A few weeks ago I had the privilege of presenting at my very first RMOUG (Rocky Mountain Oracle User Group) Training Days conference. This 2.5 day conference is hosted in Denver, CO during winter each year. This year’s event had tracks for Oracle database development, APEX and ADF, EPM & BI, Oracle apps, database administration, middleware, emerging technologies, and professional development. The RMOUG user group is over 30 years old and is a well known fixture in the Rocky Mountain region.
My ODTUG friends told me about the awesomeness of RMOUG a couple of years ago and encouraged me to send in an abstract. RMOUG Training Days is the 4th largest Oracle user group conference in America after 1. Oracle Open World 2. Collaborate, and 3. Kscope. This year they had ~500 people in attendance and offered 100+ sessions.
What I liked most about this conference was the vibe. It’s clear that this is a grassroots community and that the attendees know this and encourage it. Some unique characteristics about RMOUG Training Days:
- People genuinely look forward to seeing either other. It’s almost like one big extended family that gets together for an annual reunion. I got to hang out with some non-EPM folks and it was a grand time. Here’s a picture from the “scotch and cigars” event hosted by my new buddy Rob Lockard.
(photo courtesy of Jeff Smith)
- They have a ride sharing program for speakers. If you’re a speaker and you need a ride either to/from the airport you can sign up for this super convenient perk. If they have an available driver they’ll put you on the list. Not only is this a great way to network and meet fellow RMOUG folks, but you can save some travel cash too. Here’s RMOUG’s hilarious video advertising their #AdoptASpeaker benefit.
- RMOUG freely gives multiple types of scholarships.
- As a speaker, you have the option to donate your speaker gift value to one of the scholarship funds.
- Right now the event is hosted at the Denver Convention Center. This is in the heart of downtown Denver so everything is walk able (even in winter). All of our receptions, dinners, and meet-ups took place within blocks of the convention center/hotel.
(photo courtesy of Jorge Rimblas Photography)
- There is a professional development track. Luckily for me, this is where I submitted and got accepted. I’m a huge proponent of soft skills. This is tricky content to pull off well. What’s great about this track is that it applies to everyone, so you get a great mixture of folks in this type of session because it’s technology agnostic.
- A local high school brings a group of kids every year. They attend a variety of sessions. I was honored that they attended mine, and even engaged in conversation with the other “adult” attendees and came up to talk to me afterwards about what they learned.
- Kent Graziano offers morning chigung. What a great way to wake up!
- A good number of non-speaker attendees are locals.
- Speakers fly from all over the world to present here. That’s really amazing for a regional user group. The content and speakers are top notch.
- There is a large number of Oracle Aces in attendance – 45 this year! RMOUG pushes networking opportunities with the Oracle Ace group by setting up lunch tables based on technology.
- RMOUG is very user group friendly. Here are pictures from the ODTUG-RMOUG meet-up the first night of the event.
(photos courtesy of QingChen Chen)
This conference marked a series of personal firsts for me and I will always have a soft spot because of it:
- First time at RMOUG Training Days
- First time to attend an Oracle Ace dinner
(mad photography skills courtesy of Jorge Rimblas Photography)
- First time to speak at a user group conference about a professional development topic
- First time doing morning chigung with Kent
- First time learning how to “drink” scotch properly
- First time to meet some of my Twitter friends face to face
The EPM community is a fairly new entrant to RMOUG Training Days and is still up and coming. However, there is great potential here. There are local EPM resources who look forward to this event each year. In addition, the registration price and travel costs are so low that it’s a fantastic value for your money. As the word continues to spread to the EPM community about the great opportunity this conference offers, people will be flocking to this annual event. Some of the EPM/BI industry greats that presented: Edward Roske, Glenn Schwartzberg, Stewart Bryson, Sarah Zumbrum, Eric Helmer, Osama Mustafa, Tim German, Christian Screen, Terrance Walker, Tim Vlamis, John Piwowar, and Chris Chase.
Special shout out to Kellyn and Tim, the content teams, ambassadors, volunteers, sponsors, speakers, etc. for a job well done! I hope to see you again next year!
(Kellyn won the Doug Faughnan Lifetime Achievement Award! photo courtesy of Jeff Smith)