YAPC::Europe 2012 - The Survey Results
Many thanks to the 124 respondents, who made up 37% of the attendees. Although we usually experience a greater response from European attendees, the responses we did get still give a reasonable picture of the attendees. Once again it seems the attendees are getting older with the average age of an attendee being in their mid-30s. For a good proportion of the respondents this was their first YAPC, so we are still encouraging newcomers to get more involved in Perl community events. With 327 attendees in total this was the 3rd highest attended European YAPC (only just behind Vienna (340) and Lisbon (330)).
While many of the attendees are from Europe, interestingly the numbers attending from the UK & Ireland are falling, at least for those responding. I'm inclined to believe this is true of the complete assembly, as many of the established Perl pioneers in the UK & Ireland now only occasionally attend YAPCs. We are seeing many more newer faces becoming the new established Perl pioneers from right across Europe. I originally singled out the UK & Ireland, because in the early days it was often where almost half of the attendees came from. In future surveys I may remove this option.
While there is much more promotion of the YAPC events now, it does seem that we are mostly still only reaching those within the Perl community. Most of those that attend either already attend the event, or saw the promotion on a Perl website. There are still a large number of potential attendees we're not reaching. Many are developers who program in Perl, who typically don't read Perl blogs and news sites, but they do read various Linux or tech related feeds. Promotion at FOSDEM and other similar inclusive tech events may also help to keep our numbers growing.
Some interesting topics suggestions for future speakers, and several that I would be interested in seeing. "Network and secuirty" and "monitoring and automatisation" were two suggestions that might also help to encourage those outside of the community currently. I've seen these topics covered at other technical (non-Perl) events, and they are always well attended, and I'm sure we would have the same level of interest with Perl related talks too.
The survey respondents rated the conference an overall success, although there were quite a few issues with the building. It was also noticeable that BOFs are getting less and less promotion. It was good that the conference day started at a reasonable time each day, but more time after the main talks would have been great to encourage people to organise BOFs. Its often were small projects can promote themselves and encourage new contributions. They can often flow over into evening events, and are a way for newcomers to introduce themselves gently into the community.
Thank you to all the attendees who took the time to respond to the survey, and all the talk evaluations, as it really does help to make these events better every year. If you plan to attend next year, and didn't respond to the survey this year, what you could have told us to make things even better? Even if you were happy with the event, positive encouragement is always welcome. These survey results are also used to encourage potential sponsors that the events are worthwhile, and that they will get a benefit from supporting the Perl community. Having an even higher level of response adds more weight to the message organisers are telling them.
Apologies for the delay in getting these results online, a combination of CPAN Testers, work and family have meant I wasn't able to get around to tidying up the results until recently.
Enjoy the results.