Last year’s handling of the beloved JavaOne conference by Oracle eluted plenty of ideas with regards to how to run a better show in the future. Sadly, it looks like one of the most obvious suggestions, to integrate the JavaOne exhibition hall into the greater OracleWorld conference, has been ignored.
The massive OracleWorld exhibition halls, hosted inside of San Francisco’s massive Moscone Center, are nothing short of amazing. The sheer size, along with the number of sponsors, exhibitors and attendees walking through the auditorium creates a fantastic vibe and feeling of excitement.
A powerful, symbolic message
The right thing to do last year, as Oracle hosted JavaOne for the first time, would have been to put all of the JavaOne exhibitors smack dab in the middle of the big Moscone exhibition hall. It would have been a powerful, symbolic message to send out to the community, indicating that despite all of the cookie jars in which Oracle has their hands, the Java platform would be a central part of their future success. Even if the sentiment wasn’t necessarily true, it would have at least left the Java community with a warm and fuzzy feeling about how the new stewards were embracing the technology. And when you attend a conference like this, you should be leaving with a few ‘warm and fuzzies,’ not concerns and consternations.
Compare the JavaOne Exhibition Hall at the Hilton to the OracleWorld exhibition halls at Moscone South and Moscone West
Tucked away into the alcoves
But instead of being snugly nestled inside of OracleWorld, the JavaOne Exhibition hall was tucked away into the alcoves of the Hilton Hotel, located a fifteen-minute trek down the street from all of the fun stuff going on at the Moscone, leaving the JavaOne crowd to feel like second-class citizens.
A lose-lose situation
The small and tucked away venue gave attendees the impression that JavaOne was an afterthought, and not an integral part of the party. The relatively remote location also killed the vibe, robbing JavaOne exhibitors of the significant foot traffic they would have received if they were banked shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the OracleWorld crowd. It was a lose-lose situation, both for sponsors and attendees alike.
Optics aren’t reality. Optics are just optics. But optics do have a major affect on perception, and if Oracle wants to fight the perception that Java isn’t a top priority, they need to change the optics at JavaOne. Don’t relegate the Java community to a back corner down the street from where everything else is happening. Instead, embrace the Java community, and make them a central, both literally and figuratively, part of the annually OracleWorld shenanigans. Sadly, Oracle is repeating this mistake of the past. Maybe in 2012 they’ll do things differently.