With the announcements of the tutorial, talk, poster, and several lightning talk selections, registration for PyCon 2014 is really on the rise. Before the announcements, we were just shy of 800 tickets sold, and our early bird registration rates were valid for those first 800. We're now on to the regular rates through the start of the conference, and sales are moving along nicely.
As we've mentioned before, PyCon's ticket price hasn't changed in quite some time. We think this conference provides a great value at a great price, but we're cognizant of the total cost of attending an event like this. That's why we've been setting aside a budget to make the conference more affordable for our attendees by way of our Financial Aid program. Applications have been open since August, and will close on January 1, 2014. We're aiming to have grant awards decided by January 15, 2014.
Coming to PyCon isn't just the $350 ticket cost, unless you live in Montreal or wherever the conference may be that year. For the majority of our over 2,000 attendees, travel and lodging are an additional cost. While breakfast and lunch are included in the ticket cost, dinner isn't. None of this is specific to PyCon, but we want to share this event with as many people as we can, so there are funds available to help make your trip more affordable.
Once you've created an account on the PyCon 2014 site, which you can do here, you'll see the application available in your dashboard. This is a departure from our previous Google Spreadsheet applications, but this is much easier to work with for everyone involved, and it's nicely integrated into our site and your profile.
As there are several expenses to cover for a trip to PyCon, we have grants to cover several of the common ones. Registration, both for the Friday through Sunday conference and for the Wednesday and Thursday tutorials, can be covered by a grant. Travel, be it by plane, train, or automobile, can also receive coverage. While PyCon really is a 24-hour conference, you'll probably want to rest at some point, and we can help cover hotel costs. We negotiate discounted room rates for all of our attendees, and we pair up recipients of hotel grants to share a room. This means we can help more people using less rooms.
We've also teamed up with PyLadies once again to offer a grant to women attending the conference. Along with other groups, they've been instrumental in changing the face of PyCon, and we're happy to work with them again.
Profession and Involvement
We like to know who you are, so the following questions help us get to know a bit about you, what you're doing with Python, and how you can help PyCon, and how PyCon can help you.
We start by asking what you do. We love students, and we've been doing everything we can to make this experience an option for them. We cut our student ticket prices in half, and through this financial assistance program, we hope to bring more of them in.
If you're employed, let us know what you do. If you're a Rocket Scientist, let us know. If you're unemployed, let us know that as well.
We also ask about your involvement within the Python community. Do you organize or attend local meetups? Do you contribute to any open source projects? Have you mentored other Python users? Anything you've done that has benefited the Python community is something we'd like to know about.
What do you want out of PyCon?
Everyone comes to PyCon for different reasons. Some people are hoping to turn from beginners to intermediates. Some are coming for specific tutorials. Some are coming to experience the environment and spend a few days at the sprints. Whatever it is you're looking to get out of your PyCon trip, let us know.
We're also looking for anything specific you want to learn. While there's plenty of information available right now about what's going to be at PyCon, there's still our on-site organized open spaces and Birds of a Feather sessions. Give us a hint at what you hope to leave Montreal with.
How you use Python
If you have public code available, we'd love to see it. We'd also like to know what you're using Python for. Tell us about your experiences and what type of software you're working on.
We're also interested in knowing your experience level. PyCon is a conference that aims to please attendees of all levels, whether you just found Python yesterday or you're a 10 year veteran. If you're a beginner, it'd be great if you can share how you've gotten into Python and what has helped you along the way.
Be sure to let us know if this would be your first PyCon!
Are you speaking?
Be sure to let us know if you have an accepted presentation in the conference. We want to make sure the people who are supposed to be on stage make it to the conference, so mark your application as such.
Remember: Applications for Financial Aid are due January 1, 2014! Apply today!