[EuroPython] while it's fresh

Martijn Faassen faassen at infrae.com
Sun Jun 13 05:18:45 EDT 2004

Hi there,

I really enjoyed the conference a lot. There was a mix of very 
interesting people, plenty of interesting talks, good facilities. 
Attendee count is still rising. Overall it's in the steady line of 
improvement EuroPython has seen from the beginning. Price of 
accomodation was nice and low and it was a lot of fun having lots of 
people staying in the same complex. The conference dinner was impressive.

The post conference sprint area was wonderful; I really enjoyed thursday 
and friday.

It's however difficult to talk about the things that went well very 
long, so while it's still fresh in my mind, I'll complain about some 
things that could be improved. Please take it as constructive criticism; 
I think the conference was a resounding success but we can make it even 

   * room reservation needs to be made more flexible somehow. I think 
many people had to extend their stay forward or backwards into time, and 
handling this caused a lot of overhead for the organizers as well.

   * rooms should have had clear numbers from the beginning. The 
letter->number mapping is bad usability, and a bug in it sent me off to 
the wrong room. I didn't understand why room numbers got shuffled again 
after day 1. Is this because the program would otherwise unfairly 
allocate the larger rooms to the same track multiple times? If so, we 
need to make sure the program does the right shuffling itself.

   * lunch break was too short/crowded. Especially on day 1 when nobody 
knew what to do yet, there was an enormous queue. On later days we 
avoided this mostly by leaving for lunch early or later, but we didn't 
know this in advance. As a track chair I had trouble making it in time 
on day 1 as I just came out of a talk and had to go into the talk after 
lunch directly after. People were trickling back 10 minutes after the 
talks had officially already started. I appreciated lunch being so 
nearby, but we need to figure out a better way to manage these for next 
year. Perhaps a simple warning would've done the trick.

   * we didn't really mind standing up, but some rooms didn't have 
enough chairs available to host a panel discussion.

   * I do not know what can be done, but the beamers were extremely 
fickle, even more so than usual. I tested a presentation monday morning 
on the beamer, saw it worked, and then when the time came my laptop was 
needed for the actual presentation the resolution was all off. At two 
instances during my track alone the beamer could basically not be made 
to work at all. I witnessed several other talks with beamer problems.

   * Due to a bizarre mistake, I got a baby pink conference tshirt for 
some reason. I think next year we need more quality control over tshirt 
colors. :)



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