Presenter FAQs

Congratulations on being chosen as a speaker for linux.conf.au. This is a significant achievement. Each year we have many more submissions than we are able to accept and only the very best make it through. We're thrilled that you're going to be joining us for the conference and contributing towards giving our delegates the best conference possible.

Even if you've spoken at an LCA before you're bound to have questions about the conference. Some of those questions are general questions about LCA and how it works, others might be specific to this year's venue. We've put together this guide to help answer the questions we think you might have. However if you have other questions that we haven't answered here please email speakers@lca2015.linux.org.au and we'll get back to you with answers as soon as we can.

Is there a speakers mailing list?

Yes! When you confirmed your registration we added you to a mailing list which is exclusively for speakers. Any announcements specifically for speakers will come through to this list. Please make sure you check it often in the days and weeks leading up to your talk. You can also use this mailing list for sharing thoughts and ideas with other speakers.

Will there be a pre-conference briefing and room-familiarisation session for speakers?

Yes. Traditionally the session is on the Sunday afternoon and allows speakers to get familiar with their rooms and the audiovisual equipment available. The times and meeting place will be confirmed on the speakers' mailing list.

What is the conference programme format?

Presentations - Wednesday-Friday

Presentations are 45 minute slots that are generally presented in lecture format. These form the bulk of the available conference slots.

Tutorials - Wednesday-Friday

Tutorials are 100 minutes long, and are generally presented in a classroom format. They should be interactive or hands-on in nature. Tutorials are expected to have a specific learning outcome for attendees.

Mini conferences - Monday-Tuesday

Miniconfs are day-long sessions on a specific topic. As the name suggests, they are expected to be run as a miniature conference, with a formal schedule published ahead of time listing speakers and sessions for the day.

Miniconfs can have any combination of formal presentations, demonstrations, tutorials, workshops, panel discussions, or labs that would be of interest to a linux.conf.au audience.

Is there a Speakers' Dinner?

Yes. It is a linux.conf.au tradition that a Speakers' Dinner is held each year to provide an opportunity for all speakers to get to know each other better. We have an exciting (and little bit secret) night lined up for you. We'll be sending out more information as we get closer to the event.

Can I bring my partner or children to the Speakers' Dinner?

Yes. Please bring your partner to the speakers' dinner. They have had a hand in your success and we would like to thank them for their part in helping our conference to be the best it can be.

You are welcome to bring your children to the event but please be aware that some younger children can get bored when it seems like it's just a bunch of grown-ups sitting around and talking. Consider if your children (and you!) are going to enjoy the event, and plan accordingly. If you need help arranging childcare for LCA events please contact us at speakers@lca2015.linux.org.au and we'll help you.

If you wish to bring your partner and child(ren) to the Speakers' Dinner please ensure that you add them during your registration process so that we have the correct numbers.

As a main programme speaker, what do I need to know?

Main programme speakers are required to agree with the Code of Conduct and our Recording and Licensing requirements.

In recognition of the value that speakers bring to our conference, once a proposal is accepted for a presentation or tutorial slot the speaker is entitled to:

  • Free registration, which holds all of the benefits of a Professional Delegate Ticket
  • Exclusive tickets to the Speakers' Dinner for the speaker and their immediate family

If your proposal includes more than one speaker, these additional speakers are not entitled to free registration or to any extra benefits.

linux.conf.au does not and will not pay speakers to present at the conference.

As a miniconf organiser, what do I need to know?

In recognition of the value that miniconf organisers bring to our conference miniconf organisers are entitled to:

  • Free registration for one organiser, which holds all of the benefits of a Professional Delegate Ticket

If your proposal includes more than one miniconf organiser, free registration and any extra benefits are provided to the primary organiser only.

linux.conf.au does not and will not pay speakers (including miniconf speakers) to present at the conference. Similarly, miniconf organisers are not permitted to accept corporate or government sponsorship, nor are they permitted to charge an admittance fee to delegates.

As a miniconf speaker, what do I need to know?

Please note: miniconf speakers do not receive free tickets to the conference. They must purchase their own ticket in order to attend and present at your miniconf. Miniconf speakers also required to agree with the Code of Conduct and our Recording and Licensing requirements.

What happens on the day of my talk?

Make sure you know well ahead of time which room you will be speaking in, and the location of that room on the campus. Don't forget to double check your room allocation before you set off. Sometimes we need to make last-minute changes to room scheduling. Aim to be at your room to set up your talk at least half an hour ahead of time.

Once you have set up and are ready to begin speaking your room monitor will introduce you. Have a chat to your room monitor ahead of time, make sure they know how to pronounce your name and understand what your talk is about so that they can say something meaningful about your work. You may even be pleasantly surprised to find that the room monitor already knows about you and your work!

Try to keep to your time allocation as closely as possible, even if there is a scheduled break immediately after your talk. Your room monitor will be able to give you signals about time throughout your talk and can also help you with reining in question-time overruns if you need it. Remember, you can always ask a long-winded audience member to ask you more questions outside once you have packed up or ask them to send you an email if they need more information.

When you answer questions from the audience you may need to repeat the question first. This aids both the recording of your talk and audience members who might not have been able to hear the original question.

At the conclusion of your talk take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Then pack up as quietly and efficiently as you can to make way for the next speaker. Head to your newest favourite retreat for a well-deserved break and celebration with your biggest fans from the audience.

What is the go with social media at the conference?

Go right ahead and share information about your talk and your work on social media. LCA has presence on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Lanyrd and flickr so to help conference-goers find you easily tag your posts and photos with #lca2015.

We love seeing people (especially our speakers!) sharing their experiences of the conference on social media. However, if you have a complaint you can get it resolved most quickly by approaching one of our volunteers or core team members directly. We are there to help you and can clear up any misunderstandings or issues as quickly as possible.

How long do I speak for?

Each presentation slot is 45 minutes. We expect that presentations will go for approximately 40 minutes, with 5 minutes for questions, unless you prefer to take questions during your presentation.

Tutorials have a double slot of 90 minutes and it is assumed that questions will be asked during the tutorial rather than at the end.

The room monitor in your room will help guide you with timing and identifying questions from the audience. It's a good idea to practise your talk ahead of time so that you have a better idea of how long you need to talk for.

What are the rooms like?

Watch this space...

What audiovisual (AV) equipment is available in my room?

Watch this space...

There is a large range of distributions, presentation software and other tools and utilities which are likely to be used by speakers. Therefore conference organisers are not able to pre-load presentations on computers or laptops. You will need to bring your laptop with you, or contact the organisers in advance so we can arrange alternate methods for displaying your presentation

Will my talk be recorded?

linux.conf.au is a volunteer-run conference, and sometimes (but rarely!) things go wrong. While we cannot guarantee it we do our best to ensure that all talks are filmed and digitally distributed to share with the community unless you have specifically withheld your permission.

Each room at the venue will be staffed by a small AV team who will provide you with a lapel microphone. They will perform a quick sound check before you begin to ensure everyone in the room can hear you clearly. Positioning of the lapel microphone will involve a microphone being clipped to your clothing – such as a collar or t-shirt band – and a wire being run under your shirt, to connect with a battery pack which clips on to the belt of your pants or skirt. Please consider this when planning what to wear for your talk.

A standard VGA connection will be available for you to plug your laptop into to display slides on a projector (slides will also be recorded on the video of the talk). If you require something other than VGA (such as HDMI, DisplayPort, or DVI) please contact us at speakers@lca2015.linux.org.au in advance to make sure we can accommodate you. Power will be available for your laptop into. Please use only the power board indicated as others may be in use for critical conference equipment!

For overseas speakers: New Zealand's standard electrical outlets provide 240V, 50Hz and use an AS3112 type outlet. Please don't forget your travel adapter and make sure you check that your power adapter is capable of dealing with 240V!

What is recorded and how is it licensed?

To increase the number of people that can view your presentation, linux.conf.au might record your talk and make it publicly available after the event. When submitting your proposal you will be asked to release materials relating to your presentation under a Creative Commons ShareAlike License. Additionally, if you are discussing software in your presentation, you must ensure the software has an appropriate open licence.

All presentation material should be suitable for people aged 12 and above. All presentations are subject to Linux Australia's code of conduct, including that they must not contain:

  • sexual or violent imagery
  • exclusionary language
  • language which is not appropriate for an all-ages audience

Code of Conduct

linux.conf.au welcomes first-time and seasoned speakers from all free and open communities: people of all ages, genders, nationalities, ethnicities, backgrounds, religions, abilities, and walks of life. We respect and encourage diversity at our conference.

By agreeing to present at or attend the conference, you are agreeing to abide by the terms and conditions http://lca2015.linux.org.au/cor/terms_and_conditions. We expect all speakers and delegates to have read and understood our Code of Conduct http://lca2015.linux.org.au/cor/code_of_conduct.

How do I make programme enquiries?

For enquiries related to LCA 2015 Programme please contact the linux.conf.au 2015 Team speakers@lca2015.linux.org.au.

Will there be internet connectivity in my room?

We cannot guarantee that internet connectivity will be available in your room as linux.conf.au is a volunteer-run conference and sometimes (but rarely!) things go wrong. If your talk relies on internet connectivity consider having a 3G device ready as a backup solution. That being said, we will be doing our very best to ensure you have reliable, high-speed internet access available for all conference talks.

What are the demographics of my audience?

All presentations are expected to be given in English, and all conference information will be available in English only. All attendees are expected to have a high level of proficiency in written and spoken English.

When held in NZ there is usually an even split of Australian and New Zealand attendees at 40% each. The remainder of attendees are from countries such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a very small number of attendees from Europe.

Approximately 80% of attendees are male, however the number of female attendees has risen steadily over the years. Just under 25% of speakers at last year's conference were female.

It is reasonable to assume a VERY HIGH level of technical competence amongst conference attendees. Many work in highly skilled occupations such as systems administration, network administration, software development and infrastructure management. Other attendees have at least a general understanding of computing, Linux and systems administration and are likely to work in affiliated professions such as technical writing or technology management.

The vast majority of attendees are over 18, although many people choose to bring their children with them, so young people are likely to be seen around the venue, and could possibly be present in your talk.

Many attendees are associated with a wide range of organisations and have affiliations with universities, scientific research organisations, private technology companies and government departments. Many attendees have no organisational affiliations and fund their conference attendance privately as 'Hobbyists'.

Is there a dress code?

The dress code for the conference is 'neat casual'. Jeans, T-shirts, shorts and so on are acceptable. We request that for the comfort of yourself and others at the conference high standards of personal hygiene are maintained at all times.

Weather in Auckland in January, in fact at any time of year, can be unpredictable. Please come prepared for both rain and sun...