[Linux-aus] LCA bids -- wonderful presentation, but to what purpose?

Stewart Smith stewart at linux.org.au
Mon Sep 8 16:20:41 EST 2008

On Mon, 2008-09-08 at 14:02 +0930, Glen Turner wrote:
> James Turnbull wrote:
> > That material - to me at least - is important because I want any LCA to
> > look like a professional, credible and valuable conference.
> Do the organisations which issue tenders requiring pro-forma responses
> look less or more professional?  I'd argue that they look more
> professional -- that they know when presentational effort is required
> and when that effort should have no effect on the outcome.
> This is not to argue against a high standard of presentation in
> approaches to sponsors, in materials used to attract attendees, or
> in the conference materials themselves.  An effect of this proposal
> is to give the volunteer conference team more time to do such things.
> I am disturbed to read in this thread that bids *are* assessed on the
> presentational quality of their bids -- that some assessors see the
> presentation aspects of the bids as somehow reflective of other
> capabilities of the bid team.

It's not the governing factor, but in some situations having things
beyond just text can help. Is it a city well familiar to people? If not,
you may want to introduce the city to help prove that it is somewhere
where a conference of LCA's scale can work - and work well. What is
there to do around the conference? Your city is in such an awesome spot
that everybody will want to take a week off before/after the conference
and go and to the following things. Will the venue work for LCA? Is
there accommodation close? Is it affordable? Is it somewhere that's
livable? Can you get food and drink nearby? How hard is it to get to the
venue from an international airport? 

All these questions can be answered with some bullet points and a few

Even if you're bidding for a city that is fairly well known, images can
help jog the memory of those reading the bid as to where proposed venues
are situated.

This can all help in preparing questions and noting what to look for
when doing face to face visits with the bidding teams.

> I would appreciate a clarification to assessors and the public from
> Linux Australia if this is intended. I'll note that none of the material
> from Linux Australia to this point has listed the presentational quality
> of the bid as one of the factors in determining the location of l.c.a.

I'd have to say I'd fight against any bid that was in unreadably small
Comic Sans MS.... no matter what the content was :)

Sydney bid with plain text email. Nothing wrong with that these days either.

> There was concern when the bid process was launched that it would
> result in a fashion parade. That the work of teams which put considerable
> effort into holding linux.conf.au would be considerably increased
> and the team need to commit for considerably longer to hold a
> linux.conf.au.

That's happened anyway though. It does take longer to put together an
LCA than it did X years ago. At least from the Melbourne experience
though, I don't think any of the time preparing any of the bids was
wasted. Even the years it wasn't successful, we had more things written
down and got to improve on what we'd bring to an LCA.

> I see plenty of evidence of this in the recent submissions. And I
> ask the Committee to consider if this is desirable.  I present
> a pro-forma response as one possible solution to the escalation
> of effort which is taking place in l.c.a bids. I'm sure there are
> many other solutions.

Perhaps starting with the LCA HOWTO and coming up with something from
it? It could be good to see more closely what you're proposing.

Personally, I'm certainly open to being convinced of anything when the
right evidence is presented.

> What is the correct path for this issue to be formally bought before
> the L.A committee?

posting to linux-aus :)

Stewart Smith (stewart at linux.org.au)
President, Linux Australia (http://www.linux.org.au/)
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