How many is too many conferences?

The SQL Server community has a lot of events. In the UK alone this year we will have/had in 2015:

  • more than 75 user group meetings
  • 5 SQL Saturdays
  • 8 days of Relay
  • 1 SQL in the City
  • 3 to 5 days of SQLBits
  • possibly a SQL Santa
  • and probably more that I’ve forgotten or not know about at the time of writing this

You could attend 2 days of conference per month (cpm from now on) on average in the UK alone, just at dedicated SQL events. That doesn’t even take into account all the awesome conferences running in the EU, and further afield. I think if you were a true #SQLConfJunky with unlimited budget, you’d be able to get your cpm up to at least 8.

I’m hovering around 1.5 cpm at present but looks set to increase. This feels quite high and whilst they’re a lot of fun I thought I’d better figure out the danger signs of over-conferencing!

On twitter & facebook I started collecting some danger signs:

  • You start expecting everyone to understand what your day-job is
  • Your wardrobe consists entirely of jeans and conference t-shirts
  • You see your SQL buddies from Holland more than you see your spouse
  • Every pad of paper, pen, and toy in sight is tech or hotel branded
  • You ask people to fill out feedback forms after every conversation
  • You try to download slides for a TV program
  • You feel naked without a lanyard
  • Lightning talks are how you teach your kids
  • You haven’t used a kettle in years
  • You get annoyed when you visit a place and they don’t give you a bag full of freebies
  • You think of danish pastries as a major food group

Do you have other amusing danger signs to add, or a story about when you over-conferenced? Please share it!