[Linux-aus] LCA2014 - Next steps to get it done?

James Polley jamezpolley at gmail.com
Tue Sep 4 16:08:44 EST 2012

Disclaimer: this is the first bid process since I've been on council so I
haven't seen how this has worked in the past and I'm only going by the
documented process, but..

On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 3:05 PM, Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au> wrote:

> On 4 September 2012 14:10, John Ferlito <johnf at inodes.org> wrote:
> >> Somehow I missed that part of the thread - I see it now. In that case I
> will leave it to the Perth team and not submit a bid.
> > I'd really love you to still submit a bid.
> Maybe we need to change the bid process a bit more for that to happen
> -- the amount of work that goes into preparing a bid has already been
> mentioned as being a lot; and when the main feedback is "okay, you
> have a conference!" or "X's bid was better; you'll see why when the
> their conference happens!" and your next chance to try again is a year
> away (and before that conference happens at that!), that's not as
> helpful as it could be...

I'm not sure where you get this idea from - I'm hoping it's not actual
experience, because that would make me Very Sad(TM)

http://wiki.linux.org.au/Linux.conf.au_Bid_Guidelines#Bids encourages teams
to contact the Council early, so that we can provide feedback as they're
developing their bid. By the time it's submitted, we'd like to already be
familiar with the content and have given lots of feedback to help make it a
good bid.

http://wiki.linux.org.au/Linux.conf.au_Bid_Guidelines#Timeline includes 2.5
months for the council to go over the bids in more detail with the teams,
including making an in-person visit to each team to go over the bid and
check out the proposed venues (my understanding is that this is usually
just the 1-2 council members who can get to the site easiest, rather than
having the whole council jetting around the country to all the venues)

If the main feedback is "Surprise, you win!", our problems are bigger than
I'd realised. I believe that some teams have certainly been surprised to
find that (after several attempts) they were successful, but I hope that by
the time they were told they were successful they'd already had a fair bit
of feedback.

> Some ideas:
>  - don't include the "surprises" in the bids at all; they're subject
> to change anyway ("laughably wrong compared to the actual
> conference" as Mikal described Canberra's bid), aren't crucial to
> evaluating whether the conference will work, and prevent the bids from
> being made public so that future teams can benefit from past teams
> work

Mikal is uncomfortable sharing the bid document too widely now - I'm sure
his opinion will have changed by February next year, when it's time to call
for bids for 2015.

Bid documents for 2008-2010 are available at

There are some surprises that I think *do* need to be part of the bid - eg,
LCA2013 dropped to just one day of miniconfs, which was a fairly
substantial change. On the other hand, LCA08's main surprise was a
completely novel way to do the penguin dinner. Since the venues aren't
always locked down by the time a winning bid is picked, *that* probably
wouldn't have been vital to include.

>  - make the "expression of interest" phase a bit more useful to
> bidding teams, like helping them get introduced to speakers/ghosts, or
> other folks who might be able to help out organsing. "we are
> interested in running lca in 2014 in Broome; would interested folks
> mind joining us on irc on friday at 6pm WA time to ask us any
> questions and/or offer help? thanks!";

Yep, that's the (intended, at least) current process. I know that we've
been in touch with all the teams who've expressed interest this year - if
they've felt any lack of support, we haven't been aware of it.

>  - have the preliminary round of bids be a bit more interactive -- two
> or three weeks where actual detailed plans for the conference come in
> for review by the council, linux-aus subscribers, and other teams
> ("broome? how are we going to get to broome???"); including the
> ability for teams to ask questions ("is our budget realistic?"), steal
> good ideas from each other, or make suggestions, etc. ability for
> random folks to say "err, the bid doesn't include A/V stuff? did you
> just forget or is it really missing? 'cause me and Bobby-Joe would be
> happy to take care of that if needed?" too.

The preliminary round of bids (according to
http://wiki.linux.org.au/Linux.conf.au_Bid_Guidelines#Timeline) runs for
*three months*, rather than just a few weeks - plenty of time for the teams
to get feedback from the council/community/other teams if they want that.

LA can provide mailing lists and wiki spaces if this helps facilitate
planning (we've already done this for a few bid groups that asked for it).

I think that the existing bid documents and prior LCA budgets should help
answer some of those questions already.

 - include the teams in the decision making for the final round of
> bids rather than just the council/ghosts; we're all meant to be one
> big community and, at least in the past, teams have been okay with
> saying things like "oh, okay, give it to Adelaide this year, we'll try
> again next year".


History has shown that most of the bids that end up not being The Bid one
year get polished and refined and end up winning subsequent years.

I've heard a couple of variations on this theme. For instance, if we could
pick a winning bid 2 years in advance, the winning team would have a year
to watch and learn from the team before them before they had to buckle down
to the serious part of the bid. This has worked well for Pycon-AU - the
2012/2013 team lurked and learnt from the 2010/2011 team, and they've
invited people interested in bidding for 2014/2015 to start lurking and
watching them organise 2013.

> Cheers,
> aj
> --
> Anthony Towns <aj at erisian.com.au>
> _______________________________________________
> linux-aus mailing list
> linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au
> http://lists.linux.org.au/listinfo/linux-aus
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.linux.org.au/pipermail/linux-aus/attachments/20120904/8e844675/attachment.htm 

More information about the linux-aus mailing list