I start projects that I find exciting and fun. I now run the Prague Fall Season and co-lead the Prague CFAR Workshops series. Former Chairperson of the Czech EA Association. Experienced career coach.
What do you mean by "not picking up"? As in registering after being accepted? It is certainly the case that some people think the way you do. Also, many people procrastinate on finalizing their registration. Now, how much of which is in your "unclaimed tickets" pool is an open question. For EAGxPrague quite close to the application/registration deadline we had maybe up to 150 people who were accepted but haven't registered (and I had roughly 500 capacity). Not knowing if they are not coming or may just all register on the last day made it harder to accept other people and plan meals etc.
Once there is a confirmed registration number, that's a bit easier to work with regarding estimates of who will show up but I find the conversion rate of accepted -> registered more unpredictable. Especially since it was possible to apply for more conferences at once.
This is consistent with my experience. I agree these norms are good and make organizer's lives easier, but there is always a drop out rate and it is possible to plan for that. Did Berkeley have an unusually high number of noshows? For EAGxPrague we worked with an estimate of about 10% which ended up being quite accurate. I don't remember the exact number but I think we had about 450 registered and about 410 showed up (this does not include the people who actually canceled since they no longer show up as registered in the system). I think it would be possible to do a more detailed analysis of the drop out rate in time and the final number of noshows in case it's useful for future organizers.
To give people some idea about the cost of EAGX's: for Prague, where we had about 400 attendees, the cost was roughly £270 per person, and out of that, £120 was for food. Our venue didn't have its own catering so we could arrange what we wanted on whatever scale we wanted. We could easily just do lunch and snacks.
Since I’m running the project in question (not Wytham Abbey), I would like to share my perspective as well. (I reached out to the author of the comment, Bob, in a DM asking him to remove the previously posted addresses and we chatted briefly about some of these points privately but I also want to share my answers publicly.)
I'd like to make a brief note on the importance of translating EA content because I've often encountered a general idea which is something like "as a movement, we are basically mainly interested in people who already speak English so they'd just read the original and the translation wouldn't bring any additional benefit".
An answer to this could be a standalone forum post, but in short:
There are a number of roles open in the Prague ecosystem, they're all listed here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ikyq5e1eBy-9ZVDlt7aCeJop_uOacKN0h9neAREFmt8/edit#gid=1933265623
You can apply here:
I'd like to highlight the upcoming Prague Fall Season which is hiring for Operations Associates, Events Associates, and an Executive Assistant:
Hi Gregory, I will be running these workshops together with John, so I'd like to respond to your comments.
I think that it is fair for you to post your warning/recommendation but as far as I can tell, today's CFAR is quite different from the organization that you say demonstrated "gross negligence and utter corporate incompetence" in the past. You say that the evidence is sparse that anything has changed and I'm not sure about that but I'm also not the person to make that case because I'm not CFAR - I'm a CFAR developer running a project with other CFAR developers and a couple of CFAR core staff.
I can only speak for myself as one of the co-leads of this project and what I can say is that we see the skulls. They're a bit hard to ignore since they're everywhere! But that is exactly why we think we have enough of an understanding of what happened and how to learn from it. We are very much aware of the previous mistakes and believe that we can do better. And we want to try because we think these workshops are good and important and that we can do them well.
I generally think that people and organizations deserve second chances but ultimately it is for the people to decide. We will be fulfilling our role as event organizers by mitigating risks to our participants, to the extent that we reasonably can (based on CFAR's past mistakes and also based on our own experience and judgment). And our participants will decide if they trust us enough to come to an immersive workshop with a bunch of other humans who they will interact with for 4.5 days.
Hi Brian, I hope that you'll eventually be able to make it to the workshops, we certainly hope that there will be more next year.
Eventually, we would like to update the website but we have limited capacity and we were focused on getting the dates and applications out there as early as we knew they were happening so people could pencil in the dates. Now we are also running admissions, coordinating staff, working on content and logistics etc. Given all of this, it will likely take us a couple of more weeks to update.
I appreciate the style and authenticity in this post. Would love to see more of this both from you and on the forum in general!