2014 Lessons Learned

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Code4Lib 2014 Conference Planning -- Lessons Learned


  • Getting sizing that works for everyone is hard.
  • There may be some design fatigue in the community.
  • Consider some other type of swag that doesn't involve sizing difficulties -- like re-usable coffee mugs (then attendees could use them all conference!)

Food and Beverage

  • Coffee in unlimited quantities is valued more highly than food at breaks.


  • Consider a winnowing process for pre-conferences to limit them in advance of registration to the number of rooms that you have. Could either do advance voting like with talks, or say that you have x number of rooms and take the top x pre-conferences, etc. We set a 5-person registration minimum for A/V support this year, and found that all the pre-conferences met that limit (all 19 of them!) so it was not particularly useful.
  • Ask ahead of time to find out if pre-conf organizers are planning to open their pre-confs to non-conference attendees.


  • When talking to sales folks, get the REAL numbers on how many attendees will fit in a space (this means WITH A/V included, which could be 15% less or more than advertised capacities).

Organizing Volunteers

  • It's helpful to have a local representative on all volunteer committees to help grease the wheels.