The remnants of the typhoon hit San Francisco.  No doubt about that!  Horizontal rain, fallen trees, power outages all over the metroplex… but OpenWorld continued to deliver!

I arrived at Oracle OpenWorld in time for the morning keynote by Thomas Kurian and thought I would be smart and go directly to the InterContinental Hotel where the sessions I planned to attend were going to be held.  Oops!  No broadcast of the keynote there!  No breakfast either… not even a cup of conference coffee!  But, HEY!  NOT to worry!  I signed onto the live stream of the keynote and enjoyed tweeting with fellow attendees like @sfranklin1717, @passion4process (Clay Richardson) and @paulhamerman.  If I ever had a doubt about the value of social networking, all doubts are now erased.  I found out about the attendance, what announcements will be coming, some interesting events and gathered some qualified opinions from my fellow tweeters.

As mentioned before, Oracle is really using the Social Networking sites extensively at this conference and I feel they are doing a really great job – especially given the weather!  It’s almost like you can attend without attending but the face to face aspects of attendance just can be virtualized.  Sorry… let’s all remember that it is human energy that makes business tick.

I’ve met a lot of first time attendees this year and a lot of attendees that haven’t been here for a number of years.  The conference is decidedly smaller this year in terms of attendees – they are claiming 35K this year vs the 43K they touted in 2008.  If feels more like somewhere in the 20’s.  But, hey!  Even if it were as low as 20,000 people – that’s a LOT of people!  One of the Oracle presidents noted that OpenWorld brought SF 81K hotel nights this year and usually offers about $100MM in revenue.

All those people doing all those things can create quite a mess all by themselves.  Now add the remnants of a typhoon.  Gracious, what a day, but the intrepid OOW attendees pretty much took it in stride.  We all attended sessions.  We ate our lunches in the driving rain protected by the tents on Howard Street (and the tents did really well).  We got soaked and we continued on.

Green.  For the 2nd year, Oracle has dedicated a portion of the conference to being Green – even including a green market place with incredible mustards, chocolates and organic COFFEE!  Even the “plastic” style cutlery used for lunch is actually made from potatoes!  The staff person that brought me the cutlery for lunch told me that if I was still hungry, I could eat it!  Our conference backpacks included h2GO stainless steel bottles that we can constantly re-fill at plenty of water stations.  As a matter of fact, only water is served at lunch instead of the sugary caffeine normally served.  KUDOS Oracle!  I’m sure some of us are having caffeine withdrawals or are spending our expense accounts keeping up our addictions but the conference itself is as green as it can get it.

This entry is being made Wednesday morning, October 14th, because I totally admit to missing the parties last night.  Knowledge sharing and networking are why GRT Business Solutions and I are here, true, but after being soaked and cold every time I had to walk between buildings, I came back to the hotel earlier than usual and called it a day.  Opportunities were lost.  I totally agree.  Evidently I wasn’t the only one because one of the party promoters actually called me to say that the party was going on and asked if I was coming… Well, no.  I got warm and dry and caught up on some much needed sleep.

BUT!   Today, Wednesday is the big Appreciation Party.  I’ll let you know how THAT one is!