Seeaich - "Skyline"
The Compose :: Melbourne 2016 committee has reconvened to make a decision on weather to run the event again in 2017. Everything is looking quite favorable for a continuation of last-year’s inaugural Melbourne-based functional-programming conference. However, something that we had promised we would do (and as part of the preamble to running the event this year) was a review of last-year’s event. The review had been continually delayed for the obvious reason - we were all exhausted from running Compose :: Melbourne in 2016 and there was no pressing need to do it. Well, now that the motions of a new event have begun it seems like a good time to put a little retrospective into order.
I thought that rather than try to do this as a collaborative piece of work, instead I could write up my thoughts in a blog-post, and if the other members of the committee want to remark on their experiences too then they can do the same, or at least suggest amendments to this post.
Just the Feelings
Last year, when the committee set the plan in motion to run the conference, we had a high-degree of uncertainty about the level of demand for such an event in Melbourne. We decided to put everything together on a shoe-string budget and go in with low-expectations. We figured that even if there was no sponsorship and a low turnout, it would at-least be a fun extension of the Meetup groups that we run.
Thankfully, our expectations were well and truly exceeded by the turnout and events at Compose :: Melbourne 2016. Positive experiences were retold to us by many of the attendees and speakers, with a desire to see the event run again next-year. Some of the constructive criticism that we received included remarks that it might make sense to partition the first-day into two tracks - one for beginners and one for advanced practitioners. There was also a desire to see more structure for the unconference on day-two.
Just the Numbers
While I could go on for some time about how the conference was organised and how the days played-out it might be interesting to take a look at some of the raw facts about Compose :: Melbourne 2016.
Compose New-York YOW!
Compose :: Melbourne may have topically been about functional-programming, but practically it was really a great-deal more about the people who are involved with FP. The community of practitioners, beginners, educators, organisers, luminaries, and fans in general.
Noon Silk (Chair) Andy Kitchen Ken Scambler Sarah Oakes Les Kitchen Lyndon Maydwell Gala Camacho Ferrari
Bernie Pope Javier Candeira James Harland James Sofra Sean Seefried Bianca Gibson
REA - Australia lives here. SEEK - Australia's no. 1 jobs, employment, career and recruitment site. YesLogic - We develop powerful tools for the Web Age. Silverpond - Silverpond is a data-science and solutions consultancy. YOW - YOW! Conference and Workshops for Developers by Developers. RMIT - RMIT is a global university of technology, design and enterprise
M.M.T Chakravarty - Keynote - Playing with Graphics and Animations in Haskell Sharon Holliday - Practical Programming in an Exception Free World Paul Bone - Plasma Programming Language Alistair Roche - Datomic in Production Finlay Thompson - Using Cloud-Haskell to Build a Continuous-Integration Platform for Reproducible Research Lee Naish - Equational Reasoning and Intended Semantics in Functional Programming Ben Hutchison - Getting Work Done with the Eff Monad in Scala George Wilson - The Extended Functor Family Kris Jenkins - Types All The Way Down Brian McKenna - Productionisation of Functional Optics Sean Seefried - The Joy of Refactoring with Strong, Static Types Magdalena Cassel & Aaron Edwards - Functional Eyes: Applying Functional Principles in Other Paradigms
Nearly 200 tickets sold.
Our timeline of events stretched for over six months from conception to conference.
First Email to Compose New-York: February 24, 2016 CFP Launch Party: May 19, 2016 Extension of CFP Close of CFP Compose Day-One: August 29, 2016 Compose Day-Two: August 30, 2016 Committee Catch Up...
While the conference was a fun and illuminating event for those who attended, we strived to extend the reach of the proceedings by taking time to ensure that they were captured and spread to an audience far wider than those who came on the day. The videography performed by Takeshi and its promotion were the primary way that this was achieved. It’s always nice to come across someone with a Compose :: Melbourne bag, sticker, or t-shirt since it shows that the conference really happened.
Video Web-Pages and Blog-Posts Speaker's Gifts Attendee Swag
We managed the Majority of Compose :: Melbourne via Email, Github and Trello. I’ve enumerated some of the interesting titles below.
Compose :: Melbourne Compose :: Melbourne Admin Compose :: Melbourne Advisory Board
Roughly 150 Emails (that I saw). Nearly 30 committee meetings. Nearly 50 Wiki Pages (27 of which were committee meeting minutes).
Home Accounting Advisory Board Call for Presentations (CFP) Ceremonies Scripts Committee Costs Haskell Workshop Details Jokes Launch Party Promotional Email Program Complete Sponsorship Tiers Submission Categorisation Submission Responses Submission Guidelines Ticket Pricing Timeline Timeline Outlines Workshops ......
4 Trello boards:
Compose :: Melbourne Speakers Sponsors On-The-Day Checklist
Nearly 340 Trello cards:
Promotion and Communication | Presenters Admin Soliciting Volunteers | Technical Support Attendee Swag | Speakers Swag Materials on the Day | Day-One and Two Checklists Videography Concerns | Conveyance After the Event Advice from Advisory-Board | Publication of Recordings Promotion of Artefacts | Reimbursement of Financiers Party and Speaker's Dinner | Workshop Materials Committee Meetings | Sponsorship Tiers / Prospectus Sponsorship Agreements | Web-Development Clarification of Purpose | Setting dates Finalising venue details | Event on Industry Forums Communication with NY | Finding Committee Members Roles and Subcommittees | Partnership Value Assessments Call-For-Proposals Design | Website content review Videography assesment | Submissions on EasyChair Feedback | CFP and Speakers Setup of Materials | Reviewing Food Requirements Recieving Catering | Extending the CFP Reviewing Submissions | Travel requirements Promoting the Keynote | Changing the Keynote Promotion of Conference | Developing Marketing Plans Committee Milestones and Deadlines | Emailing updates Promotion of events at Meetups | Admin and speakers tickets Printing Branded Clothing | Promotion through Podcasts Creation of Break Slides | Unconference development Soliciting marketing materials from Sponsors | Collating FAQs Publicising Sponsors | Negotiating Wireless at Venue Administering workshops | Setting up registration Promotion of Diversity | Reminding speakers about the dates Refunding speakers and administrators | Scripting remarks Reviewing workshop content | Liasing with Volunteers Due diligence on Sponsor rewards | Ensure that timings remained strict Writing Jokes | Collecting speakers slides Organising Backup Speakers | Crediting Co-Authors in Biographies Reminding Attendees about the dates | Adminitration of Twitter Procurement of manufacturing for Keyrings | Procurement of manufacturing bags Creation of promotional codes | Reimbursing Keynote flights Celebration night for the committee | What to do about profit/loss Soliciting advisory board | Market analysis Speaker Selection Administration | Sponsor Solicitation Administration Creating and publishing content on the blog | Consider running again next year? Venue Admin | Backup Gear Marketing Materials | "Less Obvious Checklist" Items Members for the Advisory Board | Publication of Photos Budgeting / Accounting | Workshop Organisation Soliciting Sponsorship | Legal Agreements Reviewing Venues | Creation of Mailing lists Source-Control Administration | Organisation-Structure Discussions Finding a Videographer | Feedback mechanisms Graphic-Design, Promo and Swag | Reviewing Caterers Closing the CFP | Presentation details and Biographies Event pages on eventbrite | Launch Party Negotiating Branding | Venue sponsor Discussion on Insurance | Speaker's technology requirements Checking registration numbers | Selecting replacement speakers Promotion of Ticket sales | Liasing with the Venue A/V Scripting introductions | Receiving shipments from Sponsors Determining diatary requirements | Exporting trello/easychair for archival Advertising Workshops | Invoicing Design and print of name-badges | Ensuring we thank people Publication of the Code-of-Conduct | Researching accomadation .....
All-in-all, Compose :: Melbourne 2016 took a great-deal of organisation and hard-work to make happen, but thankfully we should be able to reuse a large portion of that work when it runs again.