used to be)
- Tech Ed
- Oracle Open World
There are also other events that you can attend which may require some budget, some a little less, some a little more depending on the event.
- SQL PASS Rally
- SQL Excursions
- SQL Cruise
- Tech Cruise
- Oracle Cruise
- SQLskills Immersion Events
I’m sure that there are plenty of other events which you could find and attend. If you start with a nice high budget as you go through the process you’ll probably end up with enough budget for a couple of people to hit a conference or two throughout the year.
Good luck getting through the budget process, and hopefully I’ll see you at some of these conferences.