I've finally returned home from the Flock trip and I'd like to provide
some feedback to conference organizers.
Unfortunately, it was the first conference where not a single person
showed up at my talk/session. There were to main reasons for it:
* It was scheduled as a 3-hour do-session at 6pm. That's when everyone
was ready for dinner, not to spend another 3 hours of doing something.
* The docs session which some people who were interested in my session
attended was supposed to end just before my session, but in the end
overlapped by like 1.5 hour.
I don't have any suggestion for the latter because if you happen to
have a really useful and productive session and no one is kicking you
out of the room let's keep rolling even though it might mean that
people don't show up at another session.
A suggestion for the former is clear: it doesn't seem to be a good idea
to organize anything so late unless it's some light and fun activity
where you provide food and drinks (assembling fedorators went quite
well during the game night).
My general suggestion for Flock is that we split the conference and do-
sessions. I find the way GUADEC is organized much more productive.
Combining conference and sessions where we're supposed to do and
achieve something doesn't work IMHO. Mine was not the only do-session
that didn't attract a single participant, there were several of them.
Quite a few other workshops I attended struggled to get sufficient
amount of participants and activity from them. I think there are a
couple of reasons for it:
* In a conference schedule they don't usually have enough time
allocated to achieve some reasonable results and if they do, people are
not willing to attend them because they take too long and they miss
many other talks.
* During conference days people tend to operate in a sort of
"conference mode", they attend as many talks as possible, talk to as
many people as possible, they don't focus on one thing. Then it's
really difficult to make them focus out of sudden on one thing and be
I really like how GUADECs are done. There are 2 days of conference for
broader audience, it's only about talks, meeting people, light
discussions and then there are 3-4 days of BoFs which are very focused
sessions and which last for half a day or even a whole day. No fixed
schedule, no limits. People show up in the morning, discuss, and work
on something in a smaller group for as long as they need instead of
facing a busy conference schedule and figuring out what to attend
first. People come with a different mindset in the morning, they know
which BoF they want to attend and what they're gonna be focused on for
most of the day. All this together does magic, GUADEC BoFs are usually
I think it would work great for Flock as well.
At last, but not least I'd like to thank organizers for their work.
Don't take this as a critism, just a suggestion. The conference was
organized in a very professional manner and with a lot of interesting
newly implemented ideas and I'm glad I was part of it.
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