Summary of Survey Results – Thanks to all those who responded

Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey after Linux Plumbers in 2017,  we had 134 responses to it which, given the total number of conference participants of around 354, has provided confidence in the feedback trends.

Overall – 85% of respondents were positive about the event,  with only 2% actually saying they were dissatisfied.    Co-locating with Open Source Summit did not provide as much benefit as locating with the Kernel Summit in the past, so we will be co-locating with Kernel Summit in 2018.    This preference was also echoed in the write-in comments.   Conference participation was down from 2016,  but adding back the Kernel Summit colocation should address this.

On a positive note, the wireless woes of 2016 were resolved, and survey feedback indicated satisfaction in this area.   Also, folks have let us know that they were able to hear better in the rooms this time and follow the conversations – the throwable microphones were helpful here.  53% felt the conference size was about right, with 45% wanting more to be able to attend.

Communication – People generally approved of the communication from the committee (we didn’t spam you too much), and you were able to find the talks you wanted to attend.   The authors and miniconf leads that responded, followed the trend.

Venue – From the feedback,  we got the clear signal, that smaller venues like Santa Fe are preferred.   For 2018, Plumbers will be held in Vancouver, Canada,  where we’ll have a floor dedicated to us.    From your feedback,  we got wireless, power plug access, hacking space areas right this year, but had problems with on-site catering taking the break beverages and snacks away too soon.   The use of meal cards continues to be very popular, and the catering at the off-site events was well received and appreciated.

Events – The Closing Plenary was generally well received.  Some individuals didn’t find the lightning summaries at the closing that useful, but overall the survey feedback for those responding was either neutral or positive (less than 5% negative), similar to 2016.   We’re looking into the feasibility of some of the suggestions from the written comments to try to improve the closing summary further.   There were several compliments that came through on our evening events, and again the overall feedback provided was very positive.

Location –  Respondents were very positive about the convenience of having the hotel as the conference site,  and were able to use the negotiated rates.   They were more neutral about the choice of LA for the event (some liking it, some not).

Sessions – Of the sessions,  the hallway track continues to remain the most popular and well attended.   There was a very positive response to most of the miniconfs and talks; the refereed track running in parallel was popular.  Our experiment of using part of the time for an unconference was generally well received by those participating, but the write-in comments have some good suggestions for improving this.   Similarly making the schedule visible before the early registration closes is something that attendees want to see.   Keeping the focus on solving problems rather than presenting status is something we have improved on, and will continue to emphasize for next year.

There were lots of great suggestions in the “what one thing would you like to see changed”, and the program committee has been studying them to see what is possible to implement this year.    Thank you again to the participants for their input and help on making the Linux Plumbers Conference better in 2018 and the future.

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