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

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Wed Feb 23 13:35:07 UTC 2005

Anthony Towns wrote:
> Tim Bowden wrote:
>> Just out of interest, can anyone give an of-the-cuff ballpark figure of
>> what lca2004 cost, with an approximate breakdown of where the money
>> went?
> Going from memory on 2002, the key costs were:
>     * venue (yay for in kind sponsorship from unis!)
>     * flying international speakers in
>     * food (morning/afternoon tea; conference dinner)
>     * everything else
> Think, say, $20k for each of those items for a conference of 300 
> attendees, and you're in the right ballpark.

I suspect that international speakers for a user conference is counter 
productive -- the international speakers tend to be specialists, and 
you're looking at something more general for a user conference. I would 
think that the costs for a starting out user conference are:

  - venue
  - a small amount of printing (handouts at the event)
  - a tshirt for the attendees
  - A/V costs (possibly part of venue)

And that should be about it.

> Subsequent conferences have added other stuff and gotten bigger, but the 
> above will get you your base model LCA without the options.

Yes, with proposed tweak.

> New issues for a user conference could potentially include:
>     * not being able to run it at a uni or get cheap rates
>     * having to pay speakers to present (particularly specialist
>       trainers who mightn't want to compete with themselves)
>     * having to pay organisers

I agree with one of those. I know that a major hotel in Canberra will do 
a day package of $49 per person for events (with a minimum booking). For 
my 100 people proposal, that's only about $5k, and I assume that a 
community club can do better for a non-profit.

If it's run as a national LUG meeting, then you don't need to pay 
speakers -- they'll presumably come for the same reasons that they speak 
at LUG meetings now.

>> Anything heading towards a trade show type event should be buried 6'
>> under unless a commercial organiser wants to do it themselves.  IMHO it
>> should not be lug's or la that drive such a thing.
> So what /would/ people like to see? Talks? Tutorials? Classes? Areas 
> where you can go to talk to Linux developers / consultants / companies? 
> Do you want to focus on learning stuff, or getting ideas on new things 
> to do, or networking? Do you want to come wearing a suit and holding a 
> business card, or with a t-shirt and a laptop?

I think business stuff is a different event. An event I suspect is 
needed, but not part of LCA or a user conference.

> What would you or your friends/workmates go to a "CALU" for, that you 
> wouldn't be better off going to an LCA/AUUG/SAGE conference for?

Interesting... I will meditate.



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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