With XML 2006 barely over, we’re already deep into planning XML 2007. Here’s your first peek at what we have planned.
Time and place
XML 2007 is confirmed for Monday 3 December to Wednesday 5 December 2007. We’ll be meeting in Boston again, but at a different hotel, the Boston Marriott Copley Place (located at the opposite end of the Prudential Centre from the 2006 hotel).
A lot of people asked about moving the conference to early November. I think that’s an excellent idea, but unfortunately, we have to book the hotel over a year in advance, so we cannot make that change until 2008.
There will be a few significant program changes for 2007. First, there will be no tutorial day before XML 2007 begins. Attendance for the tutorial day has been declining for several years, and with the obvious lack of interest from our attendees, it no longer makes sense for IDEAlliance to offer it. However, we will try to incorporate more beginner-level and tutorial-style presentations into the main program.
The vendor pecha-kucha went very well in 2006, but for 2007, we’re considering replacing it with a standards pecha-kucha, either in the evening or during one of the days. Each standards committee will have 20 slides (at 20 seconds each) to give us a quick update on what they’ve been doing over 2007 and what to expect in 2008 — that will make it possible for attendees to learn a bit about a lot of standards in a relatively short time.
The publishing and web tracks at XML 2006 were extremely well attended (often overflowing out of the space), and the enterprise track put up a more modest but still respectable showing. However, with only a couple of exceptions, the hands-on track did not attract the same number of people, and we’ve decided to discontinue it in 2007. While we haven’t made a final decision, we may replace it with a vendor track. I personally don’t object to a vendor track as long as it’s well labeled — slipping vendor presentations into the main program is analogous to letting advertisers buy search-engine placement, while having a separate vendor track is more analogous to Google text ads, since it’s clearly distinct. In any case, it turns out that there are lots of people who do want to hear product-specific information and even sales pitches.
We will end the formal program on Wednesday 5 December with a closing keynote around noon. The afternoon will be available for user-organized activities, such as BOFs, committee meetings, or even pub crawls and karaoke — we’ll provide an online forum to help you organize these activities well in advance, and we’ll publicize them on the conference web site. In the past, these activities have been confined to evenings, when people are already tired; moving them to the afternoon should make it possible for more people to participate.
XML 2007 will not have a late-breaking call for papers; instead, we’ll open the regular call for papers early (probably at XTech 2007 in Paris), and will keep it open to the end of August or even into September. As with XML 2006, I’m hoping for a mix of veteran and rookie speakers at the conference — I especially like it when we can bring people in from other fields.
Also, by popular request, we’re looking at providing individual evaluation forms for each speaker, so that attendees can help us identify the best and most entertaining among you. We’ll also go back to asking for proceedings before the conference, since that was overwhelmingly what people want; however, we will continue to accept papers in PDF or XHTML format so that speakers do not have to try to set up their own XML mini-publishing systems.