This page is here to gather feedback from Foundation members, and GUADEC attendees, about GUADEC 2010 in The Hague.
30 mins + Q&A session is a good talk format, as it allows more interaction
- Either do away with, or extensively publicise, the 'celeb' keynote.
- Tend not to be very well tied to theme of event
- Most hackers don't seem to know who the speakers are
- Either nuke it, or spend time sending a bio+explanation and/or video of the speaker
- Harder stance from the room volunteers:
- No overrunning by the previous, ever
- Make sure people are on hand to pass microphones around (or fear for your ears)
Ensure that someone is responsible for introducing keynotes, communicating with them pre-conference and ensuring they're aware of what's going on. Ideally they should be met at the airport & brought to their hotel. Introducing plenary sessions is also a key opportunity to make announcements related to things happening during the conference.
BOF days should be explicitly organised as an unconference, with a co-ordinator, advance promotion, etc. The original point of these days was that project teams used to have to meet during lunchtime on GUADEC days because there was no space & time for BOFs. It feels to me like many people are skipping these days because they're not sure what they're for, and what's on.
Brief people taking care of timekeeping & mikes - ideally, they should introduce speakers, handle questions at the end, organise signals with the speaker for letting them know if they're running short on time, and talk to the a/v guy on-site if speakers have special needs
Add opportunity to show off your software project, akin to Mozilla Summit's Science Fair
- Do lightning talks on the first day, so that the projects become publicised and get discussed during the conference
- Do lightning talks as a "keynote" format, with no other talks at the same time, to avoid clashes (might not be necessary with a Science Fair format
- Have lightning talks organised much later.
- Having to ask for a LT slot 3 months in advance is bad (but what about asking for sponsorship, etc.)
- Make the team updates from the Foundation meeting earlier in the week, for example straight after the intro keynote.
- Bonus point, make Fer and Xan present the above.
- Make sure team updates include update from Finance
Make sure team updates include Q&A session
- Make sure all sponsors get a mention in the closing ceremony
- Make sure to do thanks during the closing ceremony, not during the AGM
- Clearly call out the AGM as the "Annual General Meeting" and not AGM on the schedule. Some attendees did not know what this was.
Introduction to GUADEC
- Have a buddy system to introduce first-timers to the conference, might especially be useful for Summer Of Code students, if their mentors can't attend.
- Great to see organisational powers spread between people
- Not blocking on one person for decisions
- People manning the info-desk had knowledge about the organisation
- BoF days before Core days
- Network can get finishing touches
- Info-desk can get organised
- Cameras and other equipment in rooms can get testing
- Split off registration and goodies give-away, or make sure they happen on separate days
- Reuse badges, booklets, year on year, to save on manpower, and improve year-on-year
- Make sure clipping on the last day doesn't happen in new programme though (missing Closing Ceremony item in The Hague)
- Make sure all the teams involved document the basic processes
- CfP, network, info-desk, people handling sponsors, designers, etc.
- Discuss with other conferences (especially Free Software ones) about sharing CfP, or registration systems
- Tools and systems seem to be a problem every year, when the wheel needs to be reinvented
- Name badges with map were good, probably better with a way to get program / map out without the name coming off
- Party in a club wasn't such a good idea.
- People want to chat to each other and be able to be heard
- Need someone from the Foundation responsible for maintaining continuity from one year to the next.
- I'd have liked to see Stormy in the continuity role, but the board decided that GUADEC wasn't her job. Perhaps consider hiring a part-time event organiser for the foundation.
For KDE & GNOME conferences, we need to be clear which project is taking responsibility for which tasks - cross-project collaboration is of course possible & desirable, but the task ownership should split roughly equally across the projects.
- Have task owners say how many volunteers they need and when (before, day before, during or after conference) which co-ordinator can use to allocate resources
- Several questions come up every year, and there are no ready answers:
With venue: Number & type of rooms required, for how long, and for what? Requires awareness of budget constraints.
- For organisers: How many attendees were there in previous years? How many t-shirts should we buy?
- What should registration fees be? What was the budget for previous years?
We need to be pro-active with organising teams to let them know what we know & can handle (visa invitations & design of previous conference materials, for example)
Can we get information from this year's conference on things like t-shirt & tram pass sales, for future reference?
Potentially need someone solely responsible for project management & delegation. Every year we have a TODO list with tasks & no name associated, and they end up being done by the core organiser.
Maintain web infrastructure from one year to another. Ensure websites for previous GUADECs are kept online after the conference (Birmingham & Villanova are missing, Gran Canaria and Istanbul aren't on guadec.org)
- Networking needs to be sorted out earlier, and ideally someone with experience of a conference like ours should be responsible for ensuring wifi on-site.
- Potentially choose host for GUADEC earlier, to allow future organising team to participate in organisation of preceding GUADEC
- Great hall in the Hague, huge improvement over past years.
- In previous years, people were meeting in corridors, or outside the venue
- Allows info-desk and organisers to broadcast changes to most people
- Main hall (Paris) was very nice
- Selling public transport tickets is a great idea
- Mention on the website that this will happen, so people know in advance
- Broadcast talks at the info-desk, or outside rooms, so people know what's happening (as some cinemas do)
- Wi-fi worked fairly, and was fast enough.
- The Professionals reception was badly organised:
- Announced too late
- Happened too early (what about professionals that arrived on Wednesday?)
- Not well signposted
- Not well delineated (some attendants seem to have thought "Free Beer!")
- The signage wasn't great (the "side" rooms were hard to find)
- Venue was well adapted for needs
Location was nice & cheap to get to
- Professional reception should have been better. Potentially a group booking in a restaurant would suffice, if we have only 10 or so pro registrants.
- Pleased to see it happen. Makes GNOME seem more professional compared to the competition.
- Disappointed at some of the organisation for it:
- Room changing on the 2nd day, 30 mins into the training
- Better catering (coffee/tea at the beginning of the day?)
- Explain technologies and standards better:
- are they XDG ones, or GNOME only? (desktop files, help, etc.)
- are they deprecated, and are going to be replaced? (gconf, PyGTK, etc.)
- No mention of Python knowledge being required
- No mention of it even in the pre-requisites (installation of GNOME devel environment)
- Day 2 only had one presenter, making it harder to concentrate
- Maybe more breaks, and opportunities for discussions
- More targetted training
- Everybody knew git, so no point in a git introduction
- Solve technical problems beforehand:
- "Interactive" practical workshop was not interactive, as the trainer's laptop didn't work on the projector
- Make sure that sponsored people help out
- Too many might be getting a free ride
- They can help with manning rooms (cameras, microphone, etc.), blogging, etc.
- Have a "Cheese" moment at info-desk, as on the exits of theme park rides, upload to flickr
Have Design Thinking workshop again
- Add the annual photo to the schedule
- Negotiate joint copyright on any videos filmed of the talk so GNOME can license them CC-SA-BY 3.0 and redistribute them in places like blip.tv, GNOME Miro channel or Youtube
- Don't try to organise a group photo - we've gotten past that as a community.
Nail down venues for parties & social occasions earlier, to ensure they're appropriate to our needs & be able to give ready answers to sponsors on how much these would cost.
Communicate much better early in the organisation to ensure they're aware of our needs & expectations. Perhaps prepare an info pack based on cumulated experiences from previous GUADECs.