hi Alex,

I wish other people had time to express their opinion here...

On Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 5:19 PM, Alex Kapranoff <kapran...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello!
> There will be a big IT conference here in Moscow in the end of May. It's
> rather interesting because it's actually a "superconference" — 6 different
> tracks on different languages/technology stacks. The website in Russian is
> here: http://devconf.ru/
> We (Andrew Shitov and myself) take part in its organizing committee and also
> curate the Perl track. We also give talks ourselves.
> We prefer to think of Devconf as a conference for experienced developers who
> are open and eager both to
> share their knowledge to people outside of their community and borrow
> from technology stacks they don't use. We are going to have talks about
> modern PHP for Java and Perl developers, about modern Perl for
> Pythonistas and Rubyists et cetera. Of course there will also be a lot
> of other technical talks.
> Committee has planned 6 full-time tracks for two days and
> around 1000 attendees, mostly from Russia but also Ukraine and
> Belarus. The majority of talks will be in Russian but we'll have
> several in English and a synchronous translation service will be
> available for those attendees who are not proficient enough.
> We managed to invite Carl Masak and Piers Cawley to give talks on Perl 6 and
> modern Perl 5 respectively. We also tried hard to choose talks which are
> less "yapcy" and more accessible for people outside of our cozy little echo
> chamber :) Our track is going to compete for attention with PHP, Python,
> ASP.NET and Ruby tracks which have talks from several core developers of
> PHP, MySQL, ASP.NET and Ruby on Rails.

I think this is very good and I think you are on the right track if you are
trying to show things that can also be interesting for non-perl programmers
or less than core perl community people.

> What I would like is to hear advices on making our part great and
> successful. Do you think it's important to set up a booth? To invest in
> swag? To show off software? To advertise end-user products instead of
> technologies? Sell things? Collect donations? Record talks ourselves and
> share them? Pay more attention to quality of talks? Advertise above-average
> Perl developers' salaries? :)

I don't know how you manage it but personally I feel awkward wondering around
in a conference and trying to interact with random people without a
"base ship".
That's where a booth is very convenient for me. Both as people walk by the booth
but I can also stand at other places, hand out a flier or a community
business card
and try talking to people. If they are in a hurry I can still tell
them where to booth
is if they want to catch us. One thing though, you probably should ask
the organizers
if it is ok to give out fliers at places that are not immediately next
to your booth.

After giving a talk some people come to the speak and talk to her but
the situations is
always "queuing to talk to the hero" which is both inconvenient and
reduces the number
of people you can talk to. A booth can also help in this as well. The
speaker can point out
where the audience can find her or other members of the community
later during the conference.

A booth is also good the other way: Many people would feel awkward to catch the
"serious person" who just gave a talk even if that person is such
super friendly as Masak.
A booth gives them an opportunity - a better excuse - to talk to them.
Especially if you
have one or more computers when they can show and explain things. (so
I think showing code
can bee good, if that's what people ask for and it sounds like your
crowd will have some coders)

If you mean by "end-user products instead of technologies" thing such
as a Wiki or a CMS then
I think it is very important to show those too. In the Perl world we
seem to be focused
too much on the library level (see tons of CPAN modules) and don't
have enough emphasize
on the product level. Showing the products is important.

swag: people like to get cool thing and if you can make them laugh and
remember you better
you already won. The tuits are good for that but I am sure there are
lots of other things that
can be cool.

"Sell things? Collect donations?" We have not done these yet but we
are planning to.

"Record talks ourselves and share them?" Would be nice. I'd really
like to see a Perl video team
got organized similar to the Debian video team. Gosh, the videos from
FOSDEM were released
with 48 hours by the Debian team and I think 2 weeks by the rest of
the FOSDEM team. Compare
that with the "never released" of most of the YAPCs and Perl Workshop videos.


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