Skip to main content

Part 2: Attendance & Registration (PyCon 2008 Chairman's Report)

From 2006 to 2007 we saw an increase of about 43% in attendance, from 410 to 586 attendees. I was expecting 800-900 people for 2008, but I feared we would see more... and my fears were realized with over 1000 attendees, an increase of 77% over PyCon 2007. We had over 420 people registered for tutorials on the Thursday before the talks (March 13), more than the total conference attendance in 2006 (the first year with a PyCon tutorial day). Attendance at the development sprint was at an all-time high: at least 250, possibly many more.

Registration started late this year, as did early-bird registration. Early-bird registrations accounted for about 75% of the total, and about half of the early-bird registrations were done in the last week (300 over 4 days; over 100 in a single day!). Next year we must open registration earlier and close early-bird registration much earlier, so we have some real numbers to work with early enough to be useful (e.g. for swag orders & catering plans).

The registration system itself had some rough edges, which we've noted and will be working on. It's quite something that there were only rough edges though, since PyCon-Tech was mostly written by one person in his (not-so) spare time. Doug Napoleone could sure use some help on the PyCon-Tech project!

In a classic snafu the credit card processing service used by PyCon & the PSF up and quit the day before the end of early-bird registration. It wasn't our fault or specific to us (many other online businesses were affected), but that didn't stop complaints. Andrew Kuchling and Doug Napoleone did a great job behind the scenes solving problems and soothing people's anxieties.

In addition to the pycon-organizers mailing list, there's also a pycon-tech mailing list. All are welcome!

The phenomenal increase in attendance caused us some growing pains. We had to revise the seating plan in the ballrooms to fit more people (we'd planned to have more tables, but we couldn't do that and fit over 1000 people). The catering plan had to be reworked. The wireless network was affected. I'll address these issues in parts 3 & 4.

Comments

illume said…
Hello,

just a note about credit card processing companies...

All CC processors have problems, so you *need* a backup provider - or two.


cheers,

Popular posts from this blog

PyCon 2018 Registration is Now Open!

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of registration for PyCon 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio! The prior six PyCons have sold out, so prepare for another one and get your tickets early. The first 800 tickets sold are priced at an early bird discount, saving over 20% on corporate tickets and over 12% on individual tickets. Students save $25 if they purchase early!

To get started, create an account and head to https://us.pycon.org/2018/registration/ to get your tickets!

You get a package that is hard to beat when you register for PyCon. The conference itself is three days worth of our community’s 95 best talks, amazing keynote speakers each morning, and our famed lightning talks to close out each day, but it’s much more than that. It’s having over 3,000 people in one place to learn from and share with. It’s joining a conversation in the hallway with the creators of open source projects. It’s taking yourself from beginner to intermediate, or intermediate to advanced. For some, it’s getting st…

PyCon Opens Financial Aid Applications

Even though PyCon prides itself on being an affordable conference, registration is one of several expenses an attendee must incur, and it’s likely the smallest one. Flying, whether halfway around the world or from a few hundred miles away, is more expensive. Staying in a hotel for a few days is also more expensive. All together, the cost of attending a conference can become prohibitively expensive. That’s where our Financial Aid program comes in. We’re opening applications for Financial Aid today, and we’ll be accepting them through February 15, 2018.
Once you have an account on the site, you can apply here or through your dashboard.
We offer need-based grants to enable people from across our community to attend PyCon. The criteria for evaluating requests takes into account several things, such as whether the applicant is a student, unemployed, or underemployed; their geographic location; and their involvement in both the conference and the greater Python community. Those presenting at …

Startup Row Launches With Events in Chicago and London

Startup Row provides free booth space in PyCon’s expo hall to early-stage startups building products and services with Python. In our first year, Solomon Hykes—founder of Docker—joined. Famous Pythonistas previously featured on Startup Row include Wes McKinney, Andrew Godwin, Audrey Roy Greenfeld, and Danny Roy Greenfeld.

This year, Startup Row launches our road show with pitch events in both Chicago and London. On November 13th, Braintree hosts PyCon Startup Row at their Chicago headquarters. Joining as special guests are Naomi Ceder, chair of the Python Software Foundation, and Ewa Jodlowska, the PSF’s Director of Operations and an Officer Director of the PSF Board.

For Chicago, we are featuring the following companies:
4Degrees – A data-driven, contextually-aware discovery and management platform for professional relationships.Monument – A secure, connected hard drive for personal photo storage and backups, with AI-powered tagging and search.NextHealthChoice – Reducing waste and ove…