Camp Checklist

We've run couple of enjoyable and worthwhile camps (miniconfs) in the past - usually one camp within every 6 months. This page serves as a checklist for what to consider when preparing a new camp and thereby also as a collection for "lessons learned" from previous camps.

Checklist

  • Find a maintainer who hosts and organizes the camp
  • Setup up a Doodle poll to find a date that suits a majority of people
  • Create a wiki page with a schedule and the venue details (simply copy and adjust of the existing ones)
  • Recommend nearby accommodation
  • Announce the camp details on maintainers@
  • Check whether there's a local audience to which we could give 2-3 OpenCSW and Solaris package building related talks (e.g. user groups, colleagues, students)
  • Make sure that wireless and/or cable is available and usable at the meeting venue
  • Make sure that either a whiteboard or a flipchart is available at the meeting venue
  • A beamer or a large display helps
  • Organize a video cam / conferencing system (Dago has one) to broadcast the meeting on ustream.tv

Considerations

  • The easier it is for maintainers to book their accommodation themselves, the easier it is for them to decide to attend on short notice (also easier for the host)
  • The easier it is for people (i.e. maintainers & users) to reach the venue the better
  • The closer the meeting venue is to accommodation and to food places, the less time is spent traveling
  • Camps with 3 days instead of 2 feel less rushed (as the last day is usually only 1/2 day for people who have to catch their flights)
  • A meeting venue that allows subgroups to split off and discuss topics elsewhere is helpful
  • Think about people calling in from remote locations, e.g. other continents. Find a way to do conferencing via telephone, e.g. microphone in the middle of the room + VoIP calling out to PSTN.
  • Schedule meals around times when tele-conferencing is possible. The sweet spot for conferences between the West Coast and Europe is between 18:00 CET (09:00 PST) and 20:00 CET (11:00 PST).
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