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Re: [Debconf-team] [Coordination] Timeline changes proposal for DC16

I don't always top-post, but when I do it's to say I agree 100%.


On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 11:48:14PM +0200, Margarita Manterola wrote:
> We talked a bit about this during the DebConf Sprint that we had
> during DebCamp and my feeling was that there was rough consensus about
> it. I'm sending it team-wide now, as a request for comments.
> The main change that I'm proposing is renaming our original
> "registration" period to "pre-registration" (or similar) and the
> "reconfirmation" period to "registration". Additionally, I also
> propose that the official event submission is moved much earlier than
> what it was this year. Please read on.
> The pre-registration period is for people that are requesting
> sponsorship or submitting event proposals.  They would only express
> their intent on going to DebConf (and DebCamp if applicable) and then
> fill in the sponsorship fields and/or submit proposals. Nothing else.
> We can also allow other people to sign up for this, but this would be
> only in order for them to get notified when actual registration opens.
> When the registration period opens, everyone needs to fill in all
> their registration data (dates of attendance, t-shirt size, food/accom
> choice, etc). This avoids a problem that we've had over and over of
> people filling in random dates when signing up, and then never
> correcting them, or people registering because we tell them to, but
> then never reconfirming, because they don't intend to attend anymore.
> The timeline of when things need to happen would be tied to the dates
> for the conference.  In order for bursaries to have decisions 3 months
> before the conference (needed for not-so-expensive flight tickets),
> the pre-registration needs to close 4 months before it.
> Pre-registration needs to be open at least one month, maybe two.
> Regarding the actual registration, it should probably start 3 months
> before the conference. The deadlines regarding this period need to be
> clarified. i.e. "last date for sponsored attendees to register", "last
> date to get a conference T-shirt and conference bag", "last date to
> register for accommodation at the venue", etc. There were several
> comments this year of people claiming that it was not clear what the
> reconfirmation deadline meant. We could make all of these the same
> date, but it needs to be clear for everybody involved what happens if
> you register after that.
> As far as I understand it, for DC16, this would mean:
>  * Pre-registration starts sometime in January.
>  * Pre-registration closes end of February.
>  * Bursaries decisions by end of March.
>  * Registration opens in April
>  * Last day for sponsored attendees to register: Apr. 30th
>  * DebConf16 starts first week of July.
> Regarding talks (this needs input from those involved in the Content
> team), the feeling I got from several pieces of feedback is that most
> people will submit talks on the last days before the deadline (or even
> a few days after that), regardless of what the deadline is; and people
> want to know approved talks early so that they can know if they have
> been selected, justify their trip to their work, and generally plan
> ahead whether they want to attend or not.
> This year we had the submission deadline in the middle of the
> reconfirmation process, which meant that approved talks were not
> announced until after the reconfirmation process had ended. Also,
> bursaries was interested in knowing if an attendee had submitted a
> talk and the approval status of it when deciding whether to sponsor
> them or not, but this information was not available at all. It is my
> opinion that both things should be avoided if possible.
> Using an equivalent correlation as the one used before, I'd propose
> that talk submissions for the official schedule need to be submitted 4
> months before the conference and approved talks get announced 3 months
> before it (right about the time registration opens). Bursaries and
> Content will need to coordinate sharing their information during that
> month of work, but it should be possible to do it.
> Regarding announcement of the conference schedule (also part of
> Content team), I believe it would make sense to at least state the
> time and date of the welcome and closing talks plus -if possible- the
> speakers and time and date of the keynotes, by the point registration
> opens, so that people can plan their trips with that information
> already available.
> Adding it all up, the timeline I'm proposing would be:
>  * Pre-registration + official event submission starts sometime in January.
>  * Pre-registration + official event submission closes end of February.
>  * Bursaries + official events decisions by end of March.
>  * Basic schedule announced + registration opens in April
>  * Last day for sponsored attendees to register: Apr. 30th
>  * DebConf16 starts July 3rd.
> I hope this makes sense.  I'm not trying to put artificial pressure on
> people, but rather trying to have a timeline that makes more sense for
> more people.
> -- 
> Besos,
> Marga
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