We announced Percona Performance Conference 2010 few days ago. We got a lot of positive feedback but also some people did not like the fact we schedule conference at the same time as MySQL conference tentatively was scheduled. They think it is unfair and we “steal” some audience from the “main” conference.
Here is how I look at it. We provide more choice to the people. We do not force anyone to come to our conference instead but if there are some slots people do not find sessions to attend they can go to the Percona event instead. Of course for company organizing Conference and Expo it may be better to see attendees little choice so they end up spending time at Expo Hall during which keeps exhibitors and sponsors happy but this is a different story. Also organizing conference in the same location we allow more people to attend it – a lot of people can’t afford to travel to the 2 conferences and may have hard time getting budget approved to attend less known Percona conference. Giving more choice we also increase overral interest interest. I spoke to number of people last year which came to the event because of Percona Conference (and bought ticket to MySQL conference as well) – especially for senior people the time to attend the conference is larger concern than the ticket cost.
I do recognize some people feeling sad they will have to make a choice – those who have an option to attend more conferences would like to see them being spread apart so they can visit more cool sessions. I however believe such people are in minority – especially in current economy time and money are scarse.
Another issue I want you to recognize is cost for Percona. We ran free conference as our gift to community (and yes, I will not deny it is great marketing). We spent tens of thousands dollars in time and money to organize it and of course we want to keep costs down. Having conference happening the same time as MySQL event we can save on travel budget and travel team – we can have more speakers/attendies from Percona both for MySQL Conference and Percona conference which means more talks.
Finally let me use comparative example. As you can see through the history shops, restaurants or gas stations tend to be in bunches close to each other. Do they compete more this way ? Sure but even more they benefit from each other closeness. People going to one restaurant will see another one and plan visiting it when they are up to different kind of food or if first one is too busy.
In any case if you do not like what we’re doing, if you question our intensions you always have a choice not to come to event.