The spring (in the US) conferences on my hot list are always Collaborate and the Hotsos Symposium. While I’ve never been to the Hotsos Symposium (due to budget constraints), I’ve always wanted to attend. All in the past couple of weeks, both events have opened their respective calls for speakers. See the links: IOUG call for speakers (Collaborate08), OAUG call for speakers (Collaborate08), and Hotsos Symposium call for speakers.
I would highly encourage you to consider presenting. As anyone who’s heard me present recently, I close almost all of my sessions with a plug for becoming a presenter (if I haven’t run short on time). Presenting a technical topic or case study can be a lot of work, but it is also very rewarding both professionally and economically (free conference pass!). While some employers aren’t keen on sending their staffers to conferences all-expenses-paid, the negotiation gets a lot easier when you cut 50% off the total budget by snagging a free pass.
Besides the fun and rewarding experience of presenting your knowledge to others, you also become recognized as the authority on something and many times, follow up questions trickle in for weeks or months later (as people download your session materials). These follow ups can often lead to friendships and (if you’re in consulting) additional business. There’s also the great opportunity to meet or reunite with many people you know from the Oracleosphere online from places like Oracle-L, OracleBlogs, OraNA.Info, and OTN Forums. I learn as much or more from talking with individual conference attendees as I do from attending technical sessions.
Anyhoo, it’s a great time and you meet lots of great people (like me!). Not to mention, there’s usually a pretty nice “appreciation event” (read party) at the major conferences too.
I’ll look forward to seeing you…at the lectern with a microphone!