[EuroPython] Scheduling call for papers and acceptance of talks

Paul Everitt paul at zope-europe.org
Sun Feb 27 12:31:39 CET 2005

On Feb 24, 2005, at 9:53 AM, Chris Withers wrote:

> Heimo Laukkanen wrote:
>> Talk acceptance:
>>   - require the actual presentation to be submitted ( we've been very 
>>  flexible with this previously )
> Why is this a requirement?

During the Plone Con in Vienna, I noticed lots of people sitting 
outside.  I asked a few what were the reasons.  The main one was, they 
liked to socialize. :^)  However, some folks also seemed disappointed 
with the quality of some presentations.

I'm interested in ways to address.  One choice is, as we've suggested, 
ask people to prepare in advance.  Benefits: people don't throw 
something together at the last minute, we attract people that are 
naturally more prepared, and we have time to interact via a review 

This is pretty well understood, for anyone that has done a refereed 

Downsides: as Harald noted, we might scare off people that are good 
presenters, presentation material isn't nearly as important as the 
speaker (they should be minimal, in fact), and it increases the work on 

If anybody has some better suggestions on how we can improve the 
presentation quality, let us know.   Equally, if people feel that 
improving the quality isn't a needed goal, speak up on that too.

> > This is just to make sure that people don't feel too  comfortable on
> > what  they already know and try to scrap up the presentations an hour
> > before the  presentation.
> This doesn't feel too valid to me. I didn't experience this with any 
> of the presentations given last year, do other people feel that this 
> was a problem?
> I have 2 issues with it:
> 1. Often the most appropriate time to write talks is the 8-10 hrs it 
> takes to commute to the conference.

We plan to reserve huge chunks of time, perhaps each afternoon after 
the break, for lightning talks.

Personally, I think it is unfair to the 90 people in the audience that 
paid good money to travel, to suffer through someone that waited 8-10 
hours in advance to work on their presentation.  In some cases, the 
speaker can pull it off.  In many cases, the presentation could have 
used some refinement and practice.

Thus, give some arguments from the point of view of the 80, not the 1.  
How can we make this better for the audience?

> 2. Events often overtake things that are written months before. We 
> work in a particularly dynamic environment, requiring a presentation 
> to be set in stone months before the conference seems like putting an 
> artificial block on how relevent a presentation is...

We *have* to choose the presentations in advance.  We can't wait until 
the last moment to choose presentations.  Last year, we were asked to 
move up the deadline so chosen speakers could book tickets at a lower 
fare.  In some cases, the speakers have to get their organizations to 
book the tickets and that takes a while.

Quite obviously, we can't make an informed choice on a presentation 
with a title and 50 word description, unless we know the person.  That 
becomes unfair to the new people who haven't presented.


More information about the EuroPython mailing list