Hmmmmm...Whoever responded that way doesn't know about the Rocky Mtn Oracle Users Group (www.rmoug.org) "Training Days" conference, usually held in the 2nd week of February each year (next on Wed-Thu 14-15 Feb 2008), which provides 2 solid days of training with top-notch material for less than US$250.00.
Being held on a Wed-Thu means that the following Fri-Sun can be used for a quick personal ski trip, if you wish. And, based on my experience in the early-season snow these past few weeks, where I've already had to dig out of waist-deep powder, this is a good thing...
Shameless plug? Nope -- I'm not involved at all with RMOUG (except as a speaker) for the first time in 17 years. Well, maybe a little, for old times sake... ;-)
In general, "grass-roots" users groups (like RMOUG) produce conferences that are priced similarly, providing similar value. The major conferences (i.e. OOW, Collaborate, etc) last 4+ days and cost over $1,000 and thousands of attendees, but the local users groups are smaller, briefer, with great quality, and much cheaper.
If these are the "user conferences" that are considered "overpriced", then I'd challenge anyone to do them more cheaply. Quoting Derek Bok, former president of Harvard (compliments of Carel-Jan's email trailer): "Think education is expensive? Try ignorance"...
Quoting Robert Freeman <robertgfreeman@xxxxxxxxx>:
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? Cheers!! Robert G. Freeman Author: Oracle Database 11g New Features (Oracle Press) Portable DBA: Oracle (Oracle Press) Oracle Database 10g New Features (Oracle Press) Oracle9i RMAN Backup and Recovery (Oracle Press) Oracle9i New Feature Blog: http://robertgfreeman.blogspot.com (Oracle Press) -- http://www.freelists.org/webpage/oracle-l