[Linux-aus] About a User Conference - grand plans

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Wed Feb 23 13:35:09 UTC 2005

On Wednesday 23 February 2005 11:04, Michael Still wrote:
> Surely it's better to start off small and let the event grow into
> what there is a demand for over time. The cost of running something
> like LCA (which is only three streams and 500 ish people) is in the
> order of several tens of thousands of dollars, much of which is spent
> in advance for things like merchandise, and venue costs. You can
> minimise risk by starting small and growing over a couple of years.

Agree, although OTTOMH, the $100k previously quoted was slightly 
conservative and LCAs have often made a profit (or to put it another 
way, the contingency budgeting has often not had to be used).

> A national user conference should be a showcase for what a LUG can
> be... Kinda like a national LUG meeting. In this way, people recieve
> the ongoing support from their local community that they are going to
> need to actually implement changes, without having to wait for next
> years conference to find out what the next step is.

Yes, and no.

If the attendees were to be mostly LUGgable, they would already be LUG 
members. A user conference should aim to include people not naturally 
inclined to self-LUG, and should encourage (not demand) them to 
participate in a LUG.

I should expand on that "not demand" - the show should not be like LCA, 
and it should not be a trade show, although a little bit of 
well-contained trade-showishness around the edges like LCA does won't 
cripple anything. ELX yes, Vodaphone no.

There should be material, presentations, attitudes and people there to 
address the expectations of the less-technically-adventurous audience. 
LCA2004 had a huge stuffed penguin as a kind of door prize, much to 
Leanne's amazement; perhaps this could have one Linux-compatible MP3 
player per day plus a genuinely useful-to-the-noob Linux-installed PDA 
at the end? Cute hardware hacks like the Linux-controlled brewery 
should be highlighted, yes, but if Matt Kemner brought along some of 
his pet LinkSys routers it would be more to show what they can do than 
to delve deep into their programming.

> I disagree here, for logistical reasons. LCA has taken 10 people a
> year to organize. A lot of that work would need to be repeated for
> every capital city. That's a lot of work to ask people to do every
> year.

Right now, probably yes except for Sydney and Melbourne. But by 2010, 
definitely no.

There will be several times as many people "in Linux" by then, and if 
little old PLUG was able to organise LCA2003 back then, modern PLUG 
(with circa 3x the membership) should have no trouble doing a 
conference 1/3 the size every year or few - even if our unofficial 
Fearless Leader for 2003 is now addicted to that cold, wet place off 
the coast of France. And now we have SLPWA as a separate organisation 
to wave an impressive tie and jacket at businesses without confessing 
that our Fearless Leader is, part time, also Shawn Ogg.

Cheers; Leon

http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://osia.net.au/             Member, Open Source Industry Australia
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Member, Linux Australia

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