Well, Oracle OpenWorld 2007 is starting to build some momentum…sort of. I received an email this afternoon letting me know that the Schedule Builder is now live, so that I can start reserving a seat in the sessions I’d like to attend.
I logged in, pulled up the Schedule Builder’s Content Catalog, and checked on a few sessions. I did see a few errors pertaining to session I’m involved with (for example, the Oracle Fusion Council meeting attendance should not be limited to Oracle Develop attendees), but that’s to be expected when things like this first go live. No big deal.
Then I ran into a really big deal that hit me where right where I live. Unfortunately, I can’t book anything. When I tried, I got the following error message:
Your current registration level do NOT provide you access to enroll in this session
(NOTE: Don’t blame me for the grammar, as it’s a direct quote…probably an error message written by some DBA)
Grammar aside, it’s a pretty entertaining message when you consider that I’m co-hosting a panel discussion on Sunday and speaking on Thursday (granted, I'm speaking on Thursday afternoon so I'll be talking to an empty room, but still...). I wonder if the security folks at the conference will let me in for my panel discussion and speaking event if we can’t get this problem fixed…
Tried using clearing my cache, using different browsers, rebooting, using a different computer, and all the rest of the usual stuff, just in the hopes of an easy fix. No luck with all that. So I called the registration help desk a few hours ago, but they’re just as stumped as I am. They took down my name and my email address, and promised to get back with me soon. As I write this, “soon” has yet to arrive…I wonder if this is a spin on “the check is in the mail”…hmmm.
Hopefully, Oracle will get this issue fixed before all the good sessions fill up and I find myself considering a change in my attendance plans. In the meantime, I think I’ll hold off on buying my airplane tickets for a few days…
SEPT. 24th UPDATE: Spoke again with the event registration people this morning. The good news is that this problem is limited specifically to me...you shouldn't have any worries. The bad news is that it seems the problem is bigger than I originally imagined.
Turns out that if a speaker at OOW 07 is categorized as a "Government Speaker" (that is, a speaker from a government customer), their complimentary pass to the conference is only good for the day on which you are speaking. You'll have to pay for the other days of the conference in order to get full attendance privileges and enroll in other sessions. Apparently, this is a new wrinkle, as I've attended as a "Government Speaker" for the past two years with full privileges and no issues.
If the event registration people have their info correct, I'm not very enthusiastic about the idea of paying a fee in order to evangelize for Oracle. I mean, I like their products and the software works great, but there's a limit as to how far I'll go in spreading that word...paying Oracle to evangelize for Oracle is way on the other side of that limit. I've asked for the full conference pass on the basis of being a speaker. If I get it in the next day or so, great. If not, I'll either cancel the speaking engagement and pay the full conference fee as an attendee (if the good sessions are still open), or I'll just cancel out of OOW altogether and go fishing that week. Stay tuned, I'll let you know how it plays out.
FINAL UPDATE: The problem now appears to be solved, at least for me. The deal is that speakers from U.S. government entities are only "comped" for the day of the conference on which they are speaking. In order to obtain full conference privileges for the other days of the conference, they must pay the price of a Full Conference pass for those days. If you're an employee of a government entity contemplating speaking at Oracle OpenWorld, make note of this new wrinkle.
I was able to make other arrangements for my OpenWorld registration, so that I now have Full Conference privileges for the entire conference as a result of my presentation. But, I have to tell you, it wasn't easy! Fishing was looking pretty good until just a few minutes ago...