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[edit] Jobs that are better done locally

[edit] Venue arrangements


  • We need accommodation for people to sleep in, rooms for talks, rooms for hacking, and somewhere for attendees to eat reasonable food
  • If possible, they should be in the same building, or otherwise as close together as possible
  • Wheelchair access is needed to all talk/hacking areas, and accommodation may be needed meeting special requirements for disabled attendees
  • All at the lowest price possible


  • Liaise with venue over conference and hacking room arrangements, meal arrangements
  • Make sure enough chairs and tables will be available in the relevant rooms
  • Arrange projectors/projection screens/audio equipment from the venue, or arrange with the venue to bring it in ourselves, and arrange separate hire of the equipment
  • Make sure enough power will be available in the hacking areas (so we don't blow the fuses/cause a power-cut in the building)
  • Find out what audiovisual equipment is available in the talk rooms, and what we need to provide externally

[edit] Travel information and visa assistance

  • Provide information to attendees as early as possible about the best way to reach the venue, including international and local travel advice
  • Provide information about visa requirements
  • Ensure that those who need visas apply for them on time, in the best way to maximise their chance of obtaining a visa

[edit] Inventory trackers

  • Keep track of incoming items as they are delivered to/lent to DebConf (often items arrive by courier before the conference starts)
  • Label items with their ownership to avoid confusion at the end of the conference
  • Keep track of items as they are returned to their owners after DebConf

[edit] Conference volunteers

Usually needed for tasks like:

  • If possible meet attendees when they arrive at the airport and help them find their onward travel
  • Staff the registration/information desk at the venue
  • Make sure talks start and stop on time
  • Find the people giving talks if they don't appear
  • Work for the video team
  • Ensure that the venue is used safely and kept clean. (And in general that we don't upset the venue staff/owners.)

[edit] Debian Day

  • Decide whether to run a Debian Day / DebConf Open Day / equivalent event. The best case for this is if the conference dates coincide with the main Debian Day. In that case, we should focus on organising some events for video streaming to other worldwide Debian Day events.
  • Note that some DebConf Debian Day events have had very poor attendance, including because no one has had time to work actively on finding an audience. We have had several years where the local team were sure this would not be a problem for their event, but in fact a lot of energy and time was used to arrange an event with an extremely small audience.
  • Either arrange for appropriate DebConf talks to be scheduled on a single day for others to attend, or arrange an independent set of events.
  • Either arrange for use of DebConf talk room(s) for the appropriate period, or arrange an independent venue. If the main site is being used, decide whether Debian Day attendees will be allowed into hacklab areas etc., and think about security issues.
  • Typical events include "Introduction to Debian" type talks, case studies of Debian use in different organisations, and presentations of interesting work recently incorporated into Debian.
  • Recruit attendees. It is necessary that the person in charge of this should be someone with few other DebConf responsibilities.

[edit] Day trip

  • Arrange a day trip to somewhere that will interest the attendees
  • Many attendees don't have time to travel around outside DebConf, so for these people the destination chosen may be their only experience of the venue country outside the conference venue itself
  • The trip should be possible for disabled attendees (e.g. in wheelchairs) -- this may require special arrangements, though it's preferable if they can travel with everyone else
  • Depending on the funds available, it may be necessary to ask attendees to pay for the day trip themselves

[edit] Conference dinner

  • Consider possible arrangements for a conference dinner
  • The main requirement is that everyone can eat at the same time, which often isn't possible under the food arrangements used during the rest of DebConf
  • Collect detailed pricing quotations, so that the overall DebConf team can decide whether or not a conference dinner is affordable

[edit] Jobs that can be done remotely, but need local cooperation

[edit] Sponsorship

  • Find sponsors who will provide the funds needs to pay for DebConf
  • Including sponsors local to the conference venue (e.g. from that city or country)

[edit] Treasury

  • Keep track of incoming and outgoing money
  • Keep track of what countries/currencies money is in, and where it needs to go
  • Including money in a bank account local to the venue (should belong to a registered organisation, not a personal bank account)

[edit] Printing/conference bag

  • Print paper copies of the conference proceedings
  • Print paper copies of the talk schedule
  • Print conference t-shirts with high-quality sponsor logos
  • If appropriate, obtain paper copies of local information -- e.g. maps, tourist information -- for attendees (can usually be obtained free from local tourist information)
  • Make sure that enough bags (and their contents) are kept aside and later sent to conference sponsors

[edit] Press

  • Make contact with the local and international press
  • Keep track of existing contacts and feed them information they will find interesting
  • Generate press coverage that is positive for Debian and for DebConf's sponsors

[edit] Website

  • Manage content on the conference website
  • Including e.g. information about the conference dates and venue

[edit] Site IT infrastructure

  • Arrange for use of a reliable high-bandwidth connection to the conference venue (should be able to cope with hundreds of simultaneous users, as well as live streaming of conference talks)
  • Set up a wireless and wired network to deal with hundreds of simultaneous users reliably
  • Provide servers for use by the video team, and by attendees
  • If possible, provide desktop machines or laptops that can be used by any attendees who can't bring their own computer

[edit] Video

  • Film as many of the talks as possible, for those who can't attend the conference physically
  • Upload initial video files as soon as possible
  • If possible, provide live streams of the talks

[edit] Final report

  • Work on getting the final report written and published quickly after DebConf
  • If necessary, organise writing the final report from the previous DebConf: unfortunately the report has often been delayed too long, so that the next conference's organisers end up having to push something out in order to help get new sponsorship

[edit] Jobs that don't require local cooperation

[edit] Talks

  • Gather talk submissions (through the conference management system)
  • Rank the talk submissions and choose a final list of approved talks
  • Gather papers relating to talks from those who wish to submit them

[edit] Talk scheduling

  • Schedule the approved talks, to fit the rooms available at the conference venue
  • Try to put talks in rooms where all those interested will have space to sit
  • Try to avoid putting talks with a high overlap in audience at the same time

[edit] Travel sponsorship (herb)

  • Gather information about attendees' sponsorship requirements for travel
  • And potentially also for food/accommodation, but we've been able to be generous with these in recent years, just granting them to everyone who asked in time
  • Rank the requests from attendees
  • Allocate money for travel sponsorship as it becomes available

[edit] Room allocation in accommodation

  • Gather room preferences and arrival/departure from attendees (should be done through the conference registration system)
  • Allocate rooms to attendees, trying to minimise what DebConf has to pay (and also minimising room changes for attendees)

[edit] admin

  • Manage servers and services

[edit] list admin

  • Manage email lists -- usually only requires moderating a few messages
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