[Linux-aus] Event overlaps - and what to do to avoid them in the future

Mary Gardiner mary at puzzling.org
Sun Nov 13 13:56:22 EST 2011

Just to throw something at the wall and see if it sticks, this would probably
be my preferred personal solution: split LCA registration. Here's what I think
it would look like:

There is the main LCA, which is a three day conference. (In 2012, it's going to
be four, but let's say three for this purpose.)

There are two days in the same week set aside for affiliated events. These are
of two sorts:

1. the current miniconfs. These are low-organisational cost one-track events:
   some parent entity (either that year's LCA or LA, I guess that year's LCA makes
   sense) books rooms, selects the miniconfs, provides volunteer staff. The
   only difference is that there's separate rego. You can pay for main conf only,
   miniconf day(s) only, or a package that combines them both (probably at a
   discount over the sum of the two). They might want renaming in this model to
   "community tracks" or something.

2. other events like AdaCamp, DDU and so on, which given that miniconfs are now
   not a core part of the conference could now possibly run on the miniconf
   days, giving them four days to spread themselves over: Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue.
   (And the following Sat and Sun for the types with endless energy.) Some of
   these events might choose to utilise LA event support, and perhaps such
   could be streamlined for them (eg have a "LCA partner event" setup where
   those events appear on the LCA rego form, particularly for events that are
   open attendance). Call them "satellite events", whether or not they end up
   sharing resources or cross-promoting.

There are downsides to this, I know:
 - LCA's planning for the miniconf day(s) is harder because they don't have
   attendee numbers, espcially in the first year this model runs
 - it's quite possible some businesses will fund only main conference
   attendance by their employees
 - it's a more difficult to code/account/enforce/understand registration model*

Probably then the miniconfs might be encouraged to be newer communities, and
once they're established after two to three years LCA/LA lets them know that
it's time to fly from the nest to satellite event status to make room for
newcomers. But that's not an essential part of the model and might not always
be appropriate.

I don't think more information (such as a calendar) would have solved this
dilemma alone: Sat 14th is a really attractive day for an event and there are
very few viable alternatives except for the boundless folks who want to keep
conferencing on into the following weekend (not me!) A capital city LCA would
be slightly better in this respect (in that Sun Jan 15th would also work for
events) but once you're down to one or two good days and five or six events
looking for a date, clashes are the result.


* But it's very common in academic conferences, often the parent/big name
conference provides optional registration for the little satellite ones.

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