[Linux-aus] LCA2014 update

Mary Gardiner mary at puzzling.org
Tue Aug 28 17:09:48 EST 2012

Disclaimer: I have never been and never intend to be a member of a core LCA team.

De-disclaimer: I have been a major volunteer for LCA as (co-)chair of the papers
committee several years and the founder of the Haecksen miniconf.

Some specific tweaks that I think could be reasonable for LCA:

1. ditch foisting the miniconf logistics onto the core team. LA's event support
now gets rid of many of the most annoying things about organising a small
conference: incorporating, getting away from personal liability, and insurance
generally. LA/LCA move to encouraging satellite events to be organised under
separate LA subcommittees.


a. Two days less of LCA to organise, including two days fewer rego desk staff
needed, two days less rooms. Often miniconfs involve *extra* rooms over the main
conference too, so that burden would be gone.

b. Might encourage *more* events, including ones by affiliated but not
overlapping communities like free culture, who are a bit reluctant to be an LCA
miniconf because their attendees aren't actually terribly interested in the main


a. This will reduce (or probably remove) the ability of visitors to float
between the satellite events. Could possibly be alleviated by LA providing
enough support to make LCA satellites free, but there's still the venue
switching problem.

b. There may be some issues with sponsorship competition here. Say, for the sake
of argument, that Haecksen ran as a non-LCA event and sold banner rights for
$250. Some sponsors might prefer this to LCA's own banner rights deal, costing
LCA a sponsor. This could potentially be alleviated by centralising sponsorship
into a permanent LA subcommittee.

c. (possibly just a neutral statement, rather than a con) some people who
attended LCA primarily for the miniconf days — they do exist! — might not attend
LCA any more.

2. ditch the speakers dinner. A nice alternative might be to offer, in advance
(or when a speaker goes to rego, anyway), a "experience" voucher to do something
while they're in the city, like a family pass to a zoo or similar, or possibly a
choice of a few options. Some speakers may choose to do this in a group, some
might go alone.

Pros: even if the speaker gift is upgraded, it would probably be cheaper than
the dinner is in money, let alone effort.

Cons: the gift idea isn't totally hassle-free!


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