We’re thrilled to announce that we have signed a contract with the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara and the Santa Clara Convention Center, to host a Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo on April 10-12, 2012. This event is part of our Percona Live series of conferences, but it’s not just another event in the series.
We all know that the entire MySQL community has been waiting to see if there will be a MySQL conference next year in the traditional date and location. To the best of our knowledge, no one else was planning one, so we decided to keep the tradition alive. We began planning several months ago and have been in intensive venue searches and contract negotiations ever since then. We have checked and it is not in competition with any other planned event.
Events like this are completely different from small community conferences. You may know that I took similar initiative in November 2008 and created the OpenSQL Camp series of community-oriented conferences. I chose the tag-line “of, by, and for the community” for that conference. That has since become quite successful, with others following on and leading events worldwide several times each year. But a major conference in a convention center, with thousands of attendees and an up-front investment well into the six figures, is a whole different undertaking.
And although community and opensource-focused conferences are a vitally important part of the MySQL ecosystem, they cannot — cannot — replace the traditional MySQL conference and expo. The “and expo” is crucial here — the O’Reilly MySQL conference has occupied the crossroads of open-source, MySQL, community, and business. Emphasis on business. We need a place where vendors, both open-source and closed-source, can showcase their products and services. This is the hand that feeds all of us. It’s good for Percona’s business, and it’s good for everyone else’s too.
Our goal with this conference is to ensure the vitally important combination of business and community continues to have a place to meet and exchange ideas, showcase products, learn and teach. MySQL would not be what it is without this conference. Letting it disappear is not an option.
This is a MySQL-focused conference with Percona’s name in the title, not a Percona-focused conference. We have a track record of keeping this promise with our previous conferences. Ask anyone who went to our New York event. Just as importantly, we have proven our ability to bring a large audience to a venue, even in markets where we don’t have deep connections. We can make this a success. (It helps that we’ve brought in the people who ran the very first MySQL conferences in 2003 and 2004.)
We also intend to ensure the spirit and feeling of the MySQL conference you’re used to will continue. We’ll be running things a lot like O’Reilly did. They are a good example to follow; they ran a phenomenal conference, and we’re big fans (and financial supporters) of many of their conferences. The key things they did to involve the community, such as creating a speaker committee, are things we’ll be doing too. I was on that committee three times myself. We’ll have dot-org pavilions in the expo hall for open-source projects to have a chance to exhibit free of charge — Maatkit benefited from that gracious offer multiple times. We’ll have evening events, community keynotes, and so on. This isn’t just a feel-good thing — it is what made the MySQL conference such a vibrant, living place in the past. Personally, I always looked forward from year to year, in anticipation of next year’s conference.
We are very excited and proud to share this good news with you. We’ll be announcing more news as we develop our plans further. A lot of very hard work awaits us. It will all be worth it when we see you in Santa Clara in April. Stay tuned.