Skip to content

Diary of Conference I.T. Part 1 of N

No promises for making a complete series, but I dream of writing something I can compile into a useful guide.

I’ve described this as “conference I.T.” as the website is the core of a big mesh-like-thing. A web, if you will. I’m not writing about WiFi as that’s a stand-alone problem. I’m aiming to make a complete guide for the IT team working on a conference or similar event. I’m looking at it from the paid tickets, multi-day, international, multi-tracked, peer-reviewed perspective as this is the most general case. Being free, single-day, non-international, single-tracked or not-peer-reviewed just means you can skip some bits.

The Domain

One of the first things to do is look at the website for the last event. If it was then your site should be If they had any sense, they pre-registered a block of 5-10 years worth, so you may need to find out who actually registered it and get it pointing at a web server you can control.

If you can get hold of last years web maintainer (a) get any tips, tricks, code and data she or he has,  and (b) get ’em to link to this years conference from the homepage of last years.

If you have to register the domain, you might consider so you can use etc. and not have domains lapse, but it’s ugly. Register the domain for a long time. I recommend no less than 10 years for an international conference. Register a few extra too, like etc. and keep careful track of how to hand them over next year. Give this information to the permanent conference committee, if there is such a thing.


The same goes for twitter & flickr tags. These should be selected early, and ideally should be consistent with previous years. Make the tags as short as possible. used “WWW2009MADRID” for flickr. The Madrid may have made it more accurate and distinct, but the bigger the barrier to tagging the less people bother. I would have preferred “WWW2009”.

Social Networks and Mailing Lists

Last years social networks may be entirely useful to this year, eg. Web Science Conferences on Facebook. It’s unlikely you’ll re-use mailing lists, but even if you do set up new social network tools and mailing-lists, your committee will want to send out some adverts to last years conference. When setting up your own tools, consider if you can do so in a way useful to the next years conference too, but don’t lose sleep over it.

At this very early stage you won’t want to set up any public communication channels, but the people running the conference will probably want private mailing lists and maybe a wiki.

Posted in Conference Website.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.