pycon logo

PyCon 2011 Atlanta

March 9th–17th

Log in or Sign Up

Call for Session Volunteers

We’re a week away from PyCon and need a little help from you, the community. The conference doesn’t run itself, so we need a team of volunteers to act as a support staff to keep each session on track. The duties are simple yet vital to the success of the conference. You’ll help keep an eye on the clock, make sure everyone is in the right place, give the audience a voice, and get a front seat.

Here’s what we need help with: Session Chairs and Session Runners. One thing in common to both is that you have to be present for the entire session, and a session is the group of talks in between breaks (usually 2-3 talks).

Session Chairs take charge for a session. They start by hopping up on stage to introduce the speaker. Keep the into simple -- something like their name, where they’re from, and talk title, then head back and close the doors to keep it quiet. Then they watch the clock and let the speaker know when it’s time to stop for questions. If there are multiple questions, they juggle who gets the microphone, pass it around, then let the speaker know when it’s time to wrap it all up. After that, help them disconnect the microphone equipment and make any last announcements (open spaces, BoF, etc).

Session Runners are the shepherd of the session. They start in the elusive Green Room fifteen minutes before each talk and help the speaker get ready. The first step is doing a test run of the speaker’s laptop on a the projector system to make sure they can walk up and get started immediately. After everything is alright, they show the speaker where to upload their slides -- attendees like a copy for later, and everyone following along with the videos online does too. Five minutes before talk time, the runner and speaker will head to the session and get situated. Assuming everything gets connected and ready to roll, the runner hands it off to the chair to do their introduction (tip off the chair to any name pronunciation if needed).

Are you willing to help? If so, signing up is as easy as viewing the schedule and finding an open time slot. This year’s schedule has a nifty way of handling this, as shown below.

First login to the site, then find a time slot, then click the blue S in one of the talk slots for the session (the entire session is outlined in black).

Session View

From here, click to volunteer for one of the available positions. As shown below, the Session Chair spot has already been filled.

Signup View

Thanks a lot for your help, and we look forward to seeing you at the conference!Title: Call for Session Volunteers