[PyAR2] PyArkansas Conference

Greg Lindstrom gslindstrom at gmail.com
Sat Aug 16 23:58:10 CEST 2008

Hi Everyone

Plans continue.  Here are just some random issues and thoughts I have this

Swag is going well; in fact it's great for a local conference.  Chad picked
up 50 copies of a GIS magazine and OReilly is sending a case of books to
give away.  Add that to the 100 copies of Py Magazine, Python stickers that
I have left over from PyCon, and 5 wingware editors to give away and we are
looking pretty good.  Do we need a bag of some kind to put stuff in?  My
insurance agent might give us 100; they would have State Farm written all
over them and might have a promotional item or two inside (pen?  I don't
know).  What about the wingware editors?  I'd hate to see them go to a total
newbie if we have serious developers attending.  But there are more pressing

Hours.  When do we want this to run?  We have 8:00-400 as follows:
  8-8:30 registration
  8:30-9:00: Welcome
  9:00-11:30: Classes
  11:30-12;30; Lunch
  12:30-1;20:  Talk Session I
  1:30-2:20: Talk Session II
  2:30-3:30: Panel Discussion/Giveaways

OK.  8:30-3:30.  Is this too much for our first try?  The thinking is that
it makes for a long day for those traveling and may be over taxing our UCA
hosts.  The other side of the coin is that if I were driving a couple hours
I would want as much as I could get.  Another issue, which we will consider
in a minute, is classes; it's not like we have a lot to offer.  We could
drop an afternoon talk and get out at 2:30, but this would limit anyone
wanting to take a "python 101" class to one other talk.  Dr. Chen, in
particular, said that he was looking forward to sitting in on a talk or two.

With the seating set out as it is -- 40 in one room, 24 in each of the
others (88 total seats) -- we may want to think of 2 "python 101" classes.
Though I don't know, it seems to me that many, if not most of the
participants will be new.  The other option is to have an intro class, then
two "intermediate" classes combined into the 2nd "class": Text/file
processing and then Python Standard Library.  The Third morning track would
be Django and something else.  Talks for the afternoon include OLPC, GIS,
PyGame.  Any others (Jeff??).  Maybe we could "re offer" the Python 102
talks from the morning (text/file processing and then PSL) in the afternoon.

I'd like the final session to be a panel discussion with Jeff, Dr. Chen,
Chad (who else?) where people could ask questions and get answers.  It might
be nice to show off some Python based software/websites etc.  The largest
room holds 40, so this may be a problem.

On to Funding.  We have $300.00 from the PSF (Python Software Foundation).
I have to get a checking account open so we can send out letters.  I think I
will ask for $250.00 from Acxiom and Windstream, as well as Novasys Health
(my employer).  Bringing Jeff in, which I think is a good thing, will run
about $500.00 (travel, 2 nights hotel, meals).  I plan to get a maiing out
to the area High Schools (I have 73 listed on the wiki) and Universities.
Should we cut back, since we need to shut down registration at 100?  Maybe
Faulkner and Pulaski counties?

We need someone to work on the wiki telling people how to register.  I mean,
how to edit the wiki to get their name on it (or email someone and they will
edit it).  We shouldn't go over 100 registrants...what do we do if more
people show up?  Maybe allow them to stand in, but I think those registered
should get seats and computers and swag.  Maybe it won't be a problem.

Also (to our UCA friends): what about parking?  Can we get "exemptions" to
allow people to park on campus (maybe in a specified lot)?  Is there someone
I can call to find out?

We've received some nice emails from people looking forward to coming to our
humble littel event.  Let's start talking it up, but we need to get people
to register and keep UCA informed.  Also, we need to let them know what
software needs to be installed on their machines.

Let me know what you think and if I've missed anything.

Thanks everyone!

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