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Some thoughts about European PGDay 2008

From: Gabriele Bartolini <gabriele(dot)bartolini(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org, pgeu-general(at)postgresql(dot)org, pgsql-announce(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Some thoughts about European PGDay 2008
Date: 2008-10-20 15:29:11
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Dear Postgres fans,

As president of the Italian PostgreSQL Users Group and vice-president of
PostgreSQL Europe, I am really proud to announce - without any doubt -
that PGDay 2008 was an absolute success in all ways.

First: for the community in Europe, its organisation and its maturity.
The event has represented the first attempt at organising an
international conference through the continuous cooperation between a
national user group (ITPUG - Italian PostgreSQL Users Group) and
PostgreSQL Europe, the European non profit organisation for the
promotion of the project within the "Old Continent". Although things can
improve, the results were excellent, and will provide a solid basis for
the forthcoming years.

Second: participation and promotion. Our main aim was the promotion of
PostgreSQL on a wider scale. When we scheduled the event (PGDay 2008
dates were announced at FOSDEM, back in February), no other IT
conference in Italy had been planned on October 17 and 18.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest and most important ICT conferences in
Italy (SMAU) clashed  with PGDay, and so another important event for the
public sector. These two events cut out several potential users.

However, we still managed to get 171 attendees at the conference (193
were expected based on the online registration - and this is something
we should reflect on). The peak was reached on the Friday, with 152
visitors. About 120 people were present during the Saturday sessions.
Participants joined us from 20 different countries. We had 9 partners
and 11 patrons. Four continents were represented by attendees (Europe,
North America, Asia and Oceania), one lighting talk was pre-recorded in
Africa, and a number of penguins were spotted on T-Shirts, presumably
representing Antarctica. Simply put: a global event.

Third: technical aspects. During the event, we had 26 talks grouped
under 4 tracks, two in Italian and two in English. We had 4 rooms that
could hold up to 250 people in total all for ourselves. We organised
side events such as the ITPUG general assembly, a keysigning party and a
cocktail party (the EnterpriseDB party). But, most importantly, we had a
permanent developer room (thanks to Dalibo guys).

Fourth: the future. We should know better than anyone that the past
contains lots of information for the future. Based on last year's
experience and this year experience, I am sure that we could improve
things in the future and organise a much better event. The successes of
this conference were many, without a doubt. But there were also things
that did not go well or could have gone better, that we will learn from
for next year.

We should also keep in touch with the IT departments of two important
Universities, namely the Università di Pisa in Italy and the Monash
University in Australia - I would love to hear from people "Down Under"
and from the core as well. I am sure we could get some interesting
research projects to work on.

In any case, good luck to the French guys and to PostgreSQLFr for PGDay
2009. It will be held in France, but we do not know when yet.

My last words go to everyone who participated to the event. Volunteers
from Italy and around the world. Organisers, speakers and visitors.
Thank you all for travelling to Italy and being part of PGDay 2008.


Gabriele Bartolini - Responsabile logistica PostgreSQL Day 2008
gabriele(dot)bartolini(at)pgday(dot)org - -
Associazione Culturale Italian PostgreSQL Users Group -
"PostgreSQL, the world's most advanced open-source database"


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