2017 Lessons Learned

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Code4Lib 2017 Lessons Learned

Venue planning and negotiation

  • Coming soon.

Organizing Volunteers

  • Change the website committee to the communications committee with web and email subcommittees.
  • The email subcommittee should be responsible for communicating with various committees that need announcements to go out at various times. Ideally the first year would create a script for which messages to send when, and who to consult with. e.g. (Call for volunteers, Call for keynote, Keynote voting opens, Keynote voting final reminder, Call for submissions, Call for submissions reminder, Submission voting, Before you come to the conference, Welcome to the conference, Post conference survey, etc.)

Program & Keynotes

  • The keynote voting period was WAY too short. A week does not give people enough time to read up and do research on nominees they might want to vote for. In past years voting was up for much longer. I understand that the organizers are short on time, but any deviation from the norm should be emphasized and there should at least be a reminder announcement as we approach the deadline. I am somewhat involved with the website committee, so I imagine others that are less involved probably were also disappointed.
  • Workshop and program committees seem to work independently generally and don't explicitly coordinate their deadlines. I think they end up around the same time due to the timeline but there's obviously some variation.
  • Send rejection letters before releasing program schedule


  • Coming soon.


  1. Get voting technology squared away and ready to spin up before the Call For Proposals start
  2. If descriptions are on a separate page from the actual voting form, double (triple?) check that the two lists match up before pushing out the voting links.
  3. Use Dieboldatron to address 1 & 2.


  • When a sponsor commits, we should ask them exactly how they would like to be named in acknowledgements and sponsor listings. One 2017 sponsor ended up wanting their sponsorship to be listed in the name of one of their projects.
  • It was very time-consuming to gather logos from sponsors; we should consider alternatives and supplements to emailing them for logos. Suggestions include
    • accompanying the invoice with a link to a form requesting upload of the logos
    • seek out the logo from any press and marketing materials they have online and, when confirming the sponsorship and invoicing it, suggest use of it as a default unless they have a different version to provide. (This may not help, though, for sponsors from whom we need print-quality logos)


  • Coming soon


  • Coming soon.

T-shirts / Swag

  • It might be helpful to secure in advance permission to use the t-shirt design winner (and other submissions) in other specific contexts, including the conference website, the main Code4Lib website, signage, and displays and screensavers at the conference.


  • Coming soon.


  • s/IRC/Slack


  • The schedule used for the 2017 conference, with links to templates for announcements and communication with applicants can be found at <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nPBfP85KP7NzMrM41IwOZdigVzcXiP4NYCivKKLkeAk/edit>
  • The 2017 committee found that asking applicants for their housing preference with their application caused confusion. We recommend not asking for any information that is not needed for the application process.

Registration/Sign-in (during conference)

  • Coming soon.


  • Coming soon.

Child Care

  • Coming soon.


  • Coming soon.


  • Any images used on the website for branding the conference should either have an appropriate CC license or permissions should be secured in advance for using such images in other contexts, including on the main Code4Lib website, printed materials, and on-site displays.


  • We need a communications committee with a website subcommittee, and an emails/social-media subcommittee.
  • Draft email templates for each announcement (and reminder emails for each), specify stakeholders, and suggested send dates/windows.
  • No more communication fails.
  • As it's happened in the past, we should make sure that the registration process lets us know if any minors register for the conference.
  • Google Slides is handy for speakers to use and as a mechanism for sharing slides, but getting presentation mode up and running is a bit awkward. Assuming that by the next time around it hasn't evolved to the point where presentation mode is as straightforward to invoke as (say) PowerPoint. Not a big deal, but if via practicing or technical tweaks the transitions can be made smoother, that would be groovy.