OUG_SCOT: I was on fire and then the fire alarm went off


it’s been a couple of months since my session at the oug_scot and I feel it’s enough time to write about it…

First of all – it was awesome!

I have never been to a user conference other than the ilOUG in Israel. I went to the Oracle Open World couple of years ago (and I’m not going this year 🙁 ) but it was nothing alike…

The user group was at a lovely place near Edinburgh, Scotland – at the Oracle offices at Linlithgow. Oded Raz (my manager, friend and an Oracle ACE Director) and I had attended the ilOUG big conference in Israel the day before so we arrived in Scotland a little late.

When we got to the venue, the place was crowded and most session had a sitting limitation so I couldn’t really participate in any of the other sessions which wasn’t what expected at all.

When the time came for my first session (Database In Memory feature – the presentation will be in a separate post), I went to “my room” and started to set up. I was assigned with a smaller room – only 15 sits – and I was nervous to see how many will come.

Getting ready to talk at Scotland OUG

Getting ready to talk at Scotland OUG

While finishing my setup, I understood there is going to be a little problem. The room had only 15 sits but the audience that showed up consisted with about 30 people, which needed to stand around, sit on the floor or just leave.

The person from the committee gave the formal “what to do in case of a fire” lecture and was not very pleased with the number of people who showed up to the session but he allowed them to stay and we were on our way.

About half way through my lecture (which went perfectly – I really felt I’m on fire) a loud alarm started to go off. I stopped the session, asked the person from the committee – “well, what is that?” and he said, “this is the fire alarm – we all need to evacuate the building!”…

Waiting for the fire alarm to go off

Oded with fire truck

We evacuated the building. I felt like my air was just taken out of me and was really disappointed that I didn’t get to finish my session. I was still hopeful that I will be able to finish it but as time went by, I understood that would not be the case.

While waiting outside, I got to talk with some of the guys from my audience and meet some really amazing people. I’d like to thank those guys for cheering me up when I was so nervous… 🙂

When the first hazard was removed (false alarm, obviously), the organizers told us to go to our next sessions, cutting the previous session short. I went up and talked to the organizers and asked them if I could finish my In Memory session before continuing (in the same room) to my next session. They agreed and I went back to the room hoping to find anyone there…

When I came back, I was surprised to find that most of the audience actually CAME BACK! Instead of the 30 people that were at the session before, there were even more people there who came back or wanted to hear my next session!

Crowd after coming back

The presenter in the next room looked at my crowd and suggested we switch rooms – he had a large class with 50 sits and a small audience, and so we did.

I got to finish my presentation and had a lot of fun doing so and then I continued to my next session on SQLcl.

After finishing the sessions ended, we continued to the bar for the after-conference-meetup where I got to eat real Haggis, drink real scotch and talk to some very nice people.

I’d like to thank everybody who came to my sessions and hope to see you all again in the future.



The whole fire thing made me think of this (which I find very funny):

4 replies
  1. John Hallas
    John Hallas says:

    Nice write-up and very unfortunate with your fire alarm. Doesn’t paint a very good picture of the OUG_SCOT organising capabilities though

    • Zohar Elkayam
      Zohar Elkayam says:

      Thank you very much!

      I don’t know, I felt the organization was quite good but they did have some hiccups along the way.
      The fire alarm was totally now their fault – it was a false alarm in the venue and they did their best to get things back on track.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] and went on my first abroad session – I talked about the In Memory Option and it was awesome (until the fire alarm went off) and about SQLcl (a session which ACE Director Oded Raz later presented at a bigger event: DOAG). […]

  2. […] The presentation was interrupted by a fire alarm (you can read all about it here). […]

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