TPAC/2011/Session Selection

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This page explains how we will build the largest part of the agenda of the [TPAC 2011 Plenary Day]. Most of the agenda will be determined by the participants the morning of the meeting. The attendees will interactively assign sessions to 7 - 10 different rooms as described below.

Overview of Agenda Building Session

The primary facilitators are expected to be Tantek Çelik and Ian Jacobs.

    • Introduction: how the next 5 hours will work! (Tantek and Ian)
      • How barcamps work - short intros, hallway conversations made explicit
      • Grid open to proposals. Tantek and Ian will facilitate
      • Breakouts.
      • Sharing and advocacy.
    • Meet your neighbors. (10 mins, Ian)
      • Ask people to stand up
      • Exchange three words or phrases
    • Explain how sessions are proposed (questions and answers)
      • How to write-up proposals: subject, discussion leader(s), IRC channel.
    • Grid in front of room open to proposals (35 mins)
    • Quick wrap-up to signal end of scheduling process and give people time to read the board, then travel to first session.
    • Break-outs
      • 1. choose a scribe
      • 2. create a wiki page for your session minutes/notes
      • 3. link to it from wiki schedule grid


How many total breakout sessions?

At first approximation: 28-35 (7 -10 rooms of varying sizes, 4 1-hour slots). However:

  • People who wish to meet for more than 1 hour may propose to do so.
  • People who wish to meet for less than 1 hour may propose to do so; combining "short" sessions is one way we can manage "too many sessions."

How are sessions assigned to rooms?

People write the title of their topic on a piece of paper, and hang that on a big grid of "time slots" X "rooms". We will ensure that session titles are on large enough pieces of paper to be read from a distance. (We have one grid option which is a 4x6 whiteboard on an easel.)

All participants are encouraged to get up and take part in the negotiation of whose topic is when. Facilitators will help manage this phase and encourage people to merge similar sessions. At the end, most sessions of the day will be scheduled.

Room information:

    • 5 rooms for 30 people (+10 extra chairs per room)
      • Grand ballroom A
      • Grand ballroom B
      • Grand ballroom C
      • Grand ballroom D
      • Grand ballroom E
    • 3 rooms for 26 people (+10 extra chairs per room)
      • California ballroom salon 1
      • California ballroom salon 2
      • California ballroom salon 3
    • 1 big room, theater-style seating for 350, no power to seats (California Ballroom salons 4 and 5). Can be used to accommodate overflow if other sessions grow too large or we don't have enough rooms.

Some rooms may be combined for large sessoins.

Evening BOFs

W3C has space available on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evening (7:30-11pm) for groups that wish to meet for informal "BOFs." The "Boardrooms" (Sierra, Monterey, Sequoia, and Ponderosa) and each room will fit 15 in u-shape seating. We also have 3 guest room suites on Monday and Tuesday evening, and one guest room suite on Thursday evening. Each of those will seat 10 in conference seating. There will be a sign-up sheet for people to request the space.

If I proposed a session before the meeting, am I guaranteed a room?

Not necessarily. The Program Committee will pre-select approximately 7 sessions that will be guaranteed slots. (We are doing this to ensure there is at least 1 firm topic in each time frame.) The others will be decided the day of the meeting by the attendees themselves.

If my topic was preselected will I have to put it on the grid myself?

No. The facilitators will pre-populate the grid with those topics.

If my topic was not preselected, but I put it in the wiki before the meeting, will I have to put it on the grid myself?

Yes. We will ask you write your idea on a piece of paper, hang it on the grid in a time slot, and then participate if there are negotiations that lead to sessions being merged, etc.

What if there are too many session topics (more topics than rooms)?

For the remaining slots we will do our best to ensure that anyone that proposes a session the day of the meeting (including those listed in advance in the wiki) has an opportunity to run a session. However, spots are limited. We plan to manage high demand for session slots in several ways, for example by encouraging people to combine similar sessions, or finding informal areas of the hotel for people to meet.

What if there aren't enough session topics?

People experienced with similar meeting structures report that there is usually not a shortage of discussion topics. We anticipate (and hope for!) enough session suggestions to keep everyone busy, challenged and engaged. Please help by contributing your ideas.

Will it be crowded in front of the grid while people are assigning sessions to rooms?

People tend to approach the grid in waves so that crowding is not a problem in practice. We will also have W3C staff facilitators to ensure that people find their way to the grid. Lots of participation and interaction is encouraged during this agenda building phase.

Can the schedule change during the day?

Yes. People may choose to drop sessions, add sessions, merge sessions, etc. In addition, we will intentionally leave some slots unallocated in the morning so that they may be filled as new issues and ideas arise during the first part of the day.

People should consult the grid several times during the day. We will tweet changes to the grid and keep an updated version online.