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Put a fork in Flock, it’s done

August 13, 2013
tags: ,

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I thought I’d take a minute to say thanks to everyone who attended Flock, in person or virtually, and to share a little bit about how it went. There’s no point in putting on a conference that nobody attends, so I’m grateful for every one of you! I’m especially thankful for our speakers and our sponsors, each of whom really make it a conference in their respective ways.

Attendance

For comparison, we usually anticipated about 140 when calculating things like food for FUDCon in the US the last few rounds. For Flock, we had 184 pre-registrations and around 20 walk-ins who registered. Because there was no cost to attend and because we had t-shirts and attendee bags only for pre-registered attendees (a perk of letting us know you’re coming!), it’s hard to be certain precisely how many people we had. I’m estimating we had about 20-25 walk-ins, some of whose names and email addresses I was able to capture and some I didn’t. We also had a few no-shows. Overall, I think it’s safe to say we had roughly 200 people.

I deleted the no-shows from our pre-registered attendees and did some math about our attendees:

  • 19 countries
  • 22 US states
  • 2,178 average miles from home

If you take out the local Charlestonians bringing that down, it comes up to an average 2,479 miles traveled, which is about the distance from Charleston to Los Angeles.

Sessions

I sent out an attendee survey earlier today that’s already gotten a good number of responses that generally say the same things, so I’ll share some of that.

The primary complaint (outside of all the flight delays!) we’ve heard is that we had too many sessions. We had a preliminary schedule based on the number of rooms we had available, i.e., let’s use the space available. When the call for talks finished, we had room to accommodate nearly everyone who had something to say, so we did so in the spirit of inclusiveness.

Many people felt that there were too many sessions, either because there were times they wanted to see 2 or 3 talks at once, or because they felt it thinned the attendance to any one talk to much. My personal feeling is that I’d rather have too many things I want to see than not enough! I asked that question specifically on the survey–were there too many, or is “too many” OK–and right now it is exactly split between the two opinions. (Nobody has said there weren’t enough sessions!)

One feedback item requested that sessions note what level of knowledge attendees were expected to have, and I think that would be a good addition to next year’s talk proposal form (and subsequently the schedule).

As to whether they plan to attend Flock next year, those who have said no have almost entirely been locals who aren’t generally Fedora users and would be less motivated to go across an ocean than across town.

Catching up on what you missed

Mo Duffy did a great job of tracking the status of videos and transcripts for each session, so if there’s one you’re looking for, check here:

You can also hop directly into the Flock YouTube channel. I’ll be posting more photos and some separate videos we have, but first FUDCon Cusco and, well, vacation.

* Edited to add one more number — 240 Tweets that I was able to find with the #FlocktoFedora hashtag and a few using #Flock.

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