Behind the Curtain at Oracle OpenWorld

By Karen Shamban

It Takes A Lot of Effort to Make Things Look Easy

The goal of the many teams producing Oracle OpenWorld each year is to provide an outstanding experience for each and every attendee.  From registration to the It’s A Wrap! closing event and everything in between, we want you to have a fantastic experience and get great value from your investment of time and money. Here are just a few of the hundreds of things that go into making Oracle OpenWorld each year:


  • Secure space at the Moscone Center and dozens of San Francisco hotels 5-10 years ahead of time
  • Work with the city of San Francisco on street closures, traffic management, security, tent permits, securing a lane on the highway for shuttle buses going to and from Treasure Island on Appreciation Event night, and even re-routing a Muni trolley car overhead electricity line
  • Without knowing exact number of attendees for each, schedule thousands of sessions into hundreds of rooms of varying sizes in dozens of potential time slots
  • Anticipate where 45,000+ people will want or need to go and create hundreds of signs that will help them get there
  • Use 20,000+ hours of union labor to erect the Howard Street tent, construct the keynote hall stage and hang trusses for lighting, build out the Exhibition Halls, install networks and video walls, hang signs and banners, and more, utilizing:
    • 129,000 square feet of tenting over Howard Street
    • 4.25 miles of cable to distribute power in the tent and Yerba Buena Gardens
    • More than ½ mile of truss for lighting, speakers and sound effects plus 200 linear feet of 20’ high projection screens in the keynote hall
    • 1,050 LCD and 230 plasma screens throughout conference venues
    • 4,000 channels of control in keynote hall lighting
    • 1000+ network switches, 300 VoIP phones, 300+ miles of copper and fiber and over 250 wireless access points       

During Conference

  • Occupy more than 74,000 hotel room nights throughout and beyond San Francisco
  • Have 63,072 seats in any given time slot available for attendees in keynotes, general and technical sessions
  • Present 3,200+ speakers in more than 2,000 sessions across 8 venues
  • Host almost 500 sponsors and partners in 300,000 square feet of Exhibit Hall space
  • Serve hundreds of thousands of cups of coffee,  cans of soda, bottles of juice, and boxed lunches–and recycle nearly all of the containers
  • Pour 42,000 gallons of filtered tap water into compostable cups or reusable water bottles
  • Publish the equivalent of a small  local newspaper with the latest news and information daily
  • Throw 4 major networking events for tens of thousands of people, including a world-class private concert


Play It Again: Watch Oracle OpenWorld video replays on


Wow! Great information, Karen. Very impressive!

Posted by Jill Metlin on October 06, 2011 at 02:07 PM PDT #

Thanks Karen! Great behind the scenes info.

Posted by John Peketz on October 14, 2011 at 09:51 AM PDT #

You guys continue to make this all look so effortless. I'm always amazed how seamless everything appears to flow. Great job!

Posted by Alan Williams on October 23, 2011 at 07:42 AM PDT #

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed

Welcome to the Oracle OpenWorld Blog, your complete news resource for everything from registration, housing, and keynotes, to sessions, demos, special activities and beyond.