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

Anand Kumria wildfire at progsoc.uts.edu.au
Mon Feb 28 12:03:02 UTC 2005

On Mon, Feb 28, 2005 at 08:53:46AM +1100, Michael Still wrote:

> > - the world needs a introductory user conference in AU

That's debatable but let's assume you are correct for now.

> > - 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

Note anything more than $0 is too much.

> >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.

Actually there are now people in all cities of Australia who know how to
run an LCA-style event.  There are people in all cities of Australia who
know how to run a LUG-style event.

Since you haven't given indicative numbers you would expect to bring
along to a 'LUGcon' it is hard to judge which group of people would be 
more approriate to run things. LUG tend to do 40 - 80 people events
every month without issue. LCA tends to do 400 - 500 people events every
year without major issue.

Different skills are necessary to organise those events. Anyway rather
than directly responding to you, I've summarised and paraphrased you.

[ snip ]
[ national event - but simpler ]
[ two streams: 'introductory user' 'introductory programmer' ]

Which means that perceive that there is some event that covers
'intermediate users' and 'intermediate programmers'? I think if you
aim for any demographic outside of 'user' your proposal isn't targetted

LCA caters, to a degree, to introductory programmers.  Davyd Madeley,
for example, was exposed to Jeff Waugh at one of the previous LCAs and
now contributes regularly to GNOME.

If you are going for this kind of event you want something where people
can go 'oh, that looks interesting (setting IPsec for fun and fun)' if
an 'introductory session' seems to simple. That also allows those who
might find IPsec too complex to 'throttle down' for a particular

[ venue considerations, food, price (AUD$100) ]

As I said above, anything more $0 is too much. I also think having an
event where everyone gathers together is wrong for a user focused event.
I think it would be simpler, and cheaper, to organise the speakers and
instead have the event over 4 weekends.

1 weekend in Melbourne, the next in Canberra (if necessary), next Sydney
and then Brisbane. Planes, trains and automobiles can be used to ferry
speakers from location to location.  Doing it over a month means you can
even have slightly different topics (en_AU.south.of.NSW localisation,
for example) for different areas.

[ trade show and exhibitors ]
[ funding proposal; joint LA / AUUG ]
[ chain of command; LA to bear insurance risk ]

Your funding proposal is interesting.  I suspect you must be all for
'matrix reporting'. I think you need to pick your master and yoke
yourself to them properly rather than trying indepedant.

If you are the one doing all the work, then you should pick the
organisation you are comfortable working with. That organisation should
also provide you with appropriate insurance cover.

However I think you have written off exhibitors too quickly. Redhat (or
Novell but they don't seem to respond to email unfortunately) might be
interested since they have customers in all those locations. But 'Joe
Linux Computer Shoppee' in Brisvegas will probably only be interested in
support LUGcon/brisbane.

I did some rough calculations and I suspect you could arrange all this
for between $5000/city.

[ proposed schedule ]
[ proposed date; September ]

I see nothing wrong with your schedule except I believe you should focus
on 'introductory' and 'intermediate' users rather than programmers.

The date is okay but I don't believe you should ever take into
consideration when any other event is being held.  You are aiming for a
different demographic -- your problem is going to be speaker
availability.  Since any other event isn't likely to run over 4 weekend
you can essentially guarantee availabilty of speakers for one or two of
the LUGcon session.


linux.conf.au 2005   -  http://lca2005.linux.org.au/  -  Birthplace of Tux
April 18th to 23rd   -  http://lca2005.linux.org.au/  -       LINUX
Canberra, Australia  -  http://lca2005.linux.org.au/  -    Get bitten!
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