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

Silvia Pfeiffer silvia at silvia-pfeiffer.de
Sun Nov 13 18:26:59 EST 2011

Just a note that you can never really resolve this for everyone:
whatever you do, there will always be some overlap for some people or
some inconvenience. If you spread it out over the days, some ppl will
complain that they have to take off time from work - if you don't you
get overlap. If you move it to the weekend, the locals will complain
for having to work on a weekend, if you don't the internationals will
say that they can't afford to spend more than a week overseas. You
just can't win.

Also: I don't think anything stops you right now from having your
event in parallel to the miniconfs - it's not like LCA could stop you
from offering an event in parallel to one of the miniconf days.
Shortening LCA would not really make a difference there. If you wanted
to go all the way, you could even convince the LCA organisers to run
your event as a miniconf or somewhat more intertwined with LCA.

I've been through this with FOMS and it's indeed a very hard decision
how to organise this such that you get sufficient interest and the
least conflict.

As for me and the AdaCamp - I am attending the Drupal event, so will
likely not be able to make AdaCamp. They were there first, so
priorities are already set. :-(


On Sun, Nov 13, 2011 at 1:56 PM, Mary Gardiner <mary at puzzling.org> wrote:
> 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.
> -Mary
> * 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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