PGConf.EU 2017 - time for the statistics

For anybody following this blog, you'll know I do this every year. PGConf.EU completed several weeks ago, and we have now collected the statistics, and I'd like to share some numbers.

Let me start with some statistics that are not based on the feedback, but instead based on the core contents of our registration database. I've had several people ask exactly how we count our attendees when we say it's the largest PGConf.EU ever, so here are the numbers:

Our total number of attendees registered was 437. This includes all regular attendees, speakers, training attendees, sponsor tickets and exhibitor only tickets. Of these 437 people, 12 never showed up. This was a mix of a couple of sponsor tickets and regular attendees, and 3 training attendees. This means we had 425 people actually present.

We don't take attendance each day. Right after the keynote on the first day there were just over 20 people who had not yet shown up, and by the end of the conference the total that number was down to 12. There were definitely fewer than 400 people who remained on a late Friday afternoon for the closing sessions, but at lunchtime the crowd was approximately the same size.

On top of the 437 actual attendees, we also had 5 further sponsor tickets that were never claimed. And we had another 59 people still on the waitlist, since we were unfortunately up against venue limits and we not able to sell all the requested tickets.

Conference and venue

Ok, now for the regular statistics off the feedback. Let's start with a pat on the back:

Overall impression

This is obviously great to see as an organizer. And we will be working hard to get to that last 6% who only gave us a 3!

Parallel talks

This one is interesting. Traditionally we've usually seen the "3" win this category. I think this is at least partially because we have a wider spread of both attendees and talks these days. But clearly having 2 talks to choose from in each session is still good.

Venue Food Internet

This year we ended up going with a standing buffet instead of our normal sit-down meal. This was not our original intention, but it was a trade-off that we had to make in order to fit more people than what the venue maximum would've otherwise been. And in the trade-off between that and more people attending, we believe we made the right one. More attendees of course contributed to the Internet connection not quite keeping up. It worked decently much of the time, but definitely not as well as we had hoped (and had been promised).


So other than the raw numbers above, who attended?

Interest Role

While it's very clear that the core of our audience is technical, it's also clear that the number of decision makers attending are increasing. This is definitely something we may need to consider in the talk lineups for future years.


As usual, I'll copy in a few noteworthy comments of the written ones we received.

What people thought was best about the conference:

  • Meeting with all those interesting people, either already well into the community or discovering it.
  • The speakers! The People!
  • Being able to meet like-minded people is very important. I liked the idea of the speaker interviews upfront.
  • No (or very little) marketing during the talks!
  • Although social events in bars are quite good, I really enjoyed the social event at the hotel. Was a quite relaxing atmosphere talking to the sponsors and other attendees.

What people thought was the worst about the conference:

  • I was planning to make stock of black PG T-shirts for next year or two but they were gone the first day !!!!!
  • Not enough space to eat. Lunch, the food was good, but the fact that there were not enough tables and space to sit/stand while eating: that is a shame.
  • Lack of a good social event, the Wednesday night drinks were rather anticlimactic.

It's interesting to note that the change in social event style scored both good and bad comments. That's clearly an indicator that we should attempt to do one of each, provided we have the resources. And there was clearly some fallout for the late "upgrade" in venue size and "downgrade" in lunch setup.

And finally

The big question you're all waiting for the answer to:

Next year

Unfortunately, we cannot yet tell you what the answer is. What we can tell you is that negotiations have been going on since before this years conference ended (so it really should have asked the question about 2019 and not 2018), and that we hope to have a date and location for you before the end of the year!

Until then, check out a couple of the conferences which we know where they are:

See you at one of our events in 2018!

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I speak at and organize conferences around Open Source in general and PostgreSQL in particular.



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