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Okay, I know I want to go to DrupalCon... but I'm just an SE employee. We want to hear what the community thinks. There was already a short promotion post related to the conference, but March is coming up fast, and it's time to start planning in earnest.

Some quick info:

  • Drupalcon Denver is nominally March 19-23, 2012. However, there are typically pre/post conference events very worth attending.

  • Buying tickets by February 21st we get them for $350/each. After that it's $400 each. (Unless individual participants happen to be eligible for speaker, sprint leader, or other discounts, but we can hash that out later.)

  • The main Hotel (Hyatt Regency) has a $175/night rate for anyone going to the conference. It's wise to book sooner rather than later -- typically the hotel fills up fast once sessions are announced (November 16th in this case). We reduce our exposure considerably by being in another hotel, as that reduces access to after-hours and informal events where a lot of the real networking happens.

  • Not knowing who we're sending or where they live, I can't guess at travel prices.

  • Sponsorship opportunities range from $45k down to $4k and include various stuff detailed here. I have no idea how much money SE plans to throw at this, but (assuming we go, which I think we should), I'll do my best to make sure that whatever number we come up with is spent as effectively as possible.

I can't think of a better opportunity to promote our site to the Drupal community. In addition to the obvious opportunity to make thousands of attending Drupallers aware that we exist, it's likely that getting a few more Drupal opinion-makers interested in Drupal.SE (or at least convinced that we aren't a threat to Drupal's own support efforts) it'll filter down quickly and help Drupal.SE grow.

Should Drupal.SE send some users to DrupalCon? Who? What should they do there?

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I think SE would be better off sponsoring the event or giving away T-shirts that SE members can wear at the conference. Of course it would be nice to pay for event tickets for the top 2 or 3 members on this site ;-)

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Drupal.SE send some users to DrupalCon?

Sure.

Who?

  • Conference speakers that happen to be SE users.
  • Top %25 SE users. There's always post-conference hacking sessions where participants help improve Drupal. Your users could use this time to answer the queue of unanswered questions on Drupal Answer. You could send an email to this pool of users to opt-in to be picked randomnly.
  • The 1-5 users. This would motivate your users to compete for the top price and improve participation, theoretically speaking.

What should they do there?

Apart from promoting Stack Exchange, you could propose a session for the best practices and methods for asking questions and posting answers based on your expertise, however silly that may sound. After all, asking a question is an art. If a regular hour long session seems to much, you could also conduct a Birds of Feather (BoF) session.

I'd also recommend talking to Drupal community on the #drupal channel prior to the conference regarding:

  • What they think are Drupal Answer's strenghts and weaknesses.
  • How it compliments or competes with the main D.O. site.
  • What are their general expectations of Drupal Answer.

I personally don't know the answer to these questions, but asking them in the open would give you a measurement of community expectations before going to the conference. Based on this feedback you could also formulate further ideas for the Drupal conference.

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