At the time of writing, AngloHaskell's been successfully run twice - once at rather short notice, and once by a person with diagnosed organisational difficulties supported by someone who had previously failed to organise a piss-up in a brewery! So I thought it'd be a good idea to leave some advice for future organisers, and create somewhere it can accumulate.
First of all, my biggest piece of advice: get someone else involved, even if it's mostly just to report to. A lot of the time I mostly spoke to Neil as a sounding board and as a way of focusing my attention and making sure I didn't miss things off my to-do list. Having someone involved with local knowledge is a great help too, not least when it comes to finding somewhere for everyone to eat! Some points regarding the organisational process:
- AngloHaskell isn't a big name conference, and doesn't need planning a year in advance. At the same time, the longer a date and venue are known for, the better - in 2007, this lead Neil and Philippa to drop a proposed voting process in favour of going with a known-to-work venue at a date that was known to be about as good as it was going to get. The reason? It makes it easier for people to earmark the date and ask friends for somewhere to stay nearby. If you can get the venue set a couple of months in advance, that's reasonable notice for a fair number of people.
- Accommodation seems to matter, but it's hard to do much about. If you know people near the venue, try to ask earlier rather than later if they can put a few people up!
- Don't worry too much about finalising the talks timetable in advance - deal with it when something requires fixing things, and make sure you've got enough flexibility on the day to handle a couple of overruns. AngloHaskell gets a higher proportion of inexperienced speakers than many events, which makes this important.
- Work with the events organisers etc at your chosen venue! They do this stuff for a living. They can be a great help, and they may just get you things you didn't expect (free food, anyone?)
- It's worth remembering who's been helpful in previous years - especially as regards venues.
- The wiki is a great tool. It works best if you provide obvious places for people to add particular kinds of information or suggestion - this means that getting the skeleton up for various details is an important task.
Hope all that helps, no doubt we'll accumulate more suggestions as time goes on!
--PhilippaCowderoy 16:45, 22 August 2007 (UTC)