Linux World Expo in Utrecht, The Netherlands

Due to Armijn (of involvement in the programme committee of the 2006, I have been invited to do a session called "Free Software Master Class" together with Georg Greve from the Free Software Foundation Europe. Georg presented on "the business value of Free Software", whereas I was talking about "how to be GPL compliant".

The presentation went quite fine, and there were good questions coming from the audience. Hoewver, you could clearly tell that the organizers didn't really have any experience with holding conference/seminars, but just trade shows.

First of all, the seminar area was not reasonably shielded from the background noise of the trade show. Therefore the volume of the PA had to be quite high to combat that background noise.

Secondly, the light situation was way too bright for the audience to be able to read the image projected by the LCD projector. I mean, there were dozens of neon lights (that couldn't be switched off) directly above the screen, that just cannot work.

My third point of criticism was the organization of speaker travel and accomodation. If it wasn't for me meeting with Armijn at the night of arrival, I wouldn't have known to which hotel to go to. Furthermore, the hotel was located in a different town (so you couldn't just go back to the hotel during the day, to drop some stuff, or change clothes, or whateer). Then that hotel was undergoing a complete reconstruction. I could only take the question "do you need a wake up call" by the receptionist as an ironic joke. At 7.45am the power drilling started - way after all the other noise that started about half an hour earlier.

Luckily I had arranged for my own travel. Georg has received his ticket information only on Monday afternoon (and was leaving on tuesday!). This is not exactly how you professionally organize any kind of event.

I don't want to overly complain, but I just want to give motivation to improve that situation the next time.