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Past Programming Information

Programming List from 2014

Programming List for 2013

2013 Programming Goals

1 Major Event per track at the convention

Panel Wishlist - advertise to potential speakers to fill, as well as nifty and gohs

50+ total programming hours per track

Monthly Seasonal Events lead by staff: workshops, Penguicon Meetups, Smos Dinners, etc.

Attendance to the first Programming Meeting for job confirmation, TBA

Deadlines: May - June Collect Track Heads and Project Managers, Wrap up MTG, first Programming MTG June 1, 2012 Budget Requests to Conchair August 1, 2012 Choose Programming Software August 1, 2012 Track Heads turn in wishlist of possible panels and Big Top events September 1, 2012 Initial Schedule into database and onto website October 1, 2012 Figure out AV, get hotel layout

2012 Programming Instructions By Sarah “Sparrow” Slovik

Programming responsibilities: -Check and respond to emails daily, archive completed tasks for future reference

-Work closely with the Conchair

-Work almost as closely with the rest of Concom at various points in time

-Choose your staff - pick them quick, they get antsy wondering if they get their jobs back

-Recruit new staff when the formers move up through the ranks, when they move on, or when they burn out (Don't be afraid to ask people if they are being realistic with their commitments to the con, you need people willing to work)

-Compile a budget with the help of the track heads (remind them wha the budget is for and not for)

-Recruit panelists and projects from the community (help the track heads find new talent)

-Arrange for audio video equipment (not a bad idea to find someone to work on this for you if you are not savvy)

-Make the schedule (give check points and deadlines for the track heads to stay on point)

-Give a list of all speakers to Program Ops

-Give a list of all staff/panelists receiving discounts to registration

-Show up to con

-Ask for help when you don't know what to do, or when there is too much work on your plate.

-Aim for several meetings in February and March to work on the schedule together.

Blank Spreadsheet for Track Heads to compile

See the start page for meetings and meetups :)

FAQ: Q. Why do staff/concom pay to attend when they put in the most work?

A. The reason volunteers need objective compensation, and it needs to scale up to many benefits such as crash space and (one year) a bronze medallion, is that they are usually random strangers. They do menial tasks. It is a game that's easy to score. They are giving up a portion of the convention itself. You have somebody trusted in charge, who is present to see how many hours are worked compared to other players in the game. We give them many other things they can spend their points on, besides their comp badge. Volunteers stop playing the game when they reach the end (with several legendary exceptions).

People in positions of authority are expected to exercise judgement and creativity, which is hard to score objectively. You don't want those in charge of something to stop when they've earned their comp badge. They need to keep going until their area of responsibility is awesome, even if it's larger than another person's task and there is no more reward to claim. Concom members need to *want* their area of responsibility to be up to their own standards. Their own personal scoring system, if you will.

So, why set it at a discounted rate? Why not just comp all concom and staff? Because these are the people who you need to make sure are invested. They do it because they want it to be awesome, or because it would bother them to see it done badly. It's a barrier to entry for those whose job is to have a title, do nothing, and get in for free. (In theory.)

Highly established conventions comp their concom and staff because, traditionally, they stick around and do the same job year after year. They are all a known quantity. The barrier to entry is not necessary because there are no empty positions to fill with an untested person. This is how many conventions work, but not all. Penguicon is a revolving door of new people, many of whom talk a big game and are never seen again.

Track Heads and Project Managers Job Description and Deadlines

1. Submit a list of Nifty Guests for approval to Programming

2. Submit a budget request, use it, get your refunds Done, Ongoing, Before con

2.5 Create a list of panels, workshops, demonstrations, and solo talks that you would like to see happen. (the best part about this is sometimes people want to sit on a panel that pre-exists, it might be easier to fill some of those if they are right there waiting for participants)

3. Seek out new talent and Invite last year’s participants

4. Oh yeah, you do have a penguicon email address. Use it for all pcon business, check it daily and respond to email even if you can't give full answers. Follow those up once you have information, but don't leave people hanging.

5. Plan an introduction and feedback to your track

6. Keep in contact with panelists Ongoing

7. Organize panelists and submit to programming Only staff can check ID for con-run stuff.

Presenters are responsible for checking IDs at their own panels before service.

8. Request Hotel Layouts early and often

9. Buy ribbons

10. Plan to attend Penguicon and ALL Concom and Programming meetings pre-con April 27-29, 2012

1. Submit a list of Nifty Guests for approval to Concom Start by looking at past Nifty's and last year's speakers. Is there anyone that sticks out as having a following? Someone the con is better merely because of there presence? A person who contributes above and beyond the typical Panelist?

Each Track is allowed a certain number of Nifty's. Send a list of 5-10 potential Nifty Guests to for consideration.

2. Submit a budget request Budget allowances cover the costs of consumable and permanent property items of Penguicon. All consumable materials should be taken into consideration for the majority of the convention. This can include materials for workshops, demonstrations, food tasting, events, etc. You may spend less on a smaller project that applies only to a small portion of attendees as long as the event started out as a public event. For example, you cannot fund a private meal that only a few people know about. However, you may offer a sign up sheet at Operations for a small meal that anyone can sign up for. The budget may also cover a dealer’s room table if necessary.

Spending you budget happens in a couple different ways.

  You spend money out of your pocket, Programming approves the spending and requests the treasuer to refund you with a check.
  You request a check form the treasurer after getting a wishlist approved by Programming, then you use that check to purchase items.
  The Treasurer or Head of Programming use their bank access to purchase materials for your track at your request by order form or online shopping.  
  The Treasurer or Head of Programming may be available to go shopping with you and use a bank card if necessary.  

Reimbursements are approved by the Head of Programming for all track heads and project managers. This means that regardless of how you spend the money, the Head of Programming decides if you’ve spent the money wisely. That being said, nobody can take your budget away and spend it elsewhere. However, you will only get refunded if you provide a budget inventory sheet with receipts to the Head of Programming who will then sign off. This budget sheet then moves onto the treasurer who issues you a check for the refund. While Head of Programming can’t reduce your budget, they can deny refunds based on inappropriate spending.

THE BUDGET IS NOT FOR: personal use, registration badges, hotel accommodations, travel expenses, paying for your friends, paying panelists to speak, and the general idea of anything that your supervisor does not approve. If you are worried about your spending habits simply email, tell them your budget ideas and work from there. Basically, get the spending approved prior to actually spending the money. Remember, just because you did it before does not mean it will be approved again.

Finally, please request your budget refunds before the days of the convention. The treasurer is super busy at the convention and should not have to whip out the check book every five seconds. Try to get everything in early, if not by the last meeting before hte convention. Otherwise, save your refunds for the wrap up meeting in May/June. Please plan your budget out wisely.

3. Seek out new talent Look at the following places for people who are experts in your track subject: colleges and schools businesses local hacker spaces, art guild, drama guilds, etc. community events websites

Advice: Use the form letter, aim for local(Midwest) participants and help promote Penguicon through Penguin Meetups, local festivals and fairs, and your own social network.

If you run into people willing to pick up an open position, please direct them here:

4. Invite last year’s participants This seems self explanatory… but it’s not always easy to track them all down. The Head of Programming relies on the track heads to do some of this footwork in order to keep communication with the panelists. Penguicon fills so many hours of excellent and ridiculous material into just 3 days it’s difficult to remember everyone.

If you were the track head of your subject last year then you might have the email addresses of people you worked with, EXCELLENT! Try to contact those people as soon as possible and invite them back, especially if Ops shows they had good attendance, you remember hoping to attend their panels yourself, or you hear a lot of good feedback about their presentations.

If you did not manage your track or project last year, you have a few options. First, try to contact last year’s staff member who handled it. Second, get an old program book and start hunting down the names you see listed. Third, start fresh when all else fails.

Luckily, many panelists know that they can contact us themselves and many of them will and Programming will forward them on to you until the time of scheduling. Keep in mind that some of these panelists present at many local conventions and while we don’t want to to turn them away for this reason, we also don’t want our convention to turn in something predictable, boring or identical to another con. Let those people keep coming back, especially if they are awesome, but don’t forget to also incorporate some new stuff each year.

5. Plan an introduction to your track at the convention, as well as a feedback session Some tracks already diligently do this. Expect to hold an introduction panel discussion to your track at the beginning of the convention. The introductions can be combined across a couple of tracks. It should be less than one hour, it can (and should) include your Nifty Guests and Panelists, and any staff you may be relying on over the weekend. It is simply a way for the attendees to meet you all together and for your panelists to get to know each other. Keep in mind, sometimes Nifty’s don’t know very many people in the community and it’s great to connect the new panelists with them. If you are managing a project you may want to introduce that project on your own, or you may want it to be included in the track it suits most.

Alternatively, we may try to have the track heads all attend an introduction to the convention panel to help newbies get a sense of how the weekend will go. This is a great opportunity for track heads to sell their new projects, announce Nifty Guests, and to meet some new people.

Feedback sessions should be held on Sunday, and should also be less than an hour long. This should be run by the track head of each subject. These are great ways to gather information on how things are going throughout the weekend and to see what’s new in your field. Yes, there is a convention wide feedback session held at the end of closing ceremonies, however, some people don’t feel comfortable shouting into a microphone. And yes, some of the feedback will come from Ops at the end of the convention, so this is really just a time for people to come and tell you what they’d like to see for next year. Even if you don’t think you will have the same job next year, try to take notes for the next person.

6. Keep in contact with panelists Track heads are the mediators between the panelists and the Head of Programming. You should respond to emails coming in within a week’s time. You should also be asking questions, and keeping them posted on new information over time. The more you keep in contact the less likely they will cancel later.

7. Organize panelists and submit to programming At the end of March, get together all of the information for the people who have said they want to help. They should have filled out this form by now:

Then, add up how many hours you believe these staff members are working and submit a discount registration list. Programming will combine the lists to make sure that anyone working enough hours gets the correct registration price.

8. Request Hotel Layouts early and often Most of the function space will be set up in one way or another as a presentation style. If you need space for a workshop or event that does not fit this description let us know right away so we can plan for that from the start.

9. Buy ribbons Ribbons are a mainstay of the convention, everyone loves them and expects them and their popularity continues to grow. you are always welcome to buy a personal order of ribbons for your own use. The order usually happens in the beginning of the year, sometime around February. As a staff member, your budget may be used for ribbons that will be given out at the track panels or events. However, if you plan to use the budget for ribbons, please be fair and reasonable. Since these are subjective terms, run your order past Programming and the Treasurer to make sure your budget can cover your order. Additionally, make sure that Nifty Guests and Panelists get a chance to order some as well if you haven’t already covered those in your budget. Once again be reasonable. If you have 10 Nifty Guests and another 20 Panelists, this might not be the year to buy all of their ribbons. you may however, decide to buy a larger quantity of the same ribbons for your track and let some of those presenters give them out.

10. Plan to attend Penguicon Take off work, find a baby sitter, get the car fixed, pack your bags, tell your friends, tell your moms, get yourself to the hotel!!!

pastprogramming.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/28 11:51 by jer