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Information, resources, common questions and answers for those doing or prospectively doing talks/presentations at BALUG
*Thank you for your interest.* Please direct all correspondence to email@example.com. Our primary people and a group of volunteers will respond.
If you will or may be giving a talk/presentation at BALUG, the following information will likely be rather to quite useful to you.
Once you're confirmed to give a talk/presentation at BALUG the following are the first bits of information we'll need most immediately - or at least as soon as feasible - from you. You'll also want to familiarize yourself with the information on what resources we do/don't have available and how, and typical meeting timelines, to help optimize the talk/presentation experience. Name and working title for talk/presentation (and optionally affiliation) Most immediately after you're confirmed to give a talk/presentation at BALUG, we'll want ... name and working title Your name as you wish it to appear, and title, or "working title" for the talk/presentation. If there's some particular affiliation (e.g. company, organization, institution, etc.) we should show you as affiliated with, please provide that. description/outline Paragraphish outline or teaser for what the talk/presentation will cover or likely cover (needn't box oneself in as to precisely what will/won't be covered, but general outline or hints as to what will or likely will be covered is generally good) mini-bio A line (name and title/affiliation) to shortish paragraph on speaker(s)/presenter(s), background relevant to the topic/presentation, and occasionally other (very) short interesting bit(s) (e.g. "and also likes to jump out of perfectly good planes for fun"). Projector We generally have projector and screen available to us, but do note that our typical video setup results in rather low resolution projection to the screen. Particularly, we have a USB powered converter device which accepts most VGA type input (has VGA type connector - accepts up to XGA 1024x768) - it then converts to NTSC (ye olde analog television) composite video. That is then projected onto overhead screen (about a 10x10' screen mounted on about 20' high ceiling). This generally works quite adequately if the "slides" aren't too detailed (smaller text, lines and detail won't work so well, most everything else works adequately or better. E.g. a screen of 80x24 text is typically slightly too small to be easily read, but slightly larger (e.g. screen of 62x22 text) is quite readable.) We sometimes are able to make available higher resolution projector and portable screen (to bring screen closer to most of the audience - also, other than the ceiling mounted screens, the restaurant doesn't have surfaces that are well suited for projection) - but such isn't necessarily the case, and requires advanced notice and confirmation. One can bring one's own projector if desired, but again, there's the issue of available projection surfaces (sometimes BALUG may have portable projection screen available - may not always be the case, and also requires advance notice and confirmation). Audio We do have a pair of wireless microphones (and a microphone stand) and PA system generally available to us. It's probably also possible to feed other audio into the available equipment, but we may need some additional advance notice if such is desired in order to work out such arrangements. Networking? We generally have some type of Wi-Fi access at the Four Seas Restaurant (ESSID: FSR key: f0urseas) with NAT/SNAT Internet access to The Internet. It seems to be fairly reliable, but might occasionally drop out, drop connectoins, or (less commonly) require the access point to be reset. We typically don't have wired Ethernet connections available. Cellular reception is generally reasonable or better, so networking via EVDO or the like is also generally doable - though we don't have equipment to provide such - just the cellular signal is there. Power Standard 120 VAC 60Hz is available, and we can likely handle up to about 5A (600W) without particular concern (likely all on a single 15A circuit shared with other devices and equipment). If you do or may need more than 5A (600W), check with us first - we may or may not be able to provide such (or one might need a long suitably rated extension cord to draw additional power from another circuit).
(some times are approximate):
6:30 P.M. meeting officially kicks off - we gather near the restaurant's bar, socialize/meet/greet, typically do nametags, collect cash for dinner (we treat our guest speaker/presenter to dinner - so no charge there). 7:00 P.M. BALUG pays the restaurant for dinner, and we're seated for dinner. For >= 40 people, we generally eat upstairs (same room as used for presentation), for < 40 people (also a fairly common occurrence) we generally eat downstairs in the main dining area. Folks should arrive before 7:00 P.M. if they wish to join us for dinner (after 7:00 P.M. we may not be able to accommodate them for dinner due to our "family style" restaurant dinner pre-order arrangements). 7:55 P.M. if we're eating downstairs, and haven't already set up A/V equipment and connections upstairs, typically presenter/speaker and a BALUG person (or two or three) will migrate upstairs to get the A/V equipment set up, connected, and all set to go 8:00 P.M. if we're eating downstairs, we migrate upstairs for talk/presentation. We do "announcements", and "brief community announcements" (folks can take up to a minute to announce stuff likely to be of relevance to BALUG) before and/or after the talk/presentation Introduction and talk/presentation 8:45 P.M. - 9:15 P.M. talk/presentation concludes somewhere in this timerange, and often/typically winds down to Q&A (formally and/or informally) and/or more general discussion. if "announcements" and "brief community announcements" haven't already been done/concluded, we'll wrap that up. if we have any door prize drawings and/or giveaways, we'll typically do that folks may continue to mill about and talk following completion of the above <= 9:30 P.M. we try to fully wrap up and leave the restaurant by 9:30 P.M. (we are fairly often the last customers in the restaurant, and try to avoid inconveniencing the restaurant as much as possible, particularly in consideration of the deal they give us on dinner and use of the upstairs "banquet room" for our talks/presentations). Following the above, and if/as announced and if there are interested folks, some of us will occasionally gather after the meeting at a nearby pub (e.g. Li Po Cocktail Lounge, 916 Grant Ave. - two blocks away from the restaurant) for continued discussions, etc. "bumping" & the upstairs restaurant space and other restaurant notes: The restaurant is kind enough to allow us to use the upstairs restaurant space ("banquet room") gratis, but as part of that arrangement, though it rarely happens, we're subject to being "bumped" (if paying customers book that room that evening, then we don't have the space available to us). Our being "bumped" is a rather rare, but not unknown occurrence. In such cases we'd generally know in advance, but sometimes not very far in advance (e.g. many hours to a few days or so). Also, the larger the crowd we can accurately predict and "guarantee" for the restaurant, the less likely we are to be "bumped" (e.g. if/when we are or are likely to be a dining crowd of 50 or more, and are able to project that relatively well in advance, it's improbable the restaurant would "bump" us).