Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What’s an unconference?
An unconference is a conference in which the participants – rather than the organizers – decide which sessions happen each day and on which topics. In the many years we have been organizing unconferences, we have found that for complex subjects like the Fediverse, attendees get more value (and fun!) out of unconferences than from traditional conferences. Sounds disorganized? It did to us, too, until we actually experienced our first one. So don’t worry, it will be fine :-)
Here are some suggestions for how to prepare for an unconference.
FediForum is scheduled for the middle of the night for people located in Asia-Pacific. Can you schedule this differently?
We want to have a single event where all attendees can participate in all sessions. This allows the discussion in later sessions to build upon the discussion in earlier sessions. There is also less need to bring people from different time zones up to speed later, potentially boring the attendees who heard this before. We found that most FediForum attendees are likely to come from the Americas and from Europe, and fewer from Asia-Pacific, so that’s what we are scheduling it for at this time. We may host on-line events in the future that focus on other time zones.
How many (almost) free tickets are available?
Registrations at the contributor level fund the (almost) free ticket category. As more contributor registrations come in, we will make more (almost) free tickets available.
Why do you charge for attendance?
Several reasons:
  • Organizing conferences costs time and money, like many other things in the Fediverse. We believe the sooner the Fediverse finds a way to pay for itself that doesn’t depend on the heroic efforts of a small number of individuals, the better. We want to build something that is sustainable, and to do that, it needs to know how to pay for itself.
  • It aligns the objectives between organizers and attendees, and keeps us organizers focused on what you want out of the conference; as opposed to us pushing an agenda, or letting a sponsor unduly influence the agenda.
  • In our long experience organizing conferences we have learned that people who pay for an event are much more likely to actually attend. Free-of-charge conferences often have more no-show’s then actual attendees.
Why do you use Eventbrite for registration?
We were unable to find Fediverse-compatible event registration software that has all the features we need, such as accepting credit cards. If you know of such software, please let us know, and we may consider using it next time.
What software do you use to host FediForum on-line?
We are using Qiqo, which integrates several useful tools into one integrated experience: multi-track agenda, session notes, chat, as well as video and audio. We have used it successfully for many unconferences for some years, including FediForum. It’s run by a small team we know very well with extremely responsive support.
So far FediForum has exclusively been on-line. What about an in-person event?
From attendee feedback we’ve learned that few FediForum attendees would be able to travel to an in-person FediForum at this time. After all, the FediForum community is truly global! So we will keep the main FediForum event online, but we are considering running additional, smaller in-person events as well. Interested? Reach out!