2012-11-29

You should present a poster at PyCon 2013!

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.

2012-11-28

Survey: Subsidized Childcare at PyCon 2013

We’re tossing around a lot of ideas as we dive deeper into preparing PyCon 2013, and one that came up was the offering of childcare services. We’re planning some big things for the upcoming conference and we want everyone to be involved. Whether you’re a local who would like to spend a few extra days at the sprints or an out of towner who wants to tack PyCon on the end of a family vacation, we’d like to find out who would consider taking advantage of such services.

Keep a few dates in mind as you think about this: The tutorials run Wednesday and Thursday March 13 and 14. The main conference dates are Friday through Sunday, March 15-17. The sprints will run Monday through Thursday, March 18-21.

If you have children and are considering attending PyCon, we hope you can spare one or two minutes for this quick survey at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dE9NTEt0Z1hTU2h5TEo1UVZTY1pEYVE6MQ

As the title of this post and the survey say, we’re floating the idea of subsidizing the childcare option. However, we’re still working out the possibilities of what this actually means. There are many approaches to doing this, and we’re evaluating all of them.

Stay tuned for more announcements on this idea.

2012-11-13

PyCon US 2013: Big data? How about PyData!

Big data

You know what's better than one huge conference? One huge conference, and another on huge data!

(Sorry, I couldn't resist)

Today, I am proud to publicly announce a new development for PyCon / PyCon 2013 - we're partnering and working with the awesome team behind the PyData Conference to bring PyData Silicon Valley to the Santa Clara Convention Center during the sprints - that's right, come for PyCon, stay for the sprints and PyData!

PyData Silicon Valley will happen in the same building as the PyCon 2013 Sprints:

  • PyData Tutorials: Monday, March 18, 2013
  • PyData Conference: Tuesday-Wednesday March 19-20, 2013
A bit more about PyData:

The PyData conference and workshop is a semi-annual event for scientists, engineers, and data analysts in the Python community. The conference focuses on techniques and tools for management, analytics, and visualization of data of different types and sizes with particular emphasis on big data.

Python is already the de-facto language for many areas of science and technology. Come join the conversation about its future in data science and analytics, and learn about all the great tools Python offers!

This is great news for both conferences - we are even looking at having our talk selection committee recommend talks submitted to PyCon 2013 for the PyData event if we run out of room, or see a better audience fit.

The PyData event is excellent - this years New York City event completely sold out - videos from that event to give you a taste are at http://vimeo.com/channels/pydata.

The PyData team really wants to hear from startups and teams within startups and other companies that are solving cool data problems with Python, so submit a talk proposal to pydataconf@continuum.io. They also to work with the community to get more talks & tutorials from women in the field - definitely reach out to them!

PyData is put on by the excellent team at Continuum Analytics (a PyCon 2013 sponsor) and the non profit NumFocus foundation. You can follow @PyDataConf on twitter for more info as it comes available.

Tickets to PyData Silicon Valley are on sale now through Eventbrite. Note that PyCon registration(s) and PyData registrations are separate! However, you can book your room for the extended stay if you're coming to PyCon through the PyCon registration system.

And of course, as always - we're still looking for PyCon 2013 sponsors!

- Jesse Noller, Chair - PyCon 2013

2012-11-08

PyCon US 2013: How many talk tracks are there?

You're probably wondering where the program is for PyCon 2013 coming in March. The short version is that, well - the program committee is having meetings almost every day trying to go through 459 individual talk proposals. 

Yes. Four Hundred and Fifty-Nine.

That's astounding. Literally unprecedented in the history of the conference. You can ask the team - I was fretting and hand wringing and pacing all over worrying about not having enough proposals and then the tidal wave hit. 459. Amazing. To top that? 129 tutorial proposals.

This is amazing.

It also presents the staff, volunteers and program committee a conundrum. With the 5 tracks PyCon's main conference has room for maybe 90 talks. That's if we squeeze and push. With 459 proposals, the majority of which are exceedingly high quality, incredibly interesting and completely community driven, the program committee is under immense stress and an astounding workload.

So, to relieve some of it - and to be able to share even more with the community at the conference, I am pleased to announce we are adding a 6th track to PyCon 2013. 

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That's right. Instead of 5 tracks, we're adding a 6th. I know - this puts pressure on you, as attendees when we announce the schedule to have to pick between 6 simultaneously potentially interesting talks. That's why we're also recording all talks - the hallway track and down time is still important to us. But just as important to us is the ability to expose the community to amazing speakers, awesome topics and to spread knowledge as far and as wide as we can.

Yes - this means more hard choices when attending talks, but it also means more choice, and more variety. Luckily, with the success of PyCon 2012 and the ongoing strength of PyCon 2013 projections, and the amazing, continued support of our sponsors (and trust me, we still need more!) this means we can expand 2013 to sustain this.

Keep in mind though, this will probably be the only year we do this - we have the convention center space, we have you - our amazing and supportive community and sponsors. 2013 is the year we pull out all the stops - we have even more announcements coming.

Thank you - feedback (and sponsorship), as always, is welcome.

Jesse Noller - Chair, PyCon 2013.

2012-11-05

PyCon US 2013 Sponsorship - Why it matters, and why we need more.

PyCon is a lot of things. It’s the largest Python conference around in many aspects, with more talks, more tutorials, more days, and more people than any others. It’s one of the cheapest big conferences around, with ticket prices that haven’t changed in years. It’s the largest gathering of the best minds in the community. With the conference back in Silicon Valley for a second year and an expanded capacity of 2500 attendees, you will not find a bigger gathering of the best Python users around.

We’ve had people consider PyCon their vacation. We’ve had people in attendance from all around the world. We’ve had people bring their kids. We’ve had people try to buy next year’s tickets before the current conference was over. This community loves PyCon, and we love working on it.

What we need is more sponsorship.

What does the community get out of sponsorship?

Financial Aid

PyCon prides itself on being an affordable event for attendees starting with the low ticket prices, and extending this further by offering early bird discounts. However, the conference ticket is just one of the expenses an attendee will face. Many attendees pay out of pocket for their trip, and many of those attendees have expensive intercontinental trips. In order to ease the costs and bring PyCon to those who could use a hand, the organizers set aside an assistance budget to be managed by the Financial Aid committee.

The conference follows an “everyone pays” model, from the chairman to the speakers to the attendees. Your sponsorship of the conference ensures that some of our best speakers and smartest community members are able to make the trip.

A/V

PyCon typically has 95 talks spread across five tracks, so even if you’re at the conference, you’re going to miss out on a bunch of cool stuff. Except not. Along with a quality sound system and excellent live video projection; recording, editing, and hosting is an important part of the A/V package.

Sponsorship helps us spread the knowledge our speakers came to share and helps to educate the tens of thousands who watch the videos from home every year. Take a look at all of the video footage from PyCon 2012 at http://pyvideo.org/category/17/pycon-us-2012.

Networking

It takes a lot to run a 2500 person conference, especially a 2500 person technical conference where everyone’s on their laptop pushing and pulling code, emailing, tweeting, blogging, etc. It costs a lot to keep everyone connected, but it opens the doors for a lot of creation and collaboration, especially during the sprints.

The Python Software Foundation

PyCon is the PSF’s largest single source of funding, and through PyCon we’re able to reinvest surplus funds in the community. After we pay the bills, anything leftover goes to our grants, to sprint funding, to outreach and education efforts, and to the many other local and regional conferences. So far in 2012 the PSF has sponsored 14 other Python conferences to the tune of over $30,000 USD, thanks in part to the generous sponsors of PyCon 2011 and 2012.

What do sponsors get out of sponsorship?

Sponsorship is a two-way street, backing the Python community while providing great values for the organizations that make this conference possible.

Exposure

Sponsoring PyCon puts your organization in front of the entire Python community. Whether it’s the 2500 in attendance or the countless reading along and watching at home, the reach that PyCon sponsors get through sponsorship is huge. We list sponsors in official press releases as well as many of our blog posts, in the program guide for all attendees, and prominently on the PyCon site.

Job Fair

Are you hiring? Whether you have specific job openings or general position information to share, we run a job board on the PyCon that all sponsors are free to utilize.

Sponsors are also invited to the on-site job fair at the conference, where you’ll have a chance to interact with the attendees. In 2012 we heard great feedback from both sponsors and attendees, with several positions being filled!

Expo Hall

The expo hall gets heavy traffic during the conference, giving you a great face-to-face environment to interact with the Python community. Whether it’s engaging users or promoting your services, booths in the expo hall are a sought after commodity. Some sponsors expand on the job fair aspect and do mini-interviews with interested candidates.

Print Media

All sponsors are given the opportunity to insert flyers or pamphlets in all 2500 of the attendee tote bags, as well as listings and ad space in the program guide (length varies by sponsor level). Gold sponsors and above are invited to submit banners to be hung in the main conference room, where all of the conference-wide talks will be given, such as the keynotes and plenary sessions.

À la Carte Options

We’ve added a few options that you can tack on to your sponsorship package, starting with sponsorship of the coffee breaks. Sponsoring either a conference day or a sprint day (or both!) puts your company at the focus of break time, on the tops of the heavily traveled coffee stations throughout the hallways.

Summit and sprint sponsorships are also available, where your support goes towards the operating expenses of the days before and after the conference. The summits are invitational meetings for various topics in the community, and the sprints are an open format to allow anyone to contribute to any project that wants to hack together.

We’ve also added a new option of hosting a workshop, where sponsor organizations have a chance to do in-depth product demos or library walk-throughs. It’s a new option for 2013 that we’re excited to offer! We only have 2 more slots for sponsor workshops!

Small Business Discount

PyCon loves our small business friends. We want you to be included just as much as the megacorps, so we offer a 50% discount on gold and silver sponsorships, as well as our vendor and exhibitor passes.

Free Booth Space for Open Source Projects

If your open source project wants to join in the fun over in the expo hall, we have limited space available to make that happen. If you have the materials to run a booth and the staff to operate it, come on out and engage your users and pick up a few more! It’s on the house.

Conference Passes

All paid sponsorships include reserved conference passes! This means that many sponsorships pay for themselves due to the inclusion of corporate rate conference passes. It's a steal!

Interested?

If you’re interested in sponsoring PyCon 2013, contact chairman Jesse Noller at jnoller@python.org. The Sponsor Prospectus is always available, and we're always willing and able to work with sponsors to tweak packages as needed. We have only two more Platinum sponsorships left, and two more sponsor workshops available!

Current Sponsors!

The organizers would like to thank our current sponsors. We started this whole conference effort much earlier than last year, and the support has been incredible. Without our sponsors, PyCon wouldn’t be 1/100th of what it is, so we greatly appreciate your support!

Diamond Sponsor: Google

Platinum Sponsors

Gold sponsors:

Silver Sponsors:

Keep up with our sponsors at https://us.pycon.org/2013/sponsors/ and be sure to let them know we all appreciate their support!