Daniel Carrera wrote:

I believe that a couple of people went to both the RegiCon in San Diego and the MiniCon in Camberra (Jean and Ian). Perhaps it'd be good for them to give their opinions on how the two conferences compared. That would give at least the people who went to Camberra a better idea of how RegiCon went.

I attended both conferences. The two events were very different, but IMO both were valuable though for different reasons.

The RegiCon had both an OOo booth and a half-day of talks in a space that was open to the exhibit area, thus encouraging people to wander in to see what was going on. The audience for the talks was large, as was the number of people who came by the booth and talked with us. The audience (and those who talked with us) included a wide range of people. I suspect most of them were not developers, but rather users or potential users (some in large organisations with the potential for influencing many other people to use OOo). (IMO, that is a good thing, a very important part of marketing.) And as Ian, Adam and Daniel have pointed out, many useful contacts were made and at least one valuable member (Adam) was added to the active OOo community.

In Canberra we had no booth (no group did) and we were in a separate room with a closed door. People had to deliberately find that room and come in to listen. So the audience was smaller and more focused: people who in general already knew something about OOo, including more developers, many (most? all? I don't know) already involved in OOo. So it was probably a better situation for networking among developers, and passing on information about OOo in real work situations, but had very little outreach to the other attendees of the Linux Conf that it was associated with. Some of the time I sat at a table outside the meeting room, wearing an OOo t-shirt and with some books on display, creating a kind of ad-hoc, very low-key booth. Lots of people stopped by to talk; few of them went into the meeting area.

> Louis Suarez-Potts wrote:
but we generally want a conference to be worth the effort and money.

We have two possibilities here (assuming DLS is interested):

1) A booth. Low cost, if DLS offers space and volunteers cover most of their own expenses. (Subsidies would be welcome, of course.) Most of the unavoidable expenses are for a banner, printing handouts, and CD production, and some or all of that can be recovered by sales at the booth). Low effort, as we now know what we'll need to bring and can arrange for it well in advance.

2) A conference. More effort in organising a program, and more cost for travel and other expenses for invited speakers.

The focus for a booth and a conference might be quite different, so one thing to be clear about is what exactly our purposes are.

I cannot see any reason not to have a booth at DLS, if enthusiasts want to have one and the DLS people want us there (unless there are unacceptable strings attached). Whether the effort and expense of a conference is worthwhile is another matter. Personally I think it would be worthwhile, based on this year's experience.

Regards, Jean

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