The 'Diff Diff
There are several reasons why we might make changes to how PyCon UK runs:
- To improve the PyCon UK experience for our attendees, contributors and sponsors (Experience)
- To reduce the burden on our volunteer organisers (Burden)
- To remove or reduce the risk of liability for our volunteer trustees and directors (Liability)
- To utilise our resources more efficiently and effectively (Resources)
Changes for 2020
If you’ve attended PyCon UK previously, you may notice a few changes in 2020:
Our keynote talks are not always in the first session of the day.
We’ve noticed that the audience for our keynote speakers often depends on how popular the previous evening’s social event might have been and so we’ve moved them to a later slot. (Experience)
Some of our terminology has changed.
You won’t find the term ‘workshop’ or ‘sprint’ on our outline schedule. Instead, we have ‘freestyle’ and ‘collaboration’ sessions. We’ve found that the word ‘workshop’ fixes an image of the sort of session that might be proposed and we’d like to broaden that scope. For ‘sprints’ it’s probably the one term we have to explain most often to those who have never attended previously, so we’ve come up with something better. (Experience)
The final day of the conference is free of charge.
We’d like to encourage more people to take part in our final day collaboration session so we’ve removed cost as a potential barrier. (Experience)
You’ll have bought your ticket from a new company.
UKPA Trading Ltd is a brand new, wholly owned subsidiary of The UK Python Association. All its profits are donated back to the parent charity and we formed it in order to comply fully with current charity law and best practice. (Liability)
There is no t-shirt, mug or any other merchandising.
Organising the artwork, online shop and book-keeping requires far more effort than the amount of income it generates could possibly justify and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find anyone both willing and able to do so, so we’ve dropped it. (Burden)
If you are under the age of 18, you must be accompanied by a responsible adult to attend the conference.
We’ve always said this for those attending our Young Coders events but we’ve never explicitly said that it also applies to the rest of the conference (or, in fact, said anything at all on the matter). This year, we’re making it clear that all minors attending the conference must be accompanied by a responsible adult no matter what day or event. (Liability)
There is professional looking video kit and lighting around.
We’ve reached the point where the amateur camera equipment we own is looking a little long in the tooth and we don’t feel it’s a sensible use of our resources to replace it, so we’ve engaged an external firm to provide that equipment for us. As they also set it up and tear it down at the beginning and end of the conference, it also saves a huge amount of voluntary effort. (Resources, Burden)
There are no back-to-back talk sessions.
We’ve reduced the number of talks in a single session and introduced slight breaks in between them. This is to allow the ‘hallway track’ more chance to operate, to reduce the stress on our session chairs attempting to keep speakers to time and to give a slightly less hectic feel to a day at the conference. (Experience, Burden)
Lunch timings are different.
It’s always difficult trying to balance the needs of those who need to eat sooner than others with the desire that nobody should need to queue for lengthy periods. This year, we’ve opted to start lunch earlier and have less time between the lunch slots. (Experience)
This year, we’ll use a dedicated room, provide lunch for those attending and give those sponsors who are interested in doing so, the chance to present their companies and the opportunities they have available. We feel that’s an improvement on the simple jobs ads boards we’ve run in the past. (Experience)
Collaboration Session Introductions.
In the past, we’ve asked organisers to present their projects at the beginning of the day itself. This year, we’re doing so a couple of days in advance so that anyone who might not have attended previously has the chance to hear what it’s all about in time to make arrangements to stay. (We’ll also run the introductions on the day itself, just like we always have in the past). (Experience)