Ever wonder what it takes to put on an event like Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne? Imagine building a small city in the heart of downtown San Francisco and you start to get an idea of the challenges facing Oracle’s event planners.
Oracle OpenWorld attracts 50,000 attendees from 145 countries to downtown San Francisco, with another 1,000,000 following the event online. The events fills Moscone Center and other venues, takes over city streets, and even renames Union Square, which will be tented and called Oracle Square.
The conference sells out hotels not only in the city, but as far north as Petaluma and as far south as San Jose. A total of nearly 98,000 rooms are sold throughout the week. Hotel blocks are in place for years to come at venues from Petaluma to San Jose, and the conference dates are blocked out for 30 years at Moscone Center.
Preparing for the event takes an entire year. In fact, planning for Oracle OpenWorld 2013 will begin as soon as this year’s conference has ended. A dedicated team of 50 event planners collaborates with senior executives, product marketing and management, development, sales, and PR to schedule announcements, develop the content, identify speakers, and plan the sessions and demos.
The total number of event highlights can be daunting. For Oracle OpenWorld 2012, there are:
- 423 auxiliary events throughout the city
- 3,570 speakers
- 2,523 sessions
- 406 demo stations
- 457 partner exhibits in 300,000 square feet of space
In addition to coordinating conference-related activities within the company, event planners work with hotels, travel agencies, food service vendors, and transportation planners to house, feed, and move attendees. Forty-two thousand gallons of filtered tap water will served to attendees this week in compostable cups or reusable water bottles. Some 95,000 sodas and 47,000 juices will be served during breaks, along with 142,000 cups of coffee and 63,000 boxed and hot lunches.
The numbers add up to one of the world’s biggest conferences. Despite its scale, however, Oracle OpenWorld is the most sustainable event in the technology industry.