Hey Mahmoud!

Thank you for your kind email! I appreciate it! I’m glad to hear the Open Spaces were a success for you at PyCon this year :)

I wanted to respond to some of your feedback:

* Projectors: Extra AV and technical equipment are a really high cost, which sadly doesn’t fit into our conference budget. While we would love to be able to provide projectors, I don’t see that being possible budget wise.

* Whiteboards: Again, this is a cost issue to provide a white board for each room considering the amount of rooms but it seems cheaper than projectors. I’ll add it to our list to consider for next year.

* Etherpad: May I suggest gist instead? I was part of an Open Space where someone took notes and published them as a gist later. GitHub user names are usually ok to share and this seemed a really easy and accessible way to share notes with everyone.

* Schedule gridded according to talk schedules: I’m not sure how easy this will be to do for us since it seems more intuitive to have an hourly grid like we have been doing but I will add it to our list of suggestions for next year. Please keep in mind that Open Spaces are self-organized so organizers can pick their own start and end time and indicate those on the Open Spaces card and therefore override the gridded schedule. There were plenty of rooms and times still open this year so I don’t see a problem with people blocking out two time slots for one Open Space to stay more in accordance with the talk schedule.I personally always tell people not to stress about missing talks because the talks are recorded whereas the Open Spaces are not :) 
We can see about providing opportunities for people to label the rooms, however taping something to doors or walls is usually restricted at convention centers. One way we tried to make it easier for people to stay up to date on Open Spaces, was our bot this year. 

Thanks again for your feedback!
Anna



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On May 24, 2017, at 12:00 PM, Mahmoud Hashemi <mahmoud@hatnote.com> wrote:

To the amazing (and no doubt exhausted) PyCon organizers,

This year I ran around 6 open spaces, and they were some of the best I've been involved in, in many, many ways. However, I do have some ideas for making them even better. Figured I'd send them your way while they're fresh. In short:

* Whiteboards
* Projectors
* Sanctioned means to collaborate and keep in touch. An etherpad for shared notetaking and collaboration would be excellent. Google Docs are perhaps a bit too personal (with usernames, etc.)
* A schedule gridded according to talk schedules (missing two talks stressed some folks out)

I love the way the rooms were physically grouped together. I think this might be enhanced if people had some way of labeling the rooms as the sessions start so people don't have to go all the way over to the board. Paper and markers and tape would be fine.

If there's anything I can do to help with this in the future, please let me know.

Thank you again for the amazing conference!

Mahmoud
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