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

Tim Bowden bowden at iinet.net.au
Mon Feb 28 13:21:02 UTC 2005

On Mon, 2005-02-28 at 15:03 +1100, Anand Kumria wrote:
> 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 has been enough noise to indicate a very good chance that a user
conf will go down well and be successful.

> > > - 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.

Disagree.  For new users, perhaps.  For those who are already in the
FOSS user camp, $50-$90 (Less student discount) for a two day conf is
fine IMHO.

> > >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.

On of the issues I think we need to settle early on, is do we want a
premier national user conf that rotates cities in the style of lca, or
do we want to have a 'super lug' meeting over two days in each state
every year?  Each proposal has its merits.  Personally, I favour an lca
style national user conf, but then I'm happy to travel to attend it
every 2nd year or so.  I think that would give us a chance to get better
sponsorship, higher quality of speakers and more in depth content.

> 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
> enough.
> 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.

I don't think a user conf should have much of a focus on programming.
Isn't that more for in line with what osdc.com.au is about?  BTW, does
anyone know what is happening with it?  The web site is frozen in
time... About when the first and only conf ended).

> 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
> session.
> [ 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.

Disagree.  I'd like to attend a focused two or three days where I can
get all the meaty stuff in one hit.

> 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.

Introductory/Intermediate and Advanced user.

> 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.

So long as the date is not too close to lca- There will surely be some
overlap of interest.

> Cheers,
> Anand

Tim Bowden

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