Suggestions for 2010
This page should be used as a place to capture the ideas that we don't want to forget to incorporate in 2010 given our fresh perspectives on 2009... so.... list away! (also, feel free to add topics/sections, the list below was just a quick start).
- 11 rows of chairs in the main ballrooms; is that too many? I never saw them filled, and the result is that most of the audience is far from the speaker. Maybe 6-8 rows instead?
- Perhaps 3-5 rows of chairs up front, then tables, then more chairs behind to catch "overflow"
- Have open-space blocks match the conference schedule, not clock hours. (Not sure about this idea...)
- Faster on-site reg'n; a one-shot form w/o e-mail verification for use on a kiosk, plus an admin page listing the 5-10 most recent reg'ns for printing the badge.
- PDF badge: add instructions about business cards; better handling of too-long badge names (they were just clipped); specify what's included in the registration barcode; put instructions on card (e.g. 'fold here'); fix ribbon display;
- Security screen surrounding & behind the kiosk machine. (Poss. use a CC scanner to swipe the card, and make CC field a password field?)
- Better statistics reporting: add sponsor/comp'd flag and take this into account when counting.
- Add option to software for 1-day registration.
- Remove badge-name uniqueness constraint.
- New-person form: ignore the logged-in user for the info in these fields, e.g. the 'manager' option defaults to checked.
- Badge: decrease size of 'PyCon 2009 Chicago' text; increase size of attendee's name
- Badge idea: given name in large bold text, full name smaller underneath. (But the custom option is useful.)
- It would be great if a sample badge were shown on-screen during editing. (This was a feature in 2008.)
- Ted Leung said Sun was sponsoring one of the summits. AMK didn't know anyone was sponsoring the summits, so I didn't thank any sponsors. Ted's a nice guy and didn't really care about that, but it would be nice to get this right if we do summits again.
- Select some number of talks as "alternates" that can be added into the schedule at the last minute to fill gaps. When an opening occurs, notify all alternates that an opening exists, and the first to respond gets the time slot.
- The radios were brilliant. We (session chairs) were able to get announcements "on the fly" as well as track down speakers. Great idea.
- If the rooms are long and narrow (like the 2 "big" rooms) we need either brighter projectors or another screen further back. Steve Holden had great slides in his 401 tutorial (large font, not too much on a single slide) but they were still difficult to read in the back. Other instructors had small font which was impossible to read.
- Have a place for instructors to upload files so students can load them prior to class.
- Have a place for instructors to communicate with students. I believe we offered a wiki page to each instructor but I don't know if anyone used it.
- AV/recording took up a full table (4 seats) in the smaller rooms leaving some people on the floor. We need to take that into account for room capacity.
- Can we get a waiting list when tutorials fill up?
- Make it easier (or more obvious) for people to see what tutorials they signed up for.
- Can we verify the people in each tutorial paid for it?
- Is it possible for tutorial payments to be applied to conference/hotel fees? We have been told "no" but more than one teacher pointed out that it was possible to pay for Wednesday night rooms.
- Having a person available to help students find rooms worked well.
We would like to make sure that every volunteer, even those who don't attend the conference, gets (or is offered) a conference T-shirt. Before the conference starts this list should be transmitted to the PSF administrator, who will be responsible for making sure that the required number of shirts (in the required sizes) are held back from general distribution and shipped to the recipients.
Michael Stone, note-taker at the VM summit, has already privately posted draft notes about the VM summit. Once people have looked them over, they'll be published.
Overall it was a great success; the people I asked all said they got something out of the day and would like to see another one next year.
People gave their initial introductions, and I warned them at 10 minutes, after which most of them stopped in a minute or two. A few people suggested that 15-20 minutes would have been better for intros; e.g. Jim Hugunin suggested that some people were just starting to get interesting when their 10 minutes were up. No one thought the intros were not useful at all. Speakers may need better calibration on what they should talk about; some had very general prologues that probably weren't necessary for this audience.
After the intros, the room broke up into smaller chatting groups. I circulated a bit and they were all talking about VM stuff, not how's-the-weather; Michael's notes also show this.
One day seems about the right length. I asked people if 2 days would have been better and no one liked the prospect; they thought that would be too long.
One projector was enough; after the intros, I never saw anyone using it.
Like the VM summit, everyone I talked to thought the summit was a useful event.
The topic-specific sessions worked pretty well. We made actual decisions in many of them, and people seemed interested in all of the topics.
The first, open discussion session was a failure; not many people in the audience had questions and the questions I thought up largely weren't that interesting. Next time we should start with the topic-specific sessions, and conclude with a block of just chatting, like the VM summit did for most of their day.
The room space was very tight -- we requested more chairs and the last arrivals couldn't sit at tables. The room capacity was something like 45; next time a 60-person space will give more elbow room.
There was a communication error about the dinner; we thought it was for summit attendees on one evening, but they were actually A/V team dinners. Let's not do that again. :)
Again, the projector wasn't used very much beyond the intros; the intros would probably have been OK without one.