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[Debconf-team] [content] Adhoc sessions feedback


This is the first of a series of threads about making the content team more public, documenting things that were done and things that can be improved.

This year we did an unconference-like experiment regarding the adhoc sessions, setting two flipcharts near the front desk that listed the slots available to be used for adhoc sessions, one flipchart for the current day and one for the next day. People could simply request a slot by writing down the title of the session in an available slot.

Every couple of hours, either Michael or I loaded this info into summit so the event was visible in the online schedule.


- It was very easy for attendees to schedule a new adhoc, and after the first
  day it was used extensively.

- Lots of adhoc meetings were schedule and people were able to know about
  them both through the flipchart and the online schedule.


- The online schedule wasn't immediate, but best effort based, that was
  mostly ok, but giggity and the unofficial mobile page wouldn't know about
  the changes till much later.

- It was "hard" to move a slot, and slots with empty sticky notes on top
  were not reused.

- No "drafter" information in the unconference flipcharts.

- No distinction in the online schedule between adhocs and the official

Feedback heard:

- "Thanks for making it human friendly".

- "Much better than last year".

- The wiki includes the request to have more time available for adhocs, also
  popularity vote.

Things to improve:

From the conference software part it would be better if it had an official mobile page, a clear distinction of the official schedule and the adhoc sessions, and a usable scheduling admin interface. The main issues with summit were the agenda item edition (an agenda item is what binds room, time and event): the event needs to be selected from a randomly sorted select box with all the events from dc14 and dc15, and the time that it takes to load a single event (approx 1 minute!).

The official schedule was printed in A4 size, what made it much harder to read from afar than the flipcharts. Something larger would have been nice.

We could have used a whiteboard, or a blackboard and chalk (i.e. something that allowed erasing and moving in a better way).

More feedback wanted!
+ What do you think? What needs to be improved?
+ Should we keep the unconference style adhoc scheduling?

Happy hacking,
"pi seconds is a nanocentury" -- Tom Duff
Saludos /\/\ /\ >< `/

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