IndiaFOSS 4.0 - Suggestions thread

We figured it might be a good idea to make a compiled list of suggestions for the next edition of IndiaFOSS, compiling the feedback shared in forum threads, feedback forms and what came through random discussions with volunteers and participants. Please add on to this thread with your suggestions, so it can serve as a checklist for us while we plan IndiaFOSS 4.0

Do note that these are just suggestions that came through participants, and not things that we definitely plan to implement. Any major decisions/changes that need to be made will be done after due discussion on the forum.

From feedback forms

  • Maintain silence and decorum outside the main auditorium to prevent disturbance.
  • The selection process could have been better. Talks this time failed to deliver on the promises made by the talk titles, one particular suggestion that came in was to do mock presentations before approving talks, so marketing content doesn’t slide in.
  • Improve the topics for panel discussions.
  • Higher emphasis on hardware
  • Effectively communicate the parallel activties (most people were not aware of workshops etc.)
  • Talks should be technical, rather than just showcasing their projects.
  • Scheduling of the talks should be improved.
  • We should ask about dietary restrictions in registration form and plan the menu.

From the forum thread

  • Conference needed a single point of contact - specially first day morning
  • Avoid stalls giving away merch.
  • Opening note should have been done by someone with more experience / credibility (the volunteers did an excellent job). The opening note should lay down the context of the event and setup the audience for what to expect. Something that is inspirational and motivating.
  • Talk sequences could have been better. More general talks should have been upfront and specific talks in 2nd half. Later half for panels and discussions.
  • Make it a fair along with a conference: We should open up the space and add many more tables / stalls. We can give away tables to all FOSS projects for a very low price.
  • End the day with music
  • We should start later (10-10.30 would work i guess) so that we have more time to set up everything in the morning.
  • Set up WIFI and Power at least 1 or 2 days before. And provide WIFI and enough power outlets for Participants also, if budget permits. separate access points for internal usage(streams, stalls, workshops) and participants would be ideal.
  • Finalize the talks and workshops and publish the schedule early.
  • Assign on ground responsibilities to volunteers well much in advance.
  • Test registration desk process, others, and those team members at least 1 day before.
  • Panellists could have been better.
  • Keep all experience desks and such in ground floor, where they would get more visibility
  • There was space around/behind Audi 2 that we might have used for these stalls instead of going up a level (Context - this could not be done because that area was booked by another event, we’ll book the whole auditorium this time in advance)
  • Allot a small area dedicated to activities for young participants.
  • This should be communicated beforehand, so that people can bring along their kids.
  • Coffee and tea should be available throughout the day instead of only at specific times of the day.
  • We need a process / system for training volunteers and clearly communicating responsibilities.
  • Reduce points of manual and adhoc intervention with automation as much as possible
  • Make CFP reviews fully external / community based with only minimal guidance / involvement from the organisers and volunteers with other responsibilities.
  • Better documentation of the planning process on forum.
  • Improve ticketing system - Participants struggled to find their ticket at the registration desk. It was difficult for them to search for the ticket email since they had received multiple emails from our end. Maybe a CTA for participants to download the ticket could help.
  • Volunteers should be sensitized.
  • Ensure availability of sockets and charging points.
  • Try to get better rooms for workshops, or cap the participants at a certain number.

General Discussions (from my memory)

  • Follow frappeverse’s model of talk selection. Ensure every speaker goes through a mock call. @rushabh maybe you could help us with guidelines for a good confernece talk :slight_smile:
  • Too many activities happening parallely increase overload for volunteers, force participants to make choices between a talk and a workshop, and completely take away the opportunity for parallel session organisers to listen to talks.
  • To prevent this, we could have talks going on only for a certain part of the day and then kickstart the unconference activities post lunch. It’s not really an unconference when there is a conference happening parallely in the auditorium anyway :sweat_smile:
  • A single track conference in terms of talks. (This is going to be a seperate and lengthy discussion, will make a post for the same)

Other feedback