Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
Following on from my thoughts on Monday, I have been trying to think of some appropriate questions to add to the YAPC survey that would help to give us some idea of what worked and what didn't for individual attendees. Although I'm particularly interested in getting some of the newer attendees coming back, we also should ensure that regular attendees still have reasons to come along. Those of us that might be considered the hardcore, will come regardless, because it's a chance for us all to get together and discuss ideas and code, etc. But what about those who don't feel so included?
Can you think of any appropriate questions that might help to guide us into making people feel included in discussions, and perhaps even become speakers and key members of the community of the future? If so, instead of posting them here, could I ask you to post them to me personally (barbie at missbarbell.co.uk).
When Birmingham first implemented the conference survey, our motivation was from a sponsor who asked whether we had this kind of information. We didn't and only had some facts and figures regards total numbers. It made us realise that for some potential sponsors some of the demographics information gives them a degree of confidence that their brand is reaching the right people. We also saw it as a potential starting point to understand how our attendance changes over the years, what they are expecting from conferences and what the would like to see in the future. To stay relavent the survey needs to evolve and although some of the questions will stay, personally I'd like to see the survey include some further questions that can better identify what newcomers what from the conferences. So if you can help, it would be very much appreciated.
At the moment I'm trying to figure out a suitable format to enable anyone to configure the survey, so that eventually this can be added to ACT, and thus be used by any of the organisers planning a workshop or conference using ACT. Hopefully then it'll evolve further and organisers can tailor it to some of the specific concerns. But having a good base on which to work on is also something that helps considerably.