I have felt excluded from O'Reilly Conferences for two years now, and all I'd like to do is attend! To attend just the conference sessions for three days, even at the "Early Bird" price is $995.00. This is far beyond my means.
There is a 50% discount for full-time academic instructors, but I have two part-time community college jobs, and so last year I was told that I would not qualify for the discount. The California Community College system is so screwed up, this is not changing anytime soon. It's built on adjuncts and there are no full-time positions available.
I also asked last year if at the very least the general public could attend the keynote address, because I desperately wanted to attend that. I was also told that was not a possibility.
For those who have attended these conference sessions, have there ever been any empty chairs? If so, couldn't I be given an opportunity to learn too? Why place it out of the reach of so many people? I can understand if space is at a premium, but why not get a bigger meeting venue (which might allow you to increase attendees and hence decrease the per-person cost), or let registered attendees enter the halls first and then only if space permits allow us shmucks who can't afford it to sit in the back?
Nothing like this has been offered. Instead it's been clear to me for a while that O'Reilly conferences are intended to be exclusionary. That's too bad, because I think I'd not only learn a lot, but that I'd have a lot to offer the other attendees. With the current setup, neither of us will ever know.