Also there was a proportionate drop in the number of sponsors. 14 sponsors in 2014 as opposed to 11 in 2015. So many people ask us why the numbers dipped? That’s a fair question. Following are the reasons why we think the numbers dipped:
- We moved from Four 1-day mini-conferences to Two 2-day mini-conferences. (So naturally the count will dip. In 2016, we are back to Five 1-day mini-conferences.)
- In 2015, we shrunk the program team size to 9 members from 29 members in 2014. Reason: we wanted to experiment and see what happens if we don’t decide the team upfront, but add members to the team only based on their contributions (esp. via the Submission System.) I guess that did not work out all that well. In 2016, we are back to a 26 member team that is decided upfront.
- Overall the planning for the 2015 conference was delayed. Only in Sep 2014 we started actively working on the conference. As opposed to starting in July 2013 for the 2014 conference. (For 2016, we started work in June 2015 itself.)
- Part of the reason for the delay was because, we were busy planning the Agile Pune 2014 Conference. Now planning 2 fairly large, international conferences on the same topic, 4 months apart, can lead to them competing with each other. Each year we do organise a bunch of smaller, regional conferences. However with the Pune conference we got bit ambitious. A good lesson learned.
- The themes selected for the 2015 conference was a repeat from the most popular themes from 2014 conference. In hindsight, that was a bad idea. Participants and Companies want something new every year. (For 2016, we have 5 brand new, relevant and trendy themes: Research Camp, Lean Startup, Enterprise Agile, Continuous Delivery & DevOps and Agile in the Trenches.)
I can go on…but you get the idea.
This does not mean we will stop experimenting. We’ve been successfully running this conference for 11 years and every year we try something new, something different. That’s what keeps the excitement & enthusiasm for us (a group of volunteers, with regular day-time jobs.)