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What went well at the 2019 Open edX conference in San Diego?  What could have gone better?  Add bullet points here, or send an email to if you want a more private channel.

Went well:

  • Ned caught a behind-the-back throw while juggling on stage
    • Nimisha showed off her fresh new juggling skills to a wide audience
  • Thanks to the people who went out during the keynotes and stopped the random loud construction noises
    • Every time I went to do something like that during the conference, it warmed my heart to see at least two other edX people moving on it at the same time.
  • The #openedx-2019-stories Slack channel worked well, lots of great stuff in there
    • Is someone tasked with going through #openedx-2019-stories and reporting out to the rest of the company?
  • Thank you for including vegetarian options with each meal
  • Signage with arrows were surprisingly accurate this time around. (Not sure how much control over architecture we have... but it worked!)
  • Separate locations for plenaries and breakouts/talks was great. Outside space was well-utilized! 
  • ID Summit as an area of focus was well-received. (ID Summit retro happening here, if interested.)
    • This seemed to bring in a ton of interesting people who otherwise would have ignored/skipped a 'techie' conference. I heard at least one attendee say that they were worried that they wouldn't be technical enough but that it wasn't actually a problem.
  • The view from the dinner reception was amazing.
  • West-coast time shift made it a little easier for some normally late risers to help with early morning
  • Dev summit is my favorite day.  Collaborating with the community and getting a shared understanding of how we can help each other is a great feeling and a great outcome.

Could have gone better:

  • Why did the laptop fail, forcing Ned to juggle on stage?
  • Let's bring a can of WD40 next time; there were some really squeaky conference room doors there
  • For lightning talks, it would be helpful if the tech person renamed the files with the speaker's name-- a lot of them turned out to be called openedx2019_presentation or similar
  • The pastry breakfasts weren't useful for me; it would be nice if each meal had some sort of protein
    • Agreed - this was rough.
  • Would be nice to have tea available every time there is coffee
  • Dependent on the specific room door setup, but people entering/exiting during the sessions was sometimes very disruptive. Maybe consider limiting entrance after session start for doors that are right by the presenter
  • There was (some) confusion around a-la-carte pricing of Tuesday and Friday.
  • Would be good to have representatives from UX and Data Science/Eng.
  • Reminding folks to provide per-session feedback earlier in the conference.
  • We were scrambling for power strips during the tutorial sessions. Especially for ones that last three hours long and involve dev work, we need power.
  • Not having an accurate estimate for how many people would attend caused at least one tutorial session to drastically under-provision their cloud environment for the tutorial, causing multiple issues.
  • A lot of signs kept blowing down; maybe next time all outdoor signs should be taped.
  • Guest WiFi blocking ports caused technical difficulties for a few tutorials.  Workarounds were found, but would have been nice to not need to workaround.
  • Giving more guidance to dev summit room leaders ahead of time (on the wiki? in person?) might have helped focus the conversation on more clear goals/outcomes. 
  • I heard there was a staff walkthrough of Center Hall, but it happened before I arrived.  I spent a good part of Tuesday helping people at the registration table but not really knowing where everything was myself!
    • Let's film a VR walkthrough in the Portugal location (Ben is happy to do this :).