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

Donna Benjamin donna at cc.com.au
Tue Sep 9 12:54:14 EST 2008

On Thu, 2008-09-04 at 21:38 +0930, Glen Turner wrote:
> It is sad to think that none of the high quality of the presentation
> of the bid has an effect on the quality of the delivered conference.


When you suggest the aesthetic presentation is without value to the
process of choosing a bid you are insulting the work of people who do
this for a living. Perhaps you are saying that Melbourne delivered a
poorer conference due to being the first to put together such a bid?

As someone who _did_ put 2 years into working on LCA I take this
criticism somewhat personally.

The bid document for LCA2008 proved useful beyond the bid process.
Whilst our bid was nowhere near as polished as those presented this year
(huge kudos to all teams) or that produced by the Hobart 2009 team it
was ramped up in response to criticism of Melbourne's bid for LCA2007.

We did look at the LCA HOW-TO. We did look at websites of past LCA's. I
badgered Jeff Waugh with incessant questions about the conference. 
Sorry Jeff! :) But it was hugely helpful in understanding the challenge.

The bid document was a collective effort over a period of time. It was
compiled on our wiki and contributed to in dribs and drabs by a range of
people. All of whom lent a hand to running the conference.

I categorically disagree that the effort involved in producing the bid
has no effect on the quality of the conference.

Putting together the bid
   * Re-energised our team and attracted new people to join in.
   * Forced us to think about what we could and couldn't do.
   * Was a catalyst for research and discovery about services and venues
   * Allowed us to build relationships with orgs such as the Melbourne
Convention and Visitors Bureau and Multimedia Victoria.

More importantly however - it was something to send to potential
suppliers, supporters, sponsors, venues, etc which outlined what LCA was
all about and what we had planned.

That being said, there is certainly room for improvement in the process.
I suspect the unease many of us are feeling with 'the beauty pageant'
approach is it appears to lack objectivity.

LA could provide: 

Published criteria for hosting the conference, a checklist of things to
include, an example timeline and budget outline.

The European Conference for Object Oriented Programming has a fantastic
How-TO document online - Generating something similar for LCA would be
brilliant for future teams - and something I would urge the rest of the
ghosts to help put together.

I've made a start on the MEL8 wiki. 
(currently painfully slow - looking into that now) 

- donna


linux.conf.au     Donna Benjamin  +61 418 310 414
Tasmania 2009     2008 Conference Director 
19-24 January     donna at mel8ourne.org

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