[Linux-aus] About a User Conference (was...)

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Wed Feb 23 13:35:03 UTC 2005

Andrew Cowie wrote:

> [Reigning the flights of fancy back in, I will mention that Mikal is
> considering working on something at the much-smaller end of the scale.
> I'll let him discuss that if and when he sees fit]

Ok, here's me coming out of the closet... This grand plan came to me in 
a dream last week sometime, so it's still quite new, and probably needs 
tweaking. The fundamental premises are:

  - the world needs a introductory user conference in AU
  - there are a bunch of people in Canberra who know how to make 
conferences now
  - I don't mind running another conference
  - users are extremely price sensitive

Bear those in mind while you look at the following proposal I wrote up 
last week. It's still in extreme draft mode...


The concept.

The market is "ripe" for a user conference in Australia. The underlying 
premise of this proposal is that there is now a group of people in 
Canberra who understand how to run an event, having just done it, who 
are capable of running said user conference.

I would like to volunteer to run such an event. The operational concept 
is that of "AusLUG". This is a national event styled on a bigger LUG 
meeting for two days. The cost is kept deliberately low, and the event 
is much simpler than LCA. The concept has room for growth into a fuller 
conference in future years, dependant on demand. I propose that the 
event have two streams -- a user stream focused on introductory / LUG 
grade topics (such as how to install and use Apache, what distribution 
might be right for you, email environments, how iptables works and how 
to set it up, that kind of thing) and an introductory programmers stream 
(what license would be right for you, what an open source package 
usually contains (tarballs, README, license, man pages), how to autoconf 
your package, what languages work with Gnome and KDE, that kind of thing).

The conference would run in a down scale venue, such as a community 
club. The only vendor handouts, unless they are donated, would be a 
tshirt. No catering is provided, but may be bought from the club. The 
cost of attendance should be approximately $100 per person for the full 
two days.

I see scope for an associated trade show in future years, once an 
audience has been established (which I believe is needed for exhibitors 
to be willing to spend money on booths).

Draft schedule for the event:


8:30 - 9:30     Registrations
9:30 - 10:00    Welcome

                 User stream                    Intro programming stream
10:30 - 11:30   ...                            ...
11:30 - 12:30   ...                            ...

13:30 - 14:30   ...                            ...
14:30 - 15:30   ...                            ...

16:00 - 17:00   ...                            ...
17:00 - 18:00   ...                            ...

18:00 -         Dinner (not formally organized)


9:30 - 10:00    Welcome

                 User stream                    Intro programming stream
10:30 - 11:30   ...                            ...
11:30 - 12:30   ...                            ...

13:30 - 14:30   ...                            ...
14:30 - 15:30   ...                            ...

15:00 - 16:00   Close, and where to from here

There are 10 talks per stream...


I am requesting $xxx seed funding from Linux Australia, and the same 
amount from AUUG. The reasoning here is to spread the risk of the event, 
and maximise the benefits to the community and both groups. In return 
both organizations will recieve branding of the event, and half the 
profit from the event if there is one. I also need to to receive a 
commitment to running the event in a similar shared manner in the future.

In the case of the conference making a loss, then both organizations 
would lose their seed funding, but no more.


September. Enough after LCA for me to have a sleep. Not too close to 
AUUG 2005 (a month away, but a different audience), not too close to LCA 
2006 (and again a different demographic). Open to negotiation though.

Chain of command.

I would report to both Linux Australia and AUUG, but would have sole 
delegated control of the event. Subsequent events would be negotiated 
between myself, Linux Australia and AUUG if this event is a success.

Liability cover would be arranged through Linux Australia's event insurance.



Michael Still (mikal at stillhq.com) | "The geek shall inherit
http://www.stillhq.com            |  the earth"
UTC + 11                          |    -- The Simpsons

Linux.conf.au 2005 -- Quite like an excellent Linux and Open Source
conference. http://lca2005.linux.org.au

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