[Baypiggies] Pycon for the Bay Area

Aahz aahz at pythoncraft.com
Mon Jan 21 01:56:26 CET 2008

On Fri, Jan 18, 2008, Edward Cherlin wrote:
> The local Chairbeing is not the Conference Chair. Our staff and crew
> will be responsible for defined local arrangements, and not for
> program, exhibits, or speakers. Isn't that right?

That roughly matches my understanding.

> Questions? I don't have the answers, but I know whom to ask for them.

Here's the 2010 bid page, which includes a lot of questions (to make it
easy for everyone to see):


   PyCon is an inexpensive, community-oriented conference for users and
   developers of the Python programming language, organized by the Python
   Software Foundation and a group of volunteers. PyCon 2007 had
   attendances of almost 600 people.

   PyCon is a North American conference; we don't intend to move into
   territory served by EuroPython or Python UK. So far all PyCons have
   been in the US, but we're open to considering locations in Canada and

   Traditionally the structure of PyCon has been three days of
   presentations, and two to four days of sprints. PyCon 2006 added a
   pre-conference tutorial day that was a great success and it has since
   become a standard part of the PyCon experience.

   In the past, the location for PyCon was chosen through a grass-roots
   bid process. Local groups with a passion for bringing PyCon to their
   area got together and solicited bids from local hotels and other
   venues. That process embodied the community spirit that drives not only
   PyCon but also the whole of the Python language.

   Year after year, PyCon has seen impressive attendance growth and
   continued enthusiasm from the community, bringing attendees from far
   and wide. The growth has been exciting, but it has put PyCon into a
   class of conferences that not every venue can handle. But PyCon is now
   a class of conference that many venues will compete for.

A New Bid Process

   As PyCon has grown, the demands made by the traditional bid process
   have grown as well -- there are larger requirements with a smaller
   selection of venues available to suit our needs. Moreover, those extra
   challenges were faced not just by one group, but by all the local
   groups who were interested in hosting PyCon. There was a massive
   duplication of effort across all of the bidding groups. Many of the
   local groups have little to no experience with selecting venues and
   negotiating contracts for large venues. It has become clear that the
   old bid process would quickly limit PyCon, either through escalating
   costs due to inexperienced negotiation, or worse, through a process of
   overwhelming our wonderful local volunteers with a complex and
   demanding process.

   Beginning with the 2008 bid from the Chicago group, PyCon has begun
   working with a professional meeting management group in order to help
   select venues and negotiate contracts. This allows precious volunteer
   energy to be re-focused on the important things: making PyCon the
   experience we all want it to be. Therefore, the requirements for future
   PyCon bids will be different than years past in that we won't be asking
   local groups to actually begin negotiations with venues.

   Instead, we're looking for a somewhat less formal proposal telling us
   why PyCon should be held in your local area:
     * Tell us, briefly, what's good and what's great about the
       city/region/state that would make it a good place to host PyCon.
       Tell us the pros and cons about the local area:
          + Are major venues (1000+ person capacity) plentiful?
          + Are they clustered or located in any particular area?
          + Transportation resources:
               o How close is the nearest major airport to the heart of
                 the city or region?
               o What sort of transportation options are available? Bus,
                 taxi, train, light-rail, subway, etc. How much does a
                 trip on each cost?
               o How close are these resources to the large venues you
                 identified above?
          + What other major (1000+ attendee) events has your area hosted
               o Any tech-related events?
          + How's the weather? Remember, the target is for PyCon to be
            held between mid-February and mid-April.
     * Tell us about your group:
          + Who are you?
          + What's your connection to Python?
          + How many volunteers can you expect to provide for PyCon?
            Remember, this is planning for two years in advance.
          + Are there any key players who bring experience or skills that
            you feel are particularly valuable to PyCon?
          + Looking at the PyCon staff roles list, are there any local
            people who would be committed to filling a particualr role?
     * Tell us about the local Python community:
          + Users group(s) for Python? Django? Zope? Plone? Any local
            university Python groups?
          + Local companies doing exciting things with Python?
               o Would they be interested in sponsoring PyCon?
     * Tell us about the local tech community:
          + Who are the big IT and Tech related companies in the area?
               o Do they use Python?
Aahz (aahz at pythoncraft.com)           <*>         http://www.pythoncraft.com/

"All problems in computer science can be solved by another level of     
indirection."  --Butler Lampson

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