[Foss4g2008loc] FOSS4G2008 Capacities

Antony Cooper ACooper at csir.co.za
Wed Oct 24 13:42:03 EDT 2007

Hi All

A few quick comments on the structuring of the programme:

(1) The best format that I have encountered for meetings is: 90 minute session, 30 minute tea, 90 minute session, 90 minute lunch, 90 minute session, 30 minute tea and 90 minute session, giving a total of 8 hours 30 minutes.  A session of more than 90 minutes can be gruelling, particularly for those who need to take a 'body break' and particularly at the end of the day.  So, either have the sessions as: 08:30-10:00, 10:30-12:00, 13:30-15:00, 15:30-17:00, or, because this will be Cape Town, 09:00-10:30, 11:00-12:30, 14:00-15:30, 16:00-17:30.

(2) The breaks are essential for networking and supporting the exhibitors, never mind the refreshments, etc.  They should also be relaxing.  A 60-minute lunch break can be quite rushed, even at a venue with slick catering.

(3) 30 minutes is the norm for a plenary presentation, not an ordinary presentation.  Have four presentations per ordinary session - 22.5 minutes each.

(4) Evening sessions can be gruelling, particularly in a tourist destination such as Cape Town - I have to endure them most evenings at ISO/TC 211 meetings!  Limit them to 90 minutes, though (17:30-19:00 or 18:00-19:30), unless they include food and drinks.

(5) Don't try to overload the programme - it makes more work for the organisers!  :-)  It can also make it a bit stressful for the delegates, because of all the cool things they might miss out on.

(6) Someone should check with the airlines what their departure times will be on the Friday.  The overseas flights directly out of Cape Town will leave late enough for delegates participating in meetings on the Friday afternoon, but this might not be the case for those needing to take connections to Johannesburg for their international flights.  Alternatively, the Friday could also be focussed on the GISSA streams.  Otherwise, add something interesting on the Friday afternoon/evening, to encourage delegates to stay into the weekend - after all, we want them to spend their tourist dollars here!  :-)

I hope that these comments are of some use.


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