Feedback: Split rooms are troublesome for containing presentations

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Oct 26, 2009, 5:48:46 PM10/26/09
Over on the DC thread, there's some thought that we might be able to
use DIY dividers to split a large space into smaller ones.[0] This is
possible, and works in a pinch.

Since I think it'd be helpful for us to write down our thoughts and
share them, here are some of my thoughts for future events (not the
upcoming DC one). To be clear, these thoughts are in no way an opinion
that the DC event's potential single large room is a showstopping
problem. I'm merely recording my own thoughts for future consumption.

Dividing a large room into smaller ones with DIY dividers has been
tried before at KinkForAll New York City 2. It was a good experiment,
but I think it's less than ideal because such dividers often do a poor
job of isolating the sound from one presentation from being overheard
in another. This makes it difficult for both audience and presenter to

My experience of the divided rooms in KFANYC2 was like that, and I
heard several people complain about the the cross-talk from the
presentations near them in the same room. The lack of sound isolation
also made it harder for recording devices to hear things clearly. You
can hear the cross-talk in the recordings of both Rob's "Hacking
Consent"[1] and Dov's "Teaching in the Scene"[2] presentation videos.
Compare with Emma's "Gender Chat" one,[3] as an example, to see how
much less cross-talk is problematic if we use single rooms.

Following from this, I'd suggest:

* Let's do our best to get smaller rooms more closely packed together
than rooms spread far apart. The more rooms we have, the more
presentations we can run simultaneously and the less likely each room
needs to be bigger since more people will be more spread across
multiple rooms anyway. I.e., increase the number of rooms we have
instead of the sizes of the rooms as we expect a local event to grow
in attendance.

Of course, there are plenty of factors that go into getting a space.
These are my thoughts on this factor, since it just came up.

I'm going to add these notes to our wiki page about venues as well,
and welcome feedback either here or on the wiki page itself.

Talk show:



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