PGConf.EU 2018 - the biggest one yet!

It's now almost a month since PGConf.EU 2018 in Lisbon. PGConf.EU 2018 was the biggest PGConf.EU ever, and as far as I know the biggest PostgreSQL community conference in the world! So it's time to share some of the statistics and feedback.

I'll start with some attendee statistics:

451 registered attendees 2 no-shows 449 actual present attendees

Of these 451 registrations, 47 were sponsor tickets, some of who were used by sponsors, and some were given away to their customers and partners. Another 4 sponsor tickets went unused.

Another 52 were speakers.

This year we had more cancellations than we've usually had, but thanks to having a waitlist on the conference we managed to re-fill all those spaces before the event started.

And after that, it's of course time for the graphs! :)

Overall view

Overall, people seem to still like the event! There was a definite shift of some people from 5 to 4, so that's something for us to work on, but the overall score is still definitely good.

Overall impression Programme

Attendees

While the majority of our attendees are still in technical roles, it's interesting to see how the people identifying themselves as decision makers keeps growing year over year, now up to almost 17%.

Attendee roles

I think this indicates both the continued change in position of PostgreSQL in a lot of organizations, where it's moving into more and more critical roles, as well as the role of PGConf.EU expanding to cover more ground.

How did you hear Previous

Unsurprisingly, the biggest reach for attendees are those that were with us last year, which can also be seen in the number of attendees that have been with us before. Large number of other attendees come from references by friends and colleagues (please keep that up!) and from posts on the PostgreSQL mailinglists. Personally I find that social networks are surprisingly far down on the list.

Comments

Some of the comments we received this year, on the positive side:

  • Keep rotating it around.
  • great idea with the read and blue lanyards!
  • Walking distance to the city centre. (and a few other similar comments)
  • Although I understand the intention, I don’t think it’s always better to get bigger every year. The conference otherwise might lose the familiar atmosphere and some of the spirit that makes the conference unique.
  • more live demonstrations and not only talks would have made a big difference
  • Very good sessions, very good atmosfere during the conference, not too formal but yet professional approach, very good food, excellent social event
  • The content and hallway track were particularly good. The food was good as well.
  • Organization, People, Information

Some of the things people did not like that I'd like to comment on specifically are:

The sponsor hall being in its own area away from the main talks. It was hard to go between the two.
This was an unfortunate side-effect of the conference growing. The original plan was to keep all coffee breaks in the sponsor hall, giving the best possible way for interaction. Unfortunately, as we grew in size, we ended up exceeding the number of people allowed in this room. For that reason, the coffee breaks were spread out, and unfortunately that led to a lot of people just staying on the other floor. But in the end, this is definitely something we have to work on.
Sometimes difficult to choose between parallel sessions
This is both good and bad of course. I don't think we want to decrease the quality of the talks to make it easier to choose :)
The screen was too low in NY room. (and more versions of that)
This was very definitely an issue mainly in the New York room, but there were also some issues with the screens in the other room. We were aware we put more people into the room during the keynote sessions than they recommended, but we figured that would be acceptable. Unfortunately, the screen/projector system didn't really work that well in the smaller sessions either, unless people really clustered at the front (which one of course doesn't do when there are plenty of seats to use).
The location of the Marriott was not ideal.
This was the first time in some years that we picked a hotel that was not in the city center, and it shows. Several people complained about the lack of local options, as the hotel didn't have much there. Fortunately it was fairly close to the metro and taxi services were cheap, but based on the feedback it's very clear that our attendees prefer a hotel in a more central location. As the conference grows this becomes harder and harder to fulfill, but we will do our best in the future!
Maybe it could be nice if you have a couple of discussion pass instead of "talks" regarding trends or whatever.
"Unconference" style sessions is something that comes up every now and then. Given that our schedule is already very tight, it probably won't be possible to do well within that framework. But we do often have an extra room or two that we could set aside for this, in a semi-organized fashion. Something to consider for next year.

Next year

As usual, we ask about preferred locations for next year:

Next Year

As has already been announced, next years conference will be in Milan, Italy. So we're happy that 17% of you had that as your primary choice!

There is also a (scary) correlation in that 6% wanted Sweden, and 8% wanted more snow...

Weather

At least nobody wanted more rain, even though 6% actually wanted the UK...

As for our little competition for winning next year, we had the following guesses had more than one person:

City Count
Athens 9
Copenhagen 5
Belgrade 3
Berlin 3
Ljubljana 3
Monza 3
Zagreb 3
Budapest 2
Edinburgh 2
Le Mans 2
London 2
Monaco 2
Riga 2

In the end, a single person guessed the correct answer, Milan. This person has been contacted personally with information about how to claim the ticket for next year.

Until then

While you wait for next year, check out our other upcoming events:


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Conferences

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

Upcoming

FOSDEM+PGDay 2019
Feb 1-3, 2019
Brussels, Belgium
Nordic PGDay 2019
Mar 19, 2019
Copenhagen, Denmark

Past

PGConf.Asia 2018
Dec 10-12, 2018
Tokyo, Japan
DC PostgreSQL Users Group
Nov 14, 2018
Washington DC, USA
New York City PostgreSQL User Group
Nov 13, 2018
New York City, NY, USA
Driving IT 2018
Nov 2, 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark
PGConf.EU 2018
Oct 23-26, 2018
Lisbon, Portugal
More past conferences