FUDCon Pune 2011

Last weekend was the FUDCon Pune 2011. Boy…what an experience! The best technology event I’ve attended so far. Today, after one week, it feels nice to sip hot tea, look back and remember all the things that we did before last weekend.

It started about five months back. Rahul mentioned that he is participating in the bidding for the FUDCon: Fedora Users and Developers Conference, to host in India.
Me: Wow…that’s cool!
Rahul: the venue is going to be the College of Engineering Pune(CoEP); There are lots of things to be done and I’m looking for volunteers to help me out.

Before long I was attending the weekly FUDCon planning meetings with other volunteers. I was to look after the food for the attendees. There were others,
   Amit Shah was to handle the budget for the event.
   Satya took up hospitality, registration, and volunteer coordination.
   Saleem decided to create the event website: fudcon.in for talk submissions.
   Rahul & Kashyap said they could take care of the T-shirts and goodies.
   Suchakra was to design the banners, posters, booklets and T-shirts.
   Shakthi & Shreyank were to arrange Fedora Activity Days and WI-FI.

[!] So the team was in place and things were going ok, little slow initially, but ok. None of us had any experience of organising an event like FUDCon. By the end of July, I started calling vendors to ask for quotations to serve food at the event. I would ask them to send quotation by e-mail and they would ask me to come and meet them in person. Sending quotations by email did not fall in their work flow. Some were too expensive, some only served the vegetarian menu, some said they can not provide the box-packed lunch and would want to set up a buffet. One of them says
Vendor: Sir, would you have any share in the bill? Should I make quotation accordingly??
I was like: Dude, NO!
It was amusing at times. Every Friday we had an IRC meeting with the Fedora Project Leader: Jared Smith, who was overseeing our activities.

As the time progressed, Satya made sure that the international delegates had booked their tickets and had applied for the appropriate visa. Bookings were made at Hotel Cocoon for the delegates’ stay. T-shirt design was selected after a heated debate in one of the weekly meeting. Shakthi organised two Fedora Activity Days as heads-up for the FUDCon. Both of them very were well received. We settled for the Cocoon Catering Services to provide food at the event.

…to be continued.
! There were more than 50 other volunteers and one man: Mr Narayan Murty G without whom it would have been impossible to organise FUDCon.