I am about to leave Zurich - Jazoon conference is over. Those of you who did not visit this conference may be wondering how it was (this was the first Jazoon ever)... so here are my comments.
- The conference was organized in a cinema complex, similarly as Javapolis. I love doing presentations on big screens - everyone can see the code and it is just great to have a movie-size NetBeans running on the screen. The comfy chairs are also cool - and you can take drinks for the presentations.
- The venue was very nice, with free drinks, high speed internet access (I was downloading the OpenOffice SDK with average speed of 1 MBps!). The wifi worked during the whole conference flawlessly - I don't remember having such an experience at any other conference.
- The JUG leaders meeting was very fruitful. It was great to meet JUG leaders from other European countries and discuss the future of the JUGs movement.
- The video and audio was great - you may expect this from such a conference but I gave presentations at too many conference where the video was bad with unreadable fonts, microphones kept interfering and the tech support was not helpful - the support guys were great at Jazoon and very flexible.
- There was a plenty of presentations to choose from - I had a good time and learned new things at this conference.
- The software demos and regular presentations were not aligned - they started in different times. This is really not good, because then almost noone comes to the software demos, because they start in different time than the presentations. I mostly get a good number of attendees even for software demos but here I got only few attendees for my demos. Please align presentations and demos next year.
- The number of attendees could have been higher - the conference felt half-empty during some of the presentation. It was nice that the presentations were not crowded, on the other hand the atmosphere is much better in conferences with more people.
- The conference was too much vendor oriented - I even thought there were too many presentations from Sun (yes I know I should not complain about this :) - it would be nicer to have a more equal representation of all Java-related topics, like it is e.g. at Javapolis.
- Only 40 minutes for presentations? C'mon guys, this is ridiculous... almost every presentation I attended was rushed because of this fact. You need to extend them to 50 minutes at least. Presenters can't go enough deep if you give them 40 minutes only. This has to change for the next year.
- Call for papers - the call for papers required the presentations to provide long abstracts (I think it was 5 pages). I don't remember such requirement at any other conference. From this reason me and my colleagues submitted just software demos which were easier to accept (and had 50 minutes, not 40). However the attendance was not good because of the misalignment of session start, which was kind of a bummer. Please have normal CFP next time and treat all sessions equally!
Although I have some negative comments I did enjoy Jazoon and I had lots of fun here in Zurich. If you come to Zurich, I recommend to rent a bike (they rent them for free) and bike around the lake... the trips around Zurich are also very nice. I'll definitely try to come next year!