C4L2011 planning wishlist

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Code4Lib 2011 ideas

See also C4L2010planning: wishlist and 2010 feedback survey results including these ideas for 2011.


  1. Ask people to download in advance
    1. Or hijack a computer lab with the needed software/files
  2. Remind preconference leaders 2 weeks before the conference to send an email to registrants. (Email registrants 1 week in advance b/c time before travel is hectic, may be offline)


  1. Codesprint
  2. Hackathon
  3. Digital humanities and libraries - This pre-conference/workshop will introduce participants to the concepts surrounding digital humanities computing. Built on the seemingly rudimentary process of counting words, digital humanities computing enables the student, scholar, or researcher to do "distant reading" and textual analysis against a single text or a large corpus. With the ever increasing amount of full text in our libraries, digital humanities computing offers significant growth opportunities for librarianship.


  1. If you do the preconferences in the main conference space (vs. in spread-out off-site spots), many people will expect breakfast or at least regular coffee/tea/soft-drink breaks throughout the day (so have them?)
    1. Should we do breakfast/lunch groups for preconferences? - yo_bj
    2. Preconference registration fees should reflect expenses of food/drink
  2. BOF tables for conference lunches?
  3. I'd love caffeinated soda for breakfast - not a coffee drinker, but I need my fix ;)
  4. Is it possible to get a hot breakfast with/instead of continental?


  1. Liked all the preorganization of social acivities
  2. Newcomer dinner - a success! Let's say 4 vets and 4 newbies for each group though.
    1. Maybe get vets to sign up first before unleashing the newbies on the sign-up. Lists were flooded with new folks before vets started to sign up in force. [yo_bj]
    2. Asheville was relatively easy to get a list of restaurants online, but I'd imagine that other places won't be. Some collaboration with the local arrangements folks with getting a list of restaurants for the dinner might be a good idea in the future. [yo_bj]
    3. Maybe have newcomer tables at lunches with signs / balloons / whatever to facilitate chatter then too.
  3. Make Werewolf a regular social event and schedule a room for it


Providence, power supplies on top of the table, worked well (Asheville, they were on the floor). However, make sure the number of outlets match the number of seats; too few to go around at Providence.

Presentations and Program

  1. Ask for slides (investigate options for sharing ad-hoc)
  2. Reserve time in the schedule for "Ask Anything"
  3. Schedule the lightning talk slots before the breakouts on each day (IMO after -JodiS)
  4. Remind speakers to fontup
  5. Make the lightning talks timing 5+1 min x N speakers. Will often be under time, seldom over. [- tim shearer].
  6. To give as many people as possible a chance to present, don't let one person give more than one talk, and don't let people doing talks give lightning talks unless there are unfilled slots [--escowles]. (Jodi Schneider: For 20 min talks talks, I'm ok with overlap when there are multiple presenters)
  7. Should there be a limit on how many times the same person can give a presentation? I (jrochkind) think maybe so (even though I did like all of the repeat-person presentations in 2010, I think prioritizing "no spectators" and spreading presentations around more may still be worth it)
  8. Have speaker release forms available online two weeks before conference - speakers bring final copy with them.
  9. Encourage use of screencasts for demos! Live demos are nice and shiny, but are a liability during presentations (wasted time trying to get it to work, no backups in case of live demo fail, etc.). The presentations that had screencasts went well, and screencasts could reduce the need to switch laptops due to software needs. - yo_bj


  1. Expect higher bandwidth issues on pre-conferences if held in same venue. ???
  2. Find out exactly which ethernet ports in the venue are on the protected bandwidth dedication and be sure speakers are hooked to them.
  3. Make sure wireless access points are not plugged into ports that have protected bandwidth dedication.
  4. For preconferences, do downloads before coming - minimizes problems with bandwidth, and saves time at the preconference to work with the app
  5. Bandwidth usage, for planning
    1. Monday
    2. Tuesday
    3. Wednesday
  6. "having a local file server (or external hardrives) where people can download various software would help"


  1. Would it be better to do ask anything before the first bunch of breakout sessions? Organize some breakout sessions based on questions/answers. Though, Weds before lunch worked well, IMO...
  2. Consider if big pad or wiki or both. Not sure. [+1 big pad -ksclarke]

Name Tags

  1. Include institution, please.
  2. Leave space on name tags for first-timer self-identification
  3. Leave space on name tags for doodling one's interests
  4. Not really name tags, but take photo of a person on checkin and put up on a page so you can see people who attended too.
  5. QR codes (hey, we are geeks, right?)

Packet Handed Out

  1. list of attendees - name, institution, email ... projects/topic of interest? (free text field on form?)
  2. map of meeting rooms
  3. brief schedule (titles only)
  4. full schedule (abstracts)
  5. list of restaurants is great!
  6. listing of area attractions is great - consider listing local independent bookstores, too
  7. let's make these print on demand, otherwise available online or downloadable onto SD or USB, but no USB giveaways.

Hospitality Suite

  • Projector is awesome - do this
  • Adjoining rooms are tough places to be unless you're one of the partiers. See if anyone will volunteer for adjacent rooms?
  • More keys to room/designated host - ended up going to the room a few times times during dinner/supper hours only to find it locked. :c( - yo_bj {hotel software only allows a max of 4 keys - then it resets - lysiakld - so need to find a better way to share keys}

Room size/slide visibility

  1. Smaller distance to front of room
  2. Make sure bottom of screen is visible with peoples' heads in the way

T Shirts

  1. non-black much appreciated at 2011
  2. non-white much appreciated at 2011
  3. non-neon much appreciated at 2011
  4. non-transparent much appreciated at 2011

Lightning Talks

  1. Factor in some extra time to lightning talks
  2. Force people to use one lappy, load stuff on it in morning/break [+"strongly encourage" cgordon]
  3. Have someone really big be a bouncer
  4. Do not use wiki for signups, only use the big pad. [+1 yo_bj][+1 ksclarke] {multiple points only contributed to confusion}

Videos and Presentations

  1. Have a page for each presentation BEFORE the conference
  2. Ask presenters to put their own slides on the page for their presentation (including lightning talks)
  3. Have a 'slide captain' who reminds people and follows up at/after the conference
  4. For video permissions, consider having a blanket statement in registration, with an "if you need to opt out, let us know" for inclusiveness. Here's an example IPR policy re copyright/etc

A/V Tech stuff

  1. Make people use a single conference PC (but Mac, Linux, Win? -- or mbklein's mega 3-in one). A single wired presentation machine (as opposed to iffy wifi laptops) should be available for presenters and, especially, lightning talk presenters. Would also address fumbling around with screen resolution settings between talks.
  2. Ensure the PC + microphone arrangement allows the presenters to use their laptop (do demos, read slide notes, etc)
  3. Organize volunteers to do tech support during the program, especially lightning talks. Nobody wants to feel stupid standing in front of a room. This should not have to be the emcee. [-emily lynema] At least one volunteer at front-of-house to remind and assist on-deck presenter to plug into the video switcher and get prepared. Maybe a second vol to unplug the presenter when finished. [-jstirnaman]
  4. Organize a presenter tech briefing each morning(?) so they're better aware of video-switches, ethernet, mic options, etc. [-jstirnaman]
  5. Organize lightning talk shepherds who will force those doing lightning talks to put their presentations on a single computer (or at least as few computers as possible) [-emily lynema].
  6. Remind speakers to fontup
  7. Have Mac dongles of all sorts (IMO Mac users should bring dongles for their comps if they intend to use them at podium - lysiakld)[or not use personal Mac laptops outside of the dedicated conference Mac laptop- yo_bj]
  8. Some (most?) presenters didn't care for the lectern (but it keeps them in place, which makes recording easier..){what's the alternative when you have a struggling videographer and the house sound hooked up to the lectern mike? would a table have been a better choice - i.e. more real estate and more open? lysiakld}[personally, I like lecterns, maybe some way of having or not having it as speaker prefers? -ksclarke] Have a wireless mic option, either handheld or lapel, for those wanting to avoid the lectern (still makes video tough, though) and ensure the venue can support another mic. [-jstirnaman]
  9. Had dedicated eth line for speakers, but it wasn't used during main conf... not needed then? [note: I would've used, but was told it wasn't any faster than the wireless. --emily lynema][perhaps a mailing list of speakers (set up ahead of time) where this sort of info is distributed(?); we tried to pass the word on-site but this obviously didn't work; personally, I think we shouldn't do it again... too much hassle for speakers swapping connections and turning off wireless given the short amount of time that they have (I think this was the main reason it wasn't used even by those that knew about it) -ksclarke]
  10. Remind people to load web pages, play video, etc. ahead of time on the presentation computer. Have the presentation computer available more than 1 minute before talks.
  11. Would be very nice if the podium/lectern was properly lit -- bright enough to decent recording, independent controls from house lights (heh, so much of this is constrained by the venue - i.e. in Asheville, podium was located between two rooms where an air wall normally is closed - can't do anything to retrofit that - n.b. next local committee - investigate this type of issue - but you won't have much control).
  12. Even a couple of par can 38s would make a difference in lighting - usually cheap to rent [-jstirnaman]
  13. Audience microphones!!
  14. Coordinate with local staff to have necessary cables to do slide capture
  15. Coordinate with local staff to have a house audio feed
  16. Would be amazing to do live-switching for video capture and write out directly to disk -- would require some tech, dedicated machine, volunteers, and plenty of hard drive space..
  17. Use screen capture software, e.g. Camtasia Relay, instead of relying on video. Quality++ Our campus has a Relay server. I can ask if they'd let us pound it for 3+ days. The real hurdle might be trying to send the video to the Relay server over an already stressed pipe. [-jstirnaman]
  18. Use a Canopus/Grass Valley TwinPact for presentation capture
  19. Make sure to log video timecode vs real world clock, so people synchronize video + IRC logs or similar.
  20. The tough part of all of this is balancing what would be nice with the fiscal reality - this conference's registration doesn't even cover the food consumed. Attendees do not know that. So, how do we balance the fiscal constraints with the needs/likes/desires? That's the dream of the local organizing committee.... Given unlimited money, we'll give you the sun, moon, stars....
  21. Audience microphones - portable or on stands? Each has its issues.... (IMO on stands) [+1 stands cgordon]


  1. Look at our levels - still appropriate? too high/too low?
  2. Look at sponsorship of particular events (X wants to sponsor wireless or Y wants to sponsor video recording)... do it or not?
  3. Itemized sponsorship? ($500 to put something in the registration folder, $2000 to provide conference bag, etc.)[sounds like hassle]
  4. Add a $50 or $100 community sponsorship. No benefits other that mention in program/on website.
  5. Talk with potential sponsors well in advance to determine what they'd like to get for their money; what would they like? {vendors set their marketing budgets well in advance - it would be good for local organizing committee to escalate requests earlier in the year

with hopefully better results}


  1. In addition to publishers contacted previously, solicit book donations from ##Addison Wesley/Prentice Hall
    1. NoStarch
    2. brainstorm more software vendors