PyCon 2013 is shaping up to be the largest PyCon ever; not only in terms of attendees but also in terms of opportunities to hear new ideas and meet new people. The conference will have six talk tracks (up from five in 2012), a PyData conference during the sprints, and a large number of the ever popular open spaces. As we move closer to the conference, travel plans get finalized and excitement builds. You may find yourself wishing that you’d presented a talk or got involved in some other way. Luckily the opportunity is still out there: The 4th annual PyCon poster session!
Why present a poster?
The poster session offers a unique experience both for presenters and attendees. As a presenter, you get to interact directly with your audience, share your passion and your idea, and immediately address questions in a more conversational manner. On top of that, the environment is generally less stressful and more easygoing than giving a formal talk.
The layout of the event is very open with rows of 4'x4' poster boards, with plenty of room to gather at each board as attendees move from poster to poster, stopping along the way to join the conversation at the posters that interest them. The poster session also offers presenters the opportunity to record a short presentation of their poster that is released along with the PyCon talk videos.
What We Look For In a Poster
Posters should follow all of the usual guidelines that we look for in talk and tutorial proposals. The true beauty of a poster session is the accessibility; just about any Python related topic is fair game. That said, the more accessible and relevant your topic is to a larger crowd, the more interest your poster will draw. You never know who might show up to your poster.
Users of all levels go to the poster session, so you might teach something to a beginner or learn something yourself from an expert. Want to really please the folks that stop by your poster? Print out letter-sized versions of your poster to handout (just make sure the print is all legible). You’ll be amazed at the number of people you see walking around taking photos of posters that interest them.
Deadlines and Details
The poster submission deadline is January 16th, 2013, but poster proposals are reviewed and accepted as they come in. Submit your proposal early, and give yourself plenty of time to prepare as well as receive and respond to reviewer feedback. Check out the poster session details and check out the poster lineup from PyCon 2012 to see what we've had in the past!
How to Submit
Start by heading to the PyCon 2013 dashboard and create an account (accounts from 2012 and prior are not retained). From there, fill out your speaker profile with some details about who you are, what you do, etc. After that’s up to date, the poster proposal is next. Pick a title, category, and intended audience, then dive into your details. The brief outline text will go in the conference program, so do keep it brief but descriptive enough to attract an audience.
The bulk of your proposal lies in the detailed abstract, which is where you really sell the reviewers. The format you choose is up to you -- whatever shows your topic the best. Some choose an outline format, some choose paragraphs. Use the additional notes area to share anything else related to your proposal, such as your qualifications on the topic or a list of previous presentations.