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

Michael Still mikal at stillhq.com
Tue Mar 1 08:49:02 UTC 2005

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

>>>- 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.

Perhaps. How do you fund an event without having any money though?

>>>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.

Yes. None of them have made a proposal for such an event though. If one 
of them would like to do so, then that would be fine.

> 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
> enough.

Perhaps. Compare and contrast that with the vast majority of comments on 
this list that have suggested that two streams is not 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.

Absolutely. I was more thinking of Windows-centric ISV / bespoke 
programmers wanting to port their worlds to Linux / open source however.

> 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.

Perhaps. The idea behind the proposal was that small is beautiful. The 
event can get more complex over time. Compare the complexity of LCA 2001 
with that of LCA 2005.

> [ 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.

I would be surprised if a lot of speakers have that much spare time to 
devote to an event of this sort.

> 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.

How do you cover the expense of this when you're not charging admission, 
and have no previous event successes of this form to show sponsors?

> [ 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.

Perhaps. It was labeled as a draft proposal though -- I wrote it with 
only a couple of hours having been spent on considering the details.

> 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.

Perhaps. I will meditate on this.

(I suspect the idea is going no where by the way. I don't sense a 
concensus happening on this list at the moment. There are approximately 
three competing visions for the event at the moment, and I don't think 
there is a clear winner.)



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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