[Linux-aus] Conference continuity (was: Spaghetti at the wall: LCA thoughts)
chrisjrn at gmail.com
Wed Jan 25 20:07:34 EST 2012
I'm going to address a single specific point here, that of continuity.
On Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 13:45, Mary Gardiner <mary at puzzling.org> wrote:
> I have sometimes wondered if LCA bids should be for two years. That is,
> you bid to hold the conference in your city two years running. This
> structure is used by some other FOSS conferences, including quite large
> ones like US PyCon (which has IIRC 2000+ attendees).
So PyCon Australia is currently on a two-year rotation approach. I'm
the lead organiser for the Hobart team, we're running it 2012 to 2013.
I'm not certain that LCA should consider moving to a two-year model,
since it seems pretty apparent that there's a lot more burnout amongst
LCA organisers than there often is amongst organisers of other similar
conferences. (More fire fighting, maybe?).
There are, however some approaches that PyCon AU has used with the
conference handover from the Sydney 2010/11 team to the Hobart 2012/13
team that I think would be useful:
- As a potential future organiser, I was added as a "lurker" on all
organisation materials (budgets) and correspondence (mailing list).
This meant that I was seeing specific issues with dealing with venues
and sponsors as they happened.
For issues involving chasing down sponsors, or arranging payments,
this has made me acutely aware of specific problems that we're
encountering, and has allowed me to attach appropriate gravity to
these things. I probably wouldn't have been able to know that some
things are as important as they are if I hadn't seen them unfolding.
- As part of the handover, we've had regular, indirect oversight from
past organisers (once again, they're on our mailing lists). This has
meant that we can ask people with direct experience about how to do
certain things, and they can warn us if we're doing something silly.
This seems to be a more hands-on role than the "ghosts" approach of
LCA, as past organisers, in this case, have a more active role in the
future of the conference.
So basically this means that when there is an incoming team (in the
case of LCA, this is always), the conference organisation has present:
- some direct past organisers
- some organisers for the following year.
I don't think with the current bid structure, we could effectively
integrate this approach into LCA. To achieve these, we'd need to
*award* the bids two years ahead of the conference. To adopt this
straight away, LA could award 2014 *and* 2015 at the same time. This
would need there to be at least two mature-ish bids to be present.
Anyway, just my $0.02 as a guy from another conference looking on.
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