Difference between revisions of "How To Plan A Code4LibCon"

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* Get approved by the community
* Get approved by the community
* Find a hotel, negotiate and sign a contract with them
* Find a hotel, negotiate and sign a contract with them. [[Sample RFI]]
* Invite the community to help with  
* Invite the community to help with  
* Have a timeline
* Have a timeline

Revision as of 21:16, 16 June 2011

  • Apply to be a host
  • Consider your action plan
    • Identify your venues for both the conference and the hotel (if different). This is critical, as you'll want to get some cost estimates from each. When we hosted in Corvallis, the campus provided the conference space at a low cost, and this made running the conference much more affordable. When we hosted the conference in Portland, and held everything in a single hotel, we had to acquire 2x the amount of sponsorship than what appears to be normal.
    • Speaking of sponsorship, I believe we average around 20k per year in sponsorships to help run the conference and keep the registration low. Factor this into your budget.
    • Also, when you get cost estimates, don't forget to include food costs.
    • WIRELESS: Always an issue it seems. If you are proposing to host the conference on a campus, check with your IT folks about any additional costs. If you are looking at a hotel or other venue, make sure you talk to them about bandwidth and costs. IMHO, the two things that really need to be addressed each year are connectivity and food - everything else generally manages itself in terms of facilities.
    • See if your institution has a conference planning services group or something similar - if it does, then I highly recommend using them. They'll handle registration, budgeting, contracts, etc, and really make life easy.
    • Regarding conference hotel, you'll want to make sure that there are blocks of rooms available - not usually too bad an issue in larger towns, but in some college or smaller towns, hotel rooms may be limited.
    • Remember, your institution is taking the risk of covering any costs not covered by registrations and sponsorships. To this point, I believe the conference has always ended up in the black, but there is always a chance it won't in a given year. Drafting a rough budget before submitting a proposal is critical.

  • Get approved by the community
  • Find a hotel, negotiate and sign a contract with them. Sample RFI
  • Invite the community to help with
  • Have a timeline

Important Public Resources

Important Private Resources

  • Code4LibCon-hostsite listserv
  • Budgets from previous years
  • Sponsorship info (private)

Gender Diversity & Minority Scholarship Committee

The scholarship committee is a self-selected group that manages the gender diversity & minority scholarships. Separate groups handle AngelFund and Code4LibJapan scholarships.

Suggestions received

  • Send to a wider bunch of listservs, including for national orgs (ALA/SLA/MLA) & relevant sections? & student chapter


  1. Put out a call
  2. Receive and coordinate applications
  3. Distribute applications to the committee
  4. Select awardees
  5. Inform selected candidates
  6. Notify unsuccessful candidates
  7. Announce to Code4Lib main listserv and post on code4lib.org (e.g. http://code4lib.org/node/274 )
  8. Hosts work with awardees on reimbursement, registration, etc.
  9. Follow up with awardees after the conference -- receive report, ask for suggestions, etc.

Program Committtee

The program committee is a self-selected group that manages talk proposals and other aspects of the program.

(Add more info for the program committee here!)

Talk Acceptance Letter (samples)

Dear <<first name last name>>,
On behalf of the Code4Lib Program Planning Committee, I am pleased to 
notify you that your proposal, <<proposal title>> has been accepted for 
the Code4Lib <<year>> in <<location>>.  Please reply to this message to 
confirm your intention to present the approved session at the Conference.  
If at any time in the future you need to bow out or have any program 
changes, please notify us immediately.  You will be sent a letter of 
agreement soon.
The schedule for the conference is here:


You will have 20 minutes for your talk, including questions and answers.
A quick transition between speakers will be necessary.
It is very important that you focus your presentation on the more unique 
and technical aspects of your topic whenever possible.  Although Code4Lib
attendees come from many different work environments, they attend Code4Lib 
events for information technology education.
Experts like you are the heart of Code4Lib.  We really appreciate your contribution 
and look forward to working with you.

Talk Rejection Letter (sample)

I'm sorry, but your prepared talk proposal for the 2010 Code4Lib Conference in Asheville, NC did not receive enough votes to make it into the program. But here are a couple things you should know:

- The field of presentations was very large (probably the largest we have had so far) and very strong, so you should not take it too hard.
- Please remember that there are many additional opportunities for participating, including lightning talks (open to anyone), breakout sessions (open to anyone to suggest and/or participate), and a special "Ask Anything" (or reply anything) open session. Also, the evening socializing opportunities are considered some of the most rewarding times of the event.

Again, my condolences on not having your talk proposal accepted, but I hope we still see you in Asheville, NC in February.

Sponsorship Committee

Sample Sponsorship Request Letter

As you know, Code4Lib is a group of library technologists, programmers, system administrators, web designers, and librarians. Started in 2003, the group continues to grow--with a journal, a mailing list, and an active IRC channel. Since 2005, Code4Lib has sponsored an annual conference, which has attracted programmers and librarians from around the world.

Topics at past conferences have included library information systems, new directions in library research, semantic web applications, and information technology standards, among many others. More details about the conference, including schedules of previous conferences, can be found from http://www.code4lib.org/conference/

Our <> conference will be held in <> from <>. Be a part of this library success story by underwriting the conference!

We have several sponsorship levels:

<> I look forward to hearing from you, and can be reached at <>.


<> http://code4lib.org/

Shortly before the Conference


  1. Contact speakers in advance to ask if they need anything, arrange airport pickup, etc

Freenode IRC connection

Historically, conference attendees have had trouble maintaining persistent connections to the #code4lib IRC channel. We'd always assumed we were overwhelming the conference facility's Internet connection, but we were actually running into Freenode's IP-based connection limits. Freenode is supportive of the IRC-as-backchannel model, however, and they're happy to work with organizers to raise the connection limit.

Contact the conference facility in advance and see if you can find out what your public IP address range will be during the conference. (If it starts with 10.*, 192.168.*, or 172.16.*, ask again -- those are "private" IP ranges used for connection sharing.)

Once you have the IP address or range, send an email to ilines@freenode.net containing a request to raise the connection limit. Include conference info, IP range(s), and the expected number of connections. For example:

To: ilines@freenode.net


I'm helping plan the code4lib 2010 conference, taking place in Asheville, NC next week. 
Since our backchannel runs through #code4lib on Freenode, we're trying to plan ahead 
to avoid running up against the connection limit. Would it be possible to raise the cap 
for us during the conference? Details follow.

Conference: code4lib 2010 < http://code4lib.org/conference/2010/ >
Dates: February 22-26, 2010
Attendees: 250
Location: Renaissance Asheville Hotel, Asheville, NC
IP Ranges: and the entire block

We encourage in-channel participation, so we expect a high percentage of attendees to 
be connected at once. We'll also have two or three channel bots connected from the 
conference for the lobby monitors.

Please let me know if you need any further information, and thanks very much for 
your help!


I received an automated reply with a ticket number almost instantly, but didn't hear back after that. I sent a quick followup early on the morning of the 22nd, and received a response (from a human) letting me know that it had been taken care of. (Follow-up, one year later: Same experience. Immediate automated reply, but with a need to follow up with Freenode staff in the #freenode channel to get the ticket resolved.)

Additional support is available from the helpful volunteer Freenode staff in the #freenode channel.

At the Conference


  1. Water at the podium
  2. Speaker gifts
  3. Dinner plans


Lightning Talks

Ask Anything

Book Raffle


Flipcharts can be useful, but it's important to decide what to put on the wiki/website and what to put on a flipchart: images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schwartzray/4392998501/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/47860563@N05/4388430079/

Hospitality Suite

  1. having a few people with room keys, any of whom might need to be available to open up or close down the room at the beginning or end of the evening
  2. making sure the mess left for cleaning staff is an appropriate mess
  3. making sure the noise made near other hotel guests is an appropriate noise
  4. having someone act as a point person to gather a gratuity for the housekeeping staff maintaining the suite

Suggested Timeline