There a lot to see, and even something new the learn once in a while here at OpenWorld :) But those are the simplest reasons to go here, apart from networking with peers, and they are not the easiest to sell to management (if you are a technical person, I mean; for sales people it appears to be an easier sell).
I’ve had this discussion with several Norwegian companies that does not send anyone over, at least no DBAs or architects. And of course they look at cost as the decisive matter for this, saying that it’s a better return on investment to attend local user group and Oracle University classes.
The user groups are immensely useful, but there’s just no comparison with the added dimension of raw inspiration to be had at OpenWorld, if you go with the flow and use the atmosphere here to get creative.
The real value of shipping employees over to San Francisco once in a while is not easy to put a coin value to, but I really think is it underestimated by many; it is having them return motivated (which is often good for loyalty), and potentially full of new ideas or ways to view their everyday problems and tasks (which is always good for productivity).
It might not be quite priceless, but it shouldn’t be ignored. (I was about to say “can’t be”, but obviously that’s just what’s happening :)
What are your experiences with this? Have anyone else met this reluctance from management for the same reasons?