2009 Ideas:
  • Weekend before Columbus Day, Thursday/Friday is the consensus. All day on both days. October 7/8/9, 2009. 14/15/16 the next option.
  • Roadmap session the day before. School visits as well. Longer tutorial sessions.
  • Thursday night reception.
  • Saturday post-conference day?
  • Really liked the hotel. Stay in Marriott. 2010 go somewhere else?
  • School visits: needed to have time preference?

  • Recordings up on wiki: immediate
  • Laura--numbers from the sessions: immediate
  • Brochure for T+L
  • Large Scale Implementation Document draft/initial version
  • Organizational decisions: October 2008
  • Organizing conference call: October 2008
  • Put date up on website: end of October 2008
  • Sponsor prospectus: November 2008
  • Promotion and publicity
  • Call for proposals (keynotes, too): January 2009
  • Determine program and open early bird registration: April 2009
  • Normal registrations: July 2009

To Do:
  • Evaluation to participants and to vendors (Google spreadsheet tool?)
  • Learning from what we have done (conference call?)
  • Organizational (who should run?)
  • Foundation portion - $10k - $25k.
  • Donna knows how to raise funds. We need to listen to her.
  • Online sessions / virtual conference available.
  • Sponsorship:
    • Outsource sponsorship?
    • What do the sponsors get out of this?
    • What are they trying to sell? Who are their customers? How do we get those folks to the conference?
    • Their marketing budget is "return on investment"

  • If this is a conference without natural sponsors, then you need foundation money
  • Don't change the conference to fit sponsor desires; determine the conference value, and make that it.
    • Open Source and Curricular together
Two distinct audiences?
Other event in US?
Other event outside of US?
Half and full-day hands-on events.
Streaming and recording?
Making sure that the conference is viable and those who want to work on it can work on it.
Mike: last year was really successful, and the people who came this year came more sophisticated. This is the real measure of the success.
Presenter gets one day free; or gets paid early bird discount.
Awards really were a good thing.

Known Data Points:
  • 198 people (340 last year)
  • 44 presenters, two/three cancellations (70+ last year)
  • 5 featured speakers
  • 182 at breakfast Friday, 100 at breakfast Saturday
  • A fair amount of teachers this year; a superintendent; some independent and non-public; very few Indiana teachers.
  • Last year walkups: about 100. Very few this year.
  • Teachers in Indiana couldn't get out of classroom.
  • Conference dates set: April 2008
  • Website up: Late July 2008
  • Prospectus sent: July 2008
  • Need list of how many people came to each session, each day (and ordered them)
  • Vendors had more room last year; good to be close to session rooms, but needed more room.
  • Mike feels that we lost 30 - 40 people by not having a day rate.

What were Failures:
  • Late, slow,
  • Overly optimistic on everything: attendees, etc. Changing expectations with vendors.
  • Too many people on the committee to organize things. Have to make decisions, maybe 4-5 person steering committee and then bring in other people to help. Has to be a commitment. We had 20 people, and each meeting had 5 people, and usually different.
  • Web site late, hard to read, sessions not posted, having to register twice
  • Me doing the sponsorship
  • No publicity
  • Committee members who really dropped the ball
  • Vendor placement

Tom Hoffman Idea:

Anyhow, these are my thoughts after digesting Open Minds 2008 and
participating in part of the debrief.

I'm proposing to try spliting the more and less commercial parts of
the conference apart. Specifically, pitching to sponsors a day and a
half long conference focusing on first-hand presentations of
successful large-scale, low-cost K-12 end-user computing initiatives.
The program would be simple and mostly plenary (whole group).
Indiana, OLPC field report, Classmate field report, Atlanta,
Extremadura, ParanĂ¡, etc., etc. Bam, bam, bam. As far as I'm
concerned, a couple reports from projects using proprietary technology
wouldn't be unwelcome. I'd like to know how they're doing it and why.

This could be pitched further up the food chain for attendees --
district level decision makers and up -- and would have obvious appeal
to sponsors looking to sell inexpensive hardware in volume, as well as
the server back-end and services to support it. It should appeal to
COSN and/or ISTE too, which could be helpful.

The second half would be "the rest of Open Minds," except with more of
an unconference format, which I think would work just as well as the
current somewhat more structured format with less preliminary
organization. This would be before or after the structured part and
mostly underwritten by it.

That's the basic idea.

2008 Ideas for next year:
  • Make an effort to involve or invite some of the long-time key players in Linux/FLOSS use in K12: Paul Nelson, Eric Harrison, David Trask, Jim McQuillan, etc. (Please add to this list.)
  • Student presentation / "playground" demos
  • Google present on "Summer of Code?"
  • IBM sponsorship
  • "Playground" / Live demo stations somewhere, giving hands-on demonstrations of Moodle, OpenOffice, GIMP, and much, much more.
  • Involve Europeans/others early on in planning stages
  • Need some foundation backing
  • Make a Drupal community?
  • Session blog tags
  • Instructions for recorder use: don't place next to projector!