[EuroPython] Starting to plan

Jacob Hallén jacob at strakt.com
Thu Sep 18 11:38:00 EDT 2003

Hi all,

it is time to draw up the plans for the contents of EP2004. I have
listed the tracks that we had at EP2003. I would like your input on a
few matters.

1. I think it is reasonable that last conference track champions get
to say if they want to champion the track again. If they are
unwilling, we will look for somebody else to run the track, or
consider if we want to strike it from the schedule.

2. How much time should we plan for for each track? This is of course
dependent on what sort of speaker interest we get, but it is good to
have a preliminary figure. The speaker interest is connected to the
ambitions of each track champion after all.

3. Are there any important changes we should make to the format of the

Last years tracks
Lightning Talks, Open Space, Bofs
Track champions: Anna Ravenscroft; Moshe Zadka
Comments: We should have plenty of space for bofs and openspace sessions,
and I think it is a good idea to have lightning talks at a time when little
else is going on.
Python Frameworks Track
Track champions: Martijn Faassen
Python Language Track
Track champions: Michael Hudson

Python in Business Track
Track champions: Tim Couper; Marc-Andre Lemburg
Python in Science & Industry Track
Track champion: Nicolas Chauvat

Zope Track
Track champions: Paul Everitt; Heimo Laukkanen

New conference things
It is also time to consider what new things we should add. Personally,
I would like to see a refereed paper track. It doesn't have to be long;
a day or even half a day would be enough. The important thing is to be
early with the announcement of this track, so that we have enough time
for the authors to produce papers and for the reviewers to read and

I would also like to support sessions of the kind that Guido asked for
in his keynote at EP2003, where he has one or more seminars with a
fairly small number of people. This could be supported with other
celebrities who are coming.

Something that is a bit of a dream right now is to have something
called "Consult the bots", where we would have Alex Martelli, Fredrik
Lund and Tim Peters available for people to consult. "Bring your
problem and get face-to-face advice from the gurus."

These are my current ideas for improvement and change to the conference
format. I'd like to hear other peoples views and ideas.

Corporate involvement
Python conferences hardly attract any exhibitors. If we get the venue
we plan for, there will be some space for exhibitors. I would like to
make a number of small spaces (2-3 sqare meters each) avaliable for
free or for a very minimal charge for exhibiting companies. Companies
sponsoring the conference in one way or another should get priority.
Any space left should be distributed randomly among those who register
before a certain date. We may even give the companies just one day
each, to give more people the chance to show themselves.

I would also like to make space available for public product
demonstrations, where the company gets a time slot in one of the
smaller rooms. We may want to charge a fee for such a demo slot.

If we attract exhibitors who want more space, we will charge the cost
for renting extra space, and then some.

By dumping the prices on exhibitor space now, we can build a platform
for revenue in the future. Exhibitors who get a good result out of
being at EP will want to come back. Their willingness to pay will be
better when they know what results to expect.

Can we keep the website where it is and as it is?
Tom, are you willing and interested in continuing with the building of
the EP webiste? What resources do you need for the work to go smoothly?

Reportlab/Andy Robinson has already voluntered to do the brochure.
Any reason not to accept this?

Volunteers sought
Apart from the people above, I am currently looking for suitable people
for some jobs. I am sure there will be more functions needed later.

Before the conference:
* Interviewers
(The interviews are a great idea. Attracts people to the website over
and over again. Even gets people to come back to the website after the
conference is over.)
* Coordinator for getting sponsors and exhibitors
* Local information
* Registration and room booking
* Food planning
* Badge design
* Recruiter of keynote speakers and chief whip for getting interesting
  speakers to the conference
* Marketing coordinator
* Schedule coordinator

During the conference:
* Reception
* Technical support
(Conference server, network access, projectors, test sessions)
* Liason with service providers

All these jobs need a written plan with the items When, Who, What.
It will take me quite a while to write all these, so if anybody
feels like it, please write one or two of these, apart from considering
if you would like to take on one (or more) of the jobs.

The idea is to cut the arranging of the conference into bits that are
so small that they are not a burden to anyone. Please talk to your friends
and get them involved too.

Ok, that is it for now. I'm happy for any feedback.


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