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

Martin Cosgrave martin at ocretail.com
Thu May 7 00:37:09 BST 2015

At BarnCamp they have a plenary on the first day to decide which 
presentations will happen; however I think it's a good idea to have some 
"rock star" presentations announced in advance to help garner interest.

I don't know the "unconference" idea beyond that but I definitely see 
this approach as an adjunct to the more traditional conference, we need 
to have both I think.

On 07/05/15 01:21, Richard Esplin wrote:
> Cool idea.
> It can also reduce the effort to run it as an "un-conference". Instead of
> taking proposals and preparing presentations, there is a process at the start
> of the event for attendees to propose an idea to discuss in a specific slot.
> People who are interested in the topic go to that table and have the
> conversation. If no one shows up, then you go find someone else's topic. It is
> similar to a "Bird of a Feather" session.
> I have really enjoyed the un-conferences I have attended, but I like prepared
> presentations too. I think the two ideas can be combined in a variety of ways.
> Cheers,
> Richard
> On Thursday, May 07, 2015 00:31:48 Martin Cosgrave wrote:
>> 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
>> concert.
>> 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
>> proper.
>> Anyway, that's the rough sketch; pick it apart, see what you think.

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