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A list of clever ideas concerning DebConf orga improvement that came out of DC6. So they won't be forgotten

For now as I remember them, in no particular order or system.

  • Have people who know about infrastructure/video/accessibility look at the place well beforehand.
  • Accessibility is a priority
  • Prepare/plan for a backup location
  • Prepare a "DebConf-Box" that contains stuff (Cables, sound/video equipment, signs etc.) that is needed for every DebConf, so we don't have to get together everything from scratch every year

    • Note that signs cannot be simply reused (i.e. changing logo, different names for different areas, etc.) - true.
      • Some can; we don't need to reprint the "[15,10,5] Min. left, Repeat the Question, etc. Signs.
    • Is it more expensive to buy cable, or to ship the box overseas? - I suppose shipping is more expensive but also safer, since we can rely on familiar equipment and don't have to keep running errands to get more stuff. (Meike)
  • Make sure the local team is on top of things. Offer early help if not.
  • Make sure the local team has good personal relations with the people responsible for venue/accomodation etc
  • Assign tasks to people instead of saying "We should". "We" is nobody. Also give these people authority over their tasks, so they don't have to check back all the time.
  • A "Welcome" talk/session is nice, but also do a "Goodbye" session. Working until you have to leave, with no particular/official thank you doesn't make volunteers/orga people happier/more likely to help again next year.
    • I loved the improvised "that's all folks" speech last year; we should plan something next year, so people have a real end of the conf
  • Make sure sponsor money is there before DebConf begins

    • Of course, we have always attempted to do this. This year we are -again- with a huge amount pending to be paid
  • Instead of using mail/wiki for announcements use a central black/white board. No funny tech stuff. Plain old pen/chalk works best. Also make sure the info desk knows about stuff. --> Applies to the schedule as well (Meike)

  • Try to outsource things when/if possible (possible examples may include network stuff, daytrip, formal dinner ...)
  • Let people know when you are (not) available so they know there is (no) use in searching for you.
  • Maintain a list of what is needed so people coming late can bring it
  • wiki page of lost items
  • have a list of things that _must_ work and eventually make sure they are paid (e.g. internet)
  • See also DebConf6VideoLessonsLearned

  • Daily Orga meetings are good. Having them in the evening seems not to be. People are mostly tired and often irritated, and a lot of things remain unsaid/undone because people want to go to bed. How about having them over or after breakfast? (h01ger thinks breakfast doesnt work well, cause some have breakfast at 8 others at 10) (Meike says: We can also make it a general morning/forenoon while/after breakfast meeting. I don't care about the exact hour, I just want to get rid of the (imho) very unpleasant evening/night meetings)
  • the schedule on paper didnt work well, better would be monitors or projectors which display the schedule directly "from the source". Additional rss-feeds for schedule-changes and upcoming events would be cool also.
    • No, I think it worked very well. People were always looking at the paper thing. I can't think of any electronic solution, which would be that prominent (and readable) than such a big sheet of paper. As alphascorpii already said: We should extend that, and make even important annoucement via pinnboard, too -- Alexander
  • have a break for the complete team for at least four weeks better eight - concerning the next debconf stuff. it's unavaoidable to work on stuff from the just finished debconf, but as the next debconf is 12 month away there is no need to jump to it without a break. it even goes in the way of reflecting the "old debconf"... (added by h01ger)
  • ...

Comas Improvements

  • Take people who did not reconfirm out of sponsorship. (uh, please elaborate..., Andreas)

    • There where some people, who requested sponsorship, but didn't confirmed and didn't showed up at the conf. "Their" money was reserved for them, but we could have used it for something else, if we had known, that they won't show up
    • This rule and similar ones are basically a question of making the right queries, and can be answered in time. Of course, we have to learn which queries we need to make and when! (similar questions apply to lodging, food, etc.)

  • Build a hotel room manager into Comas as well
  • ...
  • See also ?DebConfNextSoftware

Lessons learned from DC5 but still not implemented

  • Have the hacklab / conference rooms / restaurants close to each other!
    • Even worse this year, since the big and the small auditorium where so far away from each other; this made it impossible to switch rooms shortly
    • If such a point comes early enough during Debcamp, it can still be worked on! please bring it up as early as possible.
  • spread the responsibility/competence for comas (and hacking/improving it) over several people.
    • Implemented! This year we had four people able to get enough information out of the DB, and at least two making additions to the system. Of course, it could be even more improved
    • Hardly Implemented at all! Comas was broken at critical moments over extended periodes of time and no one was willing/able to fix it. Very important changes partly already implemented for last year and requested well ahead of time were not implemented this year.
  • make comas more user friendly (with help of java script, so that input fields appear as needed?)