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domm (4030)

domm
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http://domm.plix.at/

Just in case you like to know, I'm currently full-time father of 2 kids, half-time Perl hacker, sort-of DJ, bicyclist, no longer dreadlocked and 33 years old

I'm also head of Vienna.pm [pm.org], maintainer of the CPANTS [perl.org] project, member of the TPF Grants Commitee [perlfoundation.org] and the YAPC Europe Foundation [yapceurope.org].

I've got stuff on CPAN [cpan.org], held various talks [domm.plix.at] and organised YAPC::Europe 2007 in Vienna [yapceurope.org].

Journal of domm (4030)

Tuesday October 09, 2007
07:07 AM

YAPC::Europe 2007 Final Report

[ #34638 ]

YAPC::Europe 2007 Final Report

About the Conference

YAPC::Europe 2007 was held in Vienna, Austria from 28-30 August. It was the largest attended YAPC::Europe ever so far! So a big thank you goes out to all the attendees, speakers and sponsors for making this happen!

The conference website: http://vienna.yapceurope.org/ye2007

Now, just over a month after the conference, we can say that YAPCE07 was a big success in technical, social and financial terms. Read on to get all the scary details.

About the Team

The organising team consisted of approx. 12 people, at least 6 of which turned up to every meeting. After a few meetings, several people specialised on various topics (eg. graphic design, financial issues, the venue).

We actually worked on 439 tickets in our RT tracker, committed more than 800 changes into our subversion repository, with approximately 3,500 email messages being sent to our internal mailing list (including svn commit mails, and all our RT messages).

About the People

YAPC::Europe 2007 in Vienna had the highest number of attendees of all the YAPC::Europe conferences held so far!

With 436 people registered on the website http://vienna.yapceurope.org/, 340 people actually attended the conference, from over 30 different countries. We had 255 people paying for their tickets, with 36 of them paying the business tariff! The rest of the attendees comprised of speakers, organisers and the sponsor representatives of YAPC::Europe 2007.

We had an insane number of really great speakers, including our special guest speakers; Larry Wall, Damian Conway and Mark Jason Dominus. Over 70 talks took place, covering several different topics, from the humourous and inspirational through to some really great technical ones (we even had one given in negative time ...).

4 Hackathon sessions took place in the lab rooms, which the moderators informed us were a lot of fun and extremely productive, and to keep his POE attendees happy Chris Williams even brought cake!

The organisers managed to get all the attendees to the conference dinner, at a typical Viennese Heurigen. Where there was lot's of good food, wine, beer, chat, beer, card games, beer, good company ... and some beer!

About the Finance

YAPC::Europe 2007 was a great financial success.

We were able to raise more than 36.000 Euros from sponsors and received over 29.000 Euros in attendance fees, with the auction raising nearly 5.000 Euros.

The unexpected call for a donation for Filipe from Portugal during the auction raised 1.780 Euros, which will be donated in full to Filipe to cover at least parts of his costs. A huge thank you to all those who donated!

We were very lucky to get a great venue basically for free, meaning our total expenses came to a little less than 32.000 Euros.

This leaves us with a big surplus of 39.000 Euros. Wow!

We will hand all the money raised during the auction (5.000 Euros) on to the guys in Copenhagen, to help them with initial funding for YAPC::Europe 2008, and will donate 2.000 Euros back to The YAPC Europe Foundation. We will be setting up a budget of at least 20.000 Euros to directly fund other Perl projects, more details of which will be announced soon.

The remaining money will remain with Vienna.pm, which is to be used to help pay for a server and fund the next Austrian Perl Workshops as well as our Technical Meetings.

Videos

In the meantime we managed to upload all video coverage to youtube.com:

There are more videos available, tagged with yapceu07: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=yapceu07

We also have video coverage of some talks. Those are not ready for public viewing yet. These URLs will be announced as soon as they are finished.

Survey

If you did attend the conference, please take some time to fill out the 2007 YAPC::Europe Survey. You should have received an email invitation with detailed instructions. If you were an attendee and didn't get this invitation, please contact us at vienna2007@yapceurope.org.

We will be raffling some ActiveState Komodo licenses for all those attendees who submit their survey responses by October 30th 2007. So get your responses in soon to be in with a chance of winning.

165 submissions were already received!

The results of the survey will be announced later this year and sent out to the conferences mailing list and of course of submitters.

Sponsors

We could not have made YAPC::Europe 2007 such a big success without the help of all our sponsors. Therefore big THANKS go out to Geizhals, WU-Wien, Venda, nfotex, Morgan Stanley, Birmingham.pm, VeriSign, ZSI, Google, Booking.com, heise online, Shopzilla, YEF, Vertical One, Findus Internet-OPAC, i5invest, ActiveState, O'Reilly, apress, United Chocolates, OE1 and InnoC.at!

Please see our sponsors page for more information: http://vienna.yapceurope.org/ye2007/sponsors.html

Post Mortem

We started discussing if we wanted to organise YAPC::Europe 2007 on March 30th 2006. Thanks to Klaus Ita and Andrea Pavlovic, we got a commitment from the Vienna University of Economics to provide us with a (nearly) free venue a few weeks later.

During the annual general assembly of Vienna.pm on 20th April 2006, we decided to apply for YAPC::Europe 2007. During the Austrian Perl Workshop 2006 (8th & 9th June) we discussed our plans in more detail, and met again to inspect the venue on 21st June.

The first draft of our proposal was finished on 25th June. We send out first emails to various Perl 'celebrities' asking them, whether they would be interested in coming to Vienna (provided we found sponsors) on 27th June.

The final proposal was sent to YEF on time on 30th June 2006. This proposal already included the date we wanted to hold YAPC::Europe, which was 29th to 31st August 2007. We were informed informally by YEF that we had won YAPC::Europe 2007 on 10th August.

Prior to YAPC::Europe 2006 we had another organisers meeting, where we changed the conference theme from "The Art of Perl" to "Social Perl". ("The Art of Perl" had already been used for YAPC::Europe 2000 in London). At this meeting, we also decided to recommend the auctioning of the 2007 organiser's haircuts to the Birmingham folks.

Moreover, we started working on the website (powered by ACT) and the logo, as we wanted to have a first version up and running for YAPC::Europe 2006. And we succeeded!

After YAPC::Europe 2006, we started to meet regularly on every first monday of the month, with our first meeting was on 4th September. On 14th September we had a RequestTracker (RT) up and running; all emails sent to our mail address (vienna2007@yapceurope.org) were forwarded to the RT and to our internal mailing list.

The following months were mostly busy with looking for sponsors, adding content to the website, working out the budget and finalising the invitations of the Perl 'celebrities'.

In November, we prepared a "Call for Sponsorship" document (PDF), which we sent to various companies.

The first Call for Papers was mailed on 12th January, and submissions started to trickle in soon after.

We got a lot of help from Birmingham.pm, the organisers of YAPC::Europe 2006. Not only did they send us their sponsor brochure and lots of other helpful hints, they also visited us from 10th to 13th February and gave us a cheque amounting to 3.500 Euros, to help with some of the initial funding.

In January 2007, we produced 25 YAPC::Europe 2007 promo T-Shirts. Several Vienna.pm members wore them during the German Perl Workshop 2007 from 21st to 23rd February. We also gave some to Birmingham.pm and sent the few remaining shirts to other Europen Perl Hackers.

During the German Perl Workshop, we sent out the first Call for Participation. The online payment system was working, with an early bird tariff available until 31st March. As a further incentive, we raffled two books about the city of Vienna among all early bird attendees.

Unfortunately on March 8th we had to announce that the date of YAPC::Europe 2007 had been forced to be moved, to begin a day earlier, because so many Viennese hotels were already completely booked due to a very big (30.000 attendees) cardiologist congress. The new announced dates for the conference were 28th to 30th August 2007.

On April 2nd we announced our plan to host some hackathons, in parallel with the conference, and requested the submission of hackathon proposals. We were please to include an incentive of 500 Euros travel and/or hotel funding for the person moderating the hackathon.

On May 16th, we announced that we would do a Job Fair. Companies sponsoring at least 500 Euros would be able to participate. In the end, 10 companies made use of this opportunity.

On May 29th, we closed the talk submissions. We had 103 talks submitted from 64 speakers. This amount was by one third above our schedule capabilities. We had some difficult choices to make.

In the background, we decided on the catering for the coffee breaks, and where to have the attendees dinner. The latter especially proved to be quite a difficult task, as the expected number of attendees was still uncertain, but we could already see that there was a good chance of having a rather large number of attendees to accommodate come the event itself.

On 14th June, we announced which talks had been accepted. However, setting up a schedule proved to be very hard, and took us until 16th July to finally complete a version we could make public.

The last month prior to the conference was spent busily working, with weekly organiser meetings and lots of work in between (or so I've been told, as I was travelling through Mongolia at that time ... ;))

On August 9th we were sorry to have to announce that one of our invited guest speakers, Audrey Tang, was unable attend YAPC::Europe 2007. She suggested we invite Chia-Liang Kao instead, which we did and thankfully CL was able to cover all Audrey's talks.

As the place chosen for the attendees dinner could only handle 320 people at most, with our attendence numbers exceeding this number, we had to announce that all those folks who had registered late, would not be able to attend the dinner.

On 27th August, the pre-conference meeting took place. Although the venue we had choosen for the event was a little small, we have to blame all our attendees, who all decided to turned up there, without telling us they would ;) We'd anticipated about 50 people to be there, but approximately 150 gathered at the The Centimeter III. Unfortunately service was a bit slow, but the food (and drink) did arrive in the end, so nobody had to starve.

On 28th August, YAPC::Europe 2007 started properly. Alas we did not get set up as quickly as we would have liked on the first morning, so there was a rather big queue for registration. WLAN did not work in the Morgan Stanley Audimax, but did everywhere else. We understand that no matter how well prepared you might think you are, there will always be a few problems. With patience we got through the registration line and got the show on the road.

Transport to and from the attendees dinner worked very well. The Downside was that there was not enough food (especially vegeterian) and not much beer (but a Heurigen shouldn't serve beer anyway...). The staff managed to get lots of desserts and schnaps balancing the former insufficiency.

Some other issues:

  • Not enough signposts
  • Schedule changes not communicated well enough
    -> put an up-to-date schedule for each room on the door of the room
  • There were no power plugs in the auditoriums, but more then enough in other places
    -> we knew that in advance but could not add more due to house security issues
  • The auction was kind of chaotic. Maybe better preparation would help.
    -> Get a list of all items (including novelty items (arm-wrestling etc)) and set up the order in which to auction them off
    -> Make sure everybody knows what 'mass items' (books, t-shirts) are available, and how to bid for them.
  • The seats were uncomfortable.
  • No printed proceedings. Some speakers would have prefered to see a proper publication, for their CV / University. Some attendees like to read the articles on their way home. However, we still think that it's not worth the effort (also: think of all the dead trees!)

After the conference, everybody rested a bit.

We met again on 17th September to discuss the budget and what to do with the remaining money, and to party!

We decided to continue the regular monthly meetings, which are now public Technical / Social Meetings, the first of which happened on October 1st.

Final Words

Organising YAPC::Europe 2007 was challenging, interesting, sometimes exhausting, but most of all, making it finally happen has been really really fun. And that's what makes the community really outstanding!

Be social, use perl and *spread the word* about it!

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  • Once again thanks to Domm, all the hard working team and all the attendees. It was a fabulous event. I returned home inspired and the inspiration is still with me. Magical. Thank you very much.