[EuroPython] KeyNoters

Jacob Hallén jacob at strakt.com
Wed Apr 6 20:51:48 CEST 2005

Good to have a discussion going. I agree with a lot of what John, said, but I 
do have a few other aspects I'd like to mention.

The first one is the marketing aspect. A keynote gives you a poster name, and 
it matters in two ways. One is that an interesting sounding keynote will 
actually attract participants and weigh in favour when undecided people make 
up their minds. The other one is that in the view of the general public, the 
prestige and seriousness of your conference is affected by the sort of 
keynote speakers you have.

This is where I think Europython has done better than Pycon. We have had 
keynote speakers (apart from Guido), who have talked about things that 
transcend Python, and I think this has affected the whole spirit of 

My other aspect is that I think a keynote is the opportunity to be a bit 
different from the regular talks. Most people go to Europython to work hard 
and to listen to talks that will actually help them in their work, so after a 
hard day of work, they should be able to settle down and hear something that 
is entertaining, thought provoking and which does not have a direct bearing 
on their everyday work.

This means that (to me) it is more important that keynote speakers are 
entertaining than that they are relevant.

However, I respect that others have different opinions, and since I have 
happily delegated this matter, I will respect whatever decision the 
subcommittee makes.


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