VCF UK (was:Re: Vintage Computer Festival 9.0)

Evan Koblentz evan at
Tue Sep 12 07:15:34 CDT 2006

>>>> Can anyone comment on how much effort and how many bodies it's taken to
organize a small(ish) event like this? 

Glad to!  I ran VCF East 3.0 in May, by default of heading the sponsoring
user group here in New Jersey.  Sellam cautioned me that even though our
local UG had done a few small exhibits here and there, and even though I'd
participated in three prior VCFs, that's all completely different from
actually running one.  Just when I thought I was prepared, and even with
Sellam's on-site help, there were still many details that I didn't plan for.
The best advice I can give is to starting making the plans as early as
possible, be very proactive about getting exhibitors and speakers, and
advertise the event more than you think you need to.  It's also very
important that you attend one or more VCFs before organizing one so you know
how the finished product is supposed to look.  (Imagine trying to solve a
jigsaw puzzle without a picture of it finished?)  Having done all of that,
our edition turned out pretty well (100+ paid attendees, nearly 20
exhibitors, five great guest speakers.)  So don't let the hard work scare
you off: it's worth it when you finally see the VCF happening and everyone's
having fun.  Beside myself, it took a team of about 10 very dedicated
volunteers (parking, tickets, food, exhibit set-up, schepping, t-shirts,
advertising, budget, power, etc.)  After about six months (mid-November,
just after the California VCF), it will be time for us to start planning
East 4.0 already.  Bigger and better = more work and time needed!

Hans Franke and Patrick Finnegan do the VCF Europa and VCF Midwest editions,
respectively.  Perhaps they'll chime in as well.

- Evan

(PS -- anyone who's doing a VCF and wants more insight is welcome to contact

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