Birds of a Feather sessions
Birds of a Feather sessions (“BoFs”) are a way for conference attendees to self-organise around shared topics and interests. These sessions often run for half an hour to an hour, and can cover topics as broad as LGBTQIA+ meet-and-greets, microPython enthusiasm, Python in games, or sewing pockets into clothing. You are only limited by your imagination!
BoFs are usually held in the hallways of the conference venue, or occasionally in a lecture room if there are no active talks at that time (e.g. during lunch breaks). Note that lecture halls may not be available during lunch breaks for operational reasons—check with our team first.
How do I run a BoF?
Organising a BoF is as simple as three easy steps.
Choose your time and location
Choose a place in the conference venue where 10-20 people could comfortably gather and hold a discussion without disturbing others. ICC has large hallways that should be able to host several clusters of BoFs at one time. We have exclusive use of Level 3 of the ICC, and there are some common areas on the ground floor with seating areas. Any other room in the venue is contracted out to other events, so please do not wander the building looking for space.
Sometimes nearby cafés are also a good place for BoFs. Just make sure they are close enough that people can get back to the venue in time for the next talk.
List your BoF
We’ll have a board near the registration desk where you can write the topic/theme and location, and pin it to a time on the board. It’s helpful to put your name, Discord alias or social media handle so that people can contact you with questions (but you don’t have to do all three).
You can also use this board to check what other BoFs are running, and you might find you want to merge communities or schedule around other sessions.
Announce your BoF!
Share your BoF in the attendee Discord. You can also post about your BoF using the #PyConAU hashtag. While careful not to spam everyone, it can be helpful to announce your BoF once when listing it, and again shortly before gathering (as a friendly reminder to anyone who has forgotten or missed your first announcement).
Please make a note of what other BoFs are running at the same time as yours, and try to choose a time and place that does not conflict with another BoF. To best include people as they arrive we recommend using the Pacman method, which involves leaving a person-sized gap in your standing or seating arrangements to give the new person an obvious place to be included.
Don’t gatekeep - if someone decides to turn up to your BoF, they are allowed to be there!
Stick to the pre-announced time and place of your BoF. If things change (i.e. you discover the space is not available, or you are running late), please announce this clearly in the attendee Discord and the #PyConAU hashtag.
Dinners, Breakfasts, and Drinks
If you would like to organise a dinner with other conference attendees, you can do so in the Discord. You can also post about your plans with the #PyConAU hashtag.
Conferences are a great chance to meet new people! When using the conference hashtag or Discord to promote events like dinners, breakfasts, or drinks, please make sure to include PyCon AU newcomers or people from outside your group of friends to the event. If you only want to have a gathering with your friends, please organise this privately. The assumption is that if you use the conference hashtag or Discord to talk about your event, it is open to all conference attendees.
Please be aware that the PyCon AU Code of Conduct applies to all BoFs and conference-adjacent events. Be mindful of your behaviour around other conference attendees, particularly if alcohol is being served.
Any issues at these events can be reported to the PyCon AU Code of Conduct committee and will be treated with the same gravity as if they had happened in the conference venue.