PSF Meeting Minutes for 2014-06-06
A regular meeting of the Python Software Foundation ("PSF") Board of Directors was held over Group Conference Call via phone and Internet Relay Chat beginning at 18:00 CEST/ 12:00 EDT, on June 06, 2014. Van Lindberg presided over the meeting. Ewa Jodlowska prepared the minutes.
All votes are reported in the form "Y-N-A" (in favor-Y‚opposed-N‚abstentions-A; e.g. "5-1-2" means "5 in favor, 1 opposed, and 2 abstentions").
The following members of the Board of Directors (08 of 11) were present at the meeting: Van Lindberg, Brian Curtin, Jessica McKellar, Lynn Root, David Mertz, Marc-Andre Lemburg, Alex Gaynor, and Selena Deckelmann. Also in attendance were Ewa Jodlowska (Secretary/Administrator) and Kurt Kaiser (Treasurer).
The 16 May 2014 Board meeting minutes were voted on and approved.
RESOLVED, that the PSF approve the minutes at https://mail.python.org/mailman/private/psf-board/2014-May/025427.html as representing a true and accurate record of the May 16, 2014 meeting.
There were no votes taken between the May 16th and June 6th meetings.
There were no votes taken over email between the May 16th and June 6th meetings.
- Sponsors - There was a lot of confusion revolving shipping items to PyCon because there are so many different components (swag bag stuffing, booth material, banner for plenary room, job fair, auction). For 2015, my goal is to reach every sponsor by phone as email has been ineffective. I will be calling and emailing each sponsor. This should also eliminate the issue we have of empty booths as it will be better communicated. I am also planning on redoing the layout for the expo floor and job fair. Instead of separating the food from the exhibit/job fair, I will have the food in between aisles of booths and tables. This should help eliminate the complaints from sponsors that they do not have enough face time with attendees. I will also be making the opening reception one hour longer. Other than that, everything else came together pretty well for 2014. The opening reception became more lively thanks to our “opening reception” sponsor and I think that attendees enjoyed it. They introduced a DJ and Photo Booth.
- Outside events - This year we had the Friday dinners and the 6th track, which are both new to the PyCon program. Both went very well and we should do them again at future PyCons. The 6th track needs professional organization instead of volunteers. We had one issue where a volunteer-run tour left someone behind and that person was lost for a couple of hours before he could find his way back to the city. With professional involvement, we will hopefully avoid future incidents. I would like to hire a DMC to lead the front of the 6th track and Friday dinners.
- Tutorials - Overall, good turnout. We need to better cap tutorials for 2015 - perhaps do 2 seats per table instead of 3 because people get too cramped. We will also not do printed handouts for 2015. Instead, we will send the interested presenter thumb drives. We had one tutorial at the Westin in 2014. This proved to be too laborious for the staff and confusing for the attendees for 2015 we will have all of the tutorials at the Palais (in one building vs two).
- Conference - Also, overall, good turnout. It would be nice to not use the plenary room for a breakout, but that may not be possible for 2015. Definitely noted for 2016/17. I liked that we were able to place the chairs 35cm apart in some rooms to help avoid every other chair being empty. I will definitely keep that in mind for 2016/17 site selection. The AV company that we used for 2014 was excellent. I was quite afraid up to the first day of the conference since this is the first time we stepped away from Carl leading the AV front. Outside of one incident (one of the technicians airing Game of Thrones in the plenary room during lunch with a couple attendees still in the room) they were a 10 out of 10. They were the cheapest bid we received from Montreal vendors and they were worth every penny. They made my life so much easier because once onsite, they did their job and did not need any managing from me (unless we added something onsite that involved additional costs).
- Food & Beverage - The only issue we had was that the food was not labeled at the buffet. We will make this a priority for 2015. Breakfast turn out was not great outside of Friday mooring. I will be cutting back the counts for Saturday and Sunday breakfasts.
- Sprints - In my opinion, these have been neglected and the attendance for them this year was drastically lower than 2013. During registration, we ask attendees to let us know if they plan on attending the Sprints. Even though this is an estimate, every year prior we had more attendees attend (especially Monday and Tuesday Sprints) than the count we had from registration survey. This year we were at least 100 people less than expected per day. I believe that the conference chair/co-chair need to work with the 2015 Sprints team to rev up some interest. It will be hard to gauge F&B for 2015 due to the low attendance in 2014. Perhaps it would be a good idea to charge $5 per day to have less no shows.
- Internet - We used the free option that we were offered for internet. In the end it resulted to not be enough, especially on the first conference day. For 2015, we will be upping the availability and paying for the additional availability to ensure that we have smoother connection in 2015.
- Childcare - We anticipated 30 kids per day based on the many surveys we did on the attendees. It turned out to be 5 kids per day. However, it was a huge success because the activities and care-taking was phenomenal (based on parental feedback). We will definitely do it again in 2015 with the same caretaker since they proved to be trust worthy of the job. Our minimum will be a lot lower though :)
- I have started to come up with suggestions for 2015. Please see what I have proposed to Diana thus far. I will be adding onto these in the next few weeks.
- Keystone Sponsorship - I have been thinking of ways to make this level sellable. One idea I have is to give them two booth spaces. One booth space in the expo hall and one in the area where all of the talks/plenaries are (for 2014 it would have been on top of the escalators to the 5th floor outside of the plenary). This way they pretty much have double exposure than just the expo floor booth.
- Conference Theme - I think we need to bring this back. Especially since having this allows us to create a very impactful opening day.
- Open Space Room: (710B at the Palais) - Turn it into a different type of session, one that involves round table discussions with a chosen moderator who drives the discussion/education in the session. We can include this category in our CFP requests. We don't know how well this will take, but we can try doing one per day during the 3 day conference.
- Mobile Guide Apps - I have asked for Demos from two companies other than Guidebook. I think we need to better utilize our conference app and currently Guidebook does not provide the expansion for this without one of our volunteer staff to do it. I think it is time that PyCon pays for this option. I will keep you posted on this.
- Sprints Revival - I’m still thinking this through, but something needs to be done. Overall, I think we need to have dedicated organizers for the Sprint groups. This way people know where to ask questions and we know information is being distributed to the attendees. If not organizers that correspond with Sprint groups, we could have dedicated organizers for each Sprint room. Whatever way I think would provide better organization. It would be great if we had a way for people to sign up for Sprint groups ahead of time. For now, we may want to consider cutting back on the Sprint days from 4 to 3 or 2.
- Continued Activities from Last Month
- New Activities
- Getting an updated list of sponsor members who are current with their payments.
- Getting an updated list of PSF members and also updating the website with current list.
- Planned for Next Month
- Sponsor Members need to be contacted about 2014/15 sponsorship. After that, invoices need to be sent out.
- PSF Members need to be contacted so they can opt in/out of voting, hopefully directly in CiviCRM.
- Ongoing Projects
Board Agenda / Minutes: I continue to write up the Board Agenda and keep it up to date. I continue to write up the Board Meeting minutes.
Grant and Award Notification: I continue to notify respective parties of board resolutions.
Email and Communication: I am continuing to monitor all PSF Board/Members mailing lists also making sure emails are being answered/followed up on. I am continuing to read through all of the email threads that occur on the board/members mailing lists.
Contributor Agreements: I continue to collect agreements coming through EchoSign and marking them in bug tracker.
PSF Infrastructure (notes taken from weekly meetings provided by the infrastructure team):
Ernest - Fought pypi fires while on call, Support via IRC, Misc things for warehouse preview
Donald - Warehouse stuff mostly, Support via IRC, Helping out where useful, Giving Ernest more crap to do
Benjamin P. - Upgraded haproxy on front.python.org to 1.5-22dev (with SSL support), Added STS header to apex python.org domain through horrible haproxy hack, Switched some fastly services to use *.python.org SAN cert, finding Fastly bugs in the process, Moved docs.python.org to Fastly, added cache invalidation to docs build process, forced https Setup nginx on dinsdale to use as a backend for /ftp/ and docs (yes,now disndale has 3 servers on it), Removed old/weird python.org subdomains, Inquired after the delegation of es.python.org and pl.python.org, Security updates on dinsdale
Bylaws: changes have been made by passing new resolutions for sections 3.9, 4.10, and 6.2. The source file still needs to be updated. I have asked Van to do so.
pydotorg Redesign: No updates.
- Tabled Activities
- Issues / Blockages
RESOLVED, that the Python Software Foundation sponsor PyData Berlin at the supporting sponsorship level for $1500, plus as a diversity scholarship sponsor for $500, for $2000 in total
RESOLVED, that the Python Software Foundation approve the proposal for having a paid blog post writer position within the PSF. For further details, see the outlined proposal here: https://mail.python.org/mailman/private/psf-board/2014-June/025493.html
- The board discussed possible meeting times for the board since now we have directors in 4 continents. This has been tabled for further discussion on the mailing list.
- The board decided to table the decision for PSF officers for further discussion on the mailing list since 2 of the new directors were not present at this meeting.
- The board discussed Marc-Andre’s new grant idea for hosting projects. The majority of the directors present were not in favor so this will be something we will circle back to in the future if needed.
- The board discussed the PyLadies ATX grant proposal for a happy hour event. It was decided that the board would not grant money towards paying for alcohol. If the funds could be reallocated, the board would grant $300. Lynn will check with the PyLadies ATX group to see if that will work for them before the board votes on a motion.
- The Board voted to make a recommendation to O'Reilly for the recipient of the 2014 Frank Willison Award.
Van Lindberg adjourned the meeting at 19:00 CEST/ 13:00 EDT.