As you know, we decided to give our community a chance to influence on choosing the talks for Voxxed Days Belgrade conference. We have organized an open event, where everyone interested in submitted talks was able to see the full list and also mark talks that sound interesting.
But lets start from the beginning. Since we have received > 100 talks, we were thinking what would be the best way to present all the talks to people on the event, but in reasonable time. If we start talking about each and every talk, that would simply take too much time.
First we decided not to present all talks submitted. Significant number of them were aligned to our plan, and from the very first moment we knew they will be picked up. So, to save some time (and paper!) we decided to show only the rest of submissions. This does not mean that these remaining talks were bad! In fact, all of them were so good, that we simply needed more time to choose what would be best for our conference and aligned to local trends.
Still, a significant number of talks remained; and still not enough time to cover them all one by one. If this is not possible, lets see what is 🙂
Our solution was to print out the talks and sort them in two piles: one set containing only talk names, and the other set containing talk names and the full description. Talks were randomly listed. For each set we had several identical piles of paper, so more people could browse the same set in the same time.
After a quick introduction to the conference, we asked the audience to stand up and mingle, and to mark talks they find interesting. Sure, we are aware that one person will not be able to scan all the talks, but with many people in the game, we were sure that all the talks will be scanned all together. We were standing nearby, explaining the submissions.
After the event, we got a lot of feedback on what is interesting to people. We also had different weighting system: marking just talk titles was less significant then marking the full talk with description.
Our final conclusions are:
Of course, we had a lot of fun!