[Linux-aus] linux.conf.au 2014 Financials

Russell Stuart russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au
Mon Jun 2 11:26:25 EST 2014

On Sun, 2014-06-01 at 20:02 +1000, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
> It looks a lot like there were just not the number of registrations.

Registrations were certainly low, but you would have to know the margin
cost of an additional registration to understand the contribution it

> This is in fact something that the community could have potentially
> helped with had it been known beforehand.

When you plot registrations against time you run up with something that
looks like exponential growth. [0]  Translated into human nature terms,
it means we as a community have a tendency to leave everything to the
last minute - and that includes registering to attend LCA.

It certainly made the organisers of LCA 2011 (of which I was one) _very_
nervous.  We weren't aware what the curve looked like, and with a few
weeks till opening it looked like a huge loss was looming.  (Potential
speakers registering their talk proposals are even worse - for PyCon
this year 1/3 of the talk proposals were registered in the last 12 hours
or so.)

The relevance to this discussion is by the time you realise you aren't
going to hit your target, you have stuff all time to do anything about

One fix is to do information gathering on attendee numbers.  Eg, a
checkbox when you register LCA2015 asking if you are planning to attend
LCA2016 in city XXX.  (Asking after or during LCA probably isn't wise -
everybody is on a high.) The only other fix I can thing of is to make
the budget work for small numbers, but ensure your venues and what not
can cater to much larger numbers.  However doing that is hard.  Big
venues cost a lot of money, and those fixed costs require a lot of
attendees to cover.

[0] The green curve here:

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