[OOTB-hive] Fwd: The "low rent" conference

Martin Cosgrave martin at ocretail.com
Wed May 6 23:31:48 BST 2015

Here's the idea I was trying to articulate to the board a few days ago. 
I think it would be possible to do something without any sponsorship at all.

I wouldn't preclude doing the big conference Boriss was talking about 
though. I suppose I'm thinking of this as more like a festival than a 

A friend of mine runs this 
https://hacktionlab.org/hacktionlab/index.php/BarnCamp_2015 where 
participants pitch a tent on the farm and various talks and hacking 
happen in the barn. I'm not suggesting anything quite so literally 
"grass roots" but it's a great example of how you can get a lot of the 
important stuff done very cheaply.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	The "low rent" conference
Date: 	Mon, 04 May 2015 22:34:07 +0200
From: 	Martin Cosgrave <martin at ocretail.com>
To: 	xyz at orderofthebee.org <xyz at orderofthebee.org>

So I realise you guys are used to all these big corporate conferences
but Barna was the first one I had ever been to. It was really great but
what struck me as the most important factor about it was the social
connection. The talks were interesting and useful but the really great
thing was to meet people you had only conversed with online. Or the
other way, having met someone only once or twice at the conference meant
you could now potentially forge a useful relationship online in a way
that would have been otherwise impossible.

So my thought is that the really expensive parts of a conference are not
really necessary. I looked at the conference of the guys that make the
xbmc (now kodi) media player. They had about 20 people in a cafeteria.
Nonetheless they had guest speakers and a hackathon etc.

In my mind I'm seeing a church hall or community hall or something like
that; a large room with a stage at one end. At the far end of the room
we have tables and chairs for a continuous hackathon for the whole
period; the talks go on the stage, the coders may need to wear
headphones to avoid the talks sapping their concentration but many are
probably used to that. If you want to listen to a talk you can leave the
hackathon and go to the stage end of the room.

I suppose if we could get 2 rooms then it would be even better but I am
trying to find the simplest possible thing here.

Accommodation would have to be handled by the attendees; should be
simple with things like booking.com but best to avoid times when other
things are going on

Food, I'm thinking that you would just talk to 2-3 local restaurants,
get them to provide a menu that attendees can choose from and
individuals choose their meals, orders get sent to the restaurants and
delivered to the venue, hopefully all at roughly the same time.

It strikes me as I write this that the reason nobody bothers with a
low-rent setup like this is because generally companies pay for people
to go to conferences like this. (Personally however my employers never
did, and both my Summit attendances were freebies). Of course we could
decide to charge several hundred euro per ticket to take advantage of
that but then have the complexity of building a proper conference, like
the one Boriss is (quite rightly) suggesting. But a cut price
conference, perhaps 50€ to attend, plus your own food and accommodation
costs, could be quite attractive to very many people, that is community
edtion users, who could never get anyone to pay for them to go to summit

Anyway, that's the rough sketch; pick it apart, see what you think.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://www.xtreamlab.net/pipermail/ootb-hive/attachments/20150507/d75f30f2/attachment.html>

More information about the OOTB-hive mailing list