Stupid answer. Look at my sig. That's the short reaction. Now for the long one. If I, as a contractor, can afford to contribute to user conferences by presenting there (having to travel across the pond at my own cost, and cover for lodger many times as well (and many times not, thanks to the hospitality of many friends!!!!)), it is affordable to other contractors as well. If not, you're penny wise, pound foolish. And if your boss isn't willing to pay? Find yourself another boss I've seen not-so-well payed not-self-employed DBA's taking up leave and pay for the Hotsos Symposium (not the cheapest around!). I see that happen at other conferences as well. Real USER-conferences (RMOUG, UKOUG, OUGF, OUGS etc.) are REAL value for money. If you see how much work is done by volunteers (year after year the same volunteers, many delegates seem to think the term user group means they can be the USER of the GROUP that is foolish enough to put in all that unpayed effort) it is unbelievable how much content of high quality they gather in many, many sessions. User conferences too cheap? Ha! I've seen every euro/dollar paying off. Before I started presenting, I was a paying delegate at 6-8 conferences a year. I was a contractor, money for a conference was money not for the family at home. Yes, that was a lot of money, in the days the dollar rate was the inverse of what it is today. Out of pocket, it was over 25% of my annual turnover, let alone the unbillable time as the result of traveling around for 6-8 weeks per year. However, it really rocket-propelled my career. It payed off. I was able to take up more difficult gigs. I was able to raise my rate. I wouldn't have been what I'm now, if I hadn't learned so much from so many generous, wisdom and knowledge sharing people like Anjo, Cary, Connor, Gaja, Jonathan, Karen, Mogens, Pete, Stephen, Tanel and many, many others in and outside of the Oaktable Network. Once again, look at my sig. Best regards, Carel-Jan Engel === If you think education is expensive, try ignorance. (Derek Bok) === On Thu, 2007-12-20 at 12:23 -0800, Robert Freeman wrote: > Well the results of my poll (which can be reached from my Blog) seem > very interesting. I'll share one result with you right now: > > The question is: > > 1. Which of the following (if any) Oracle DBA conferences do you feel > you get the most benefit out of? > > The front running answer, which surprised me a bit, is: > > User conferences? Who has the money? > > Out in front at 24% of the respondents!! > > So, we user conferences really overly priced? If so, what do we do > about that?