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How to Produce an Access Grid Event


How to Produce an Access Grid Event Jennifer Teig von Hoffman Boston University & National Computational Science Alliance – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: How to Produce an Access Grid Event

How to Produce an Access Grid Event
  • Jennifer Teig von Hoffman
  • Boston University National Computational
    Science Alliance

What Well Cover Today
  • How much planning is needed?
  • How can I attract participants?
  • What do I need to do before my event?
  • How much staff will I need during my event?
  • How can I evaluate my event?

Todays Focus
  • Big, polished AG events require plenty of
    planning and preparation
  • Informal AG events require minimal preparation
    theres not much there to talk about from an
    event planners point of view

  • Please jump in at any time with questions or

Primary Reference
  • Access Grid-in-a-box tutorial, How to Produce an
    Access Grid Event An Elementary Guide for
    Technical Users
  • http//webct.ncsa.uiuc.edu8900/public/AGIB/

A Sound Beginning
  • Todays seminar will introduce you to general
    concepts, giving you a good starting place for
    planning events
  • As technology changes, best practices in planning
  • 1999 -gt the present -gt the future

  • At each site, please tell us
  • Your name
  • Your experience with the Access Grid
  • Your role in Access Grid events

Getting Started
  • How Real Life Translates into Life on the
    Access Grid

Common Sense
  • The technology is revolutionary, but (for now at
    least) the planning skills are mostly common
  • However, the distributed nature of the AG means
    that the consequences of poor planning can be
    more disruptive

What is an AG Event?
  • Anytime people get together on the AG
  • Each AG event takes place in a Virtual Venue
  • Virtual Venue virtual conference room
  • Some Venues require reservations

Some Need Lots of Planning
  • SC Global
  • PACS Training Workshops
  • Virtual Conference on Genomics and
  • Demonstration for Governor of Illinois

Some Need Little Planning
  • Planning meeting with Mary and Ariella
  • U. Australia management meetings
  • SC Global planning meetings
  • First Annual Access Grid Symposium on Beerology

Be Minimalist When You Can
  • Planning your first few events will help you
    learn where and how you can minimize preparations
  • Unnecessarily rigid or excessive preparation
    requirements can discourage sites from

Factors to Consider
  • Tolerance for interruptions
  • Potential consequences of failure
  • New technologies and/or new operators

  • Ask yourself could you pause for
  • Audio adjustments?
  • Loading presentation files?
  • Other unforeseen circumstances?
  • The larger the number of participating sites, the
    higher the likelihood of interruptions

Consequences of Failure
  • If the meeting doesnt go smoothly
  • Would critical work go unfinished or be
    unacceptably delayed?
  • Would a public relations or political problem

New Tech or Operators
  • Are there new nodes at any critical participating
  • Have you recently upgraded hardware or software?
  • Any changes in your networking?
  • Are any of the participating sites being managed
    by new operators?

Marketing Your Event
  • How to Attract Participants and Participating

Recruiting Participating Sites
  • Network within the AG community to find
    interested sites, asking for their commitment to
    participate before announcing the event
  • Or, require participants to ensure they have
    appropriate access to an AG node
  • Consider who your audience is

Get the Word Out
  • AG mailing lists
  • must be subscribed to post
  • Any other mailing lists to which your event would
    be relevant

Choose Words Carefully
  • NOT Attend at any of the AG locations listed on
    the AG web site link
  • INSTEAD Attend at any of the following AG
    locations list of participating sites.
  • OR Participants are responsible for ensuring
    they have use of a well-functioning AG node.

Time Zones Matter
  • Always list local time zone and GMT
  • Consider non-US participants
  • Multiple sessions in staggered time zones?

Managing Registration
  • Central registration
  • One registration form, including list of
    participating sites
  • Forward participant data to participating sites
    as appropriate
  • Distributed registration
  • Each participating site has own form
  • Organizer requests data as appropriate

Planning Your Event
  • Developing Appropriate Strategies

You Need a Good Foundation
  • Stable, fully debugged multicast networking
    (which must be monitored over time)
  • The latest release of AG Toolkit software
  • All hardware and software consistent with the AG
    specification or requirements
  • Technical staff with sufficient time available to
    keep their skills current and the node

Make It So
  • You must ensure that your staff have access to
    the resources they need
  • Hardware/software
  • Network support
  • Time

Bare Minimum Preparations
  • Just reserve a room and show up ?
  • Node ops may want to arrive a bit early
  • Work with your node operator on technical issues
    as you go along
  • Presentation files
  • Audio adjustments
  • Camera adjustments

Big Events as Proving Grounds
  • Its not unusual for a new (and possibly
    temporary) node to be set up for a big event
  • If youre the main site, and setting up a new
    node, double your prep time
  • Networking
  • Audio

When You Need More Polish
  • Amount of necessary preparation varies widely
    depending on several factors
  • Some is prep you need to do anyway
  • Developing and finalizing agendas
  • Coordinating with presenters
  • Marketing and registration
  • Evaluation

Getting Started
  • Determine approximate number of presenters,
    participants, and participating sites
  • Develop a draft agenda
  • Develop marketing and evaluation plans
  • Meet immediately with your technical team leader

On Your Draft Agenda
  • Order and physical location of speakers
  • List of all participating sites
  • Work with your technical team leader to include
    info on issues including
  • Presentation software and media
  • Backup/contingency plans
  • Appropriate redundancy or breaks for tech staff

Practicing for Your Event
  • Test Cruises and Content Rehearsals

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
  • The bigger and more formal the event, the more
    rehearsals you need
  • Two types of rehearsal
  • Test cruise
  • Dry run

Test Cruises
  • Ideally, should be planned and led by your
    technical team leader
  • Objective Ensure that all sites have
    well-debugged nodes and network and are
    well-versed in all relevant technologies

How Many Test Cruises?
  • Your technical team leader should consider
  • How experienced is your local team?
  • How many participating sites?
  • How many of those sites have new nodes?
  • How many new or unusual technologies will be in

What to Test in the Cruises
  • All technologies which may be used in the actual
  • Standard AG audio, video, and MOO
  • Distributed or Remote PowerPoint?
  • Telephone backup channel?
  • Distributed VR?

Dry Runs
  • To determine how many to hold, and whose
    attendance to require or request, ask yourself
  • Have these presenters spoken over the AG before?
  • Are they comfortable with the AG?
  • Will they facilitate complicated interactions?

Holding a Dry Run
  • Invite speakers to do abbreviated versions of
    their presentations
  • Rehearse any complicated interactions
  • Music, art, dance?
  • Facilitating group discussion among large number
    of people/sites?

Recommended Reading
  • Tips on Communicating Effectively over the AG
  • http//
  • Beginner's Guide to Facilitating Interactive
    Communications on the Access Grid
  • http//

Final Test Cruise Pre-flight
  • Technical staff should arrive at the appropriate
    virtual venue 30-60 minutes before the event
  • If participants will be arriving in the nodes
    physical space early, you and your staff may need
    to arrive even earlier
  • Ideally, presenters should participate in final
    audio tests

Staffing Your Event
  • Roles and Responsibilities

Again, General Guidelines
  • Well discuss one way to divide up the labor
    again, your mileage may vary
  • When you design your own staffing plans, keep in
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the people on
    your team
  • The needs of your particular event

Each Site Has Its Own Staff
  • Each site participating in a given event is
    responsible for developing their own staffing
    plan, and filling the roles appropriately
  • You may wish to work with representatives of each
    site on their staffing plans

Each Venue Is Different
  • The size of your physical venue plays a large
    part in determining the size of your staff

The Bare Minimum
  • At the main site
  • Meeting leader (ie, meeting chair)
  • Node operator (might be the meeting leader)
  • At all other sites
  • Node operator, if necessary

Bigger, More Polished Events
  • Producer of overall event
  • Usually also acts as local Producer too
  • Technical Director of overall event
  • Usually also operates node in some capacity
  • Floor Manager
  • Additional node operators/assistants

Producers Responsibilities
  • Manage and support local team
  • In many small- or medium-sized events, Producer
    and Technical Director merge into one role

Producers Responsibilities
  • In collaboration with the Technical Director,
    develop technical web page for event
  • Also known as Production Plan or Technical Agenda
  • During event, determine how/when it is
    appropriate to deviate from the agenda

Technical Directors Responsibilities
  • Provide technical leadership and guidance to the
    entire team
  • Locally and for the whole event
  • Collaborate closely with the Producer
  • Test cruises and content rehearsals
  • Technical web page

Technical Directors Responsibilities
  • Collect and place online all required files for
    participating sites
  • Ensure arrangements are made for technical
  • AG Venue reservation, if necessary
  • Back-up public channel telephone line

Master of Ceremonies Responsibilities
  • Introduce presenters and keep them on schedule
  • Manage audience in case of any disruptions to
  • May give brief explanation of any pauses
  • May use opportunity to share anecdotes
  • Manage flow of questions

Floor Managers Responsibilities
  • Ensure all presenters arrive at the podium on
  • Keep track of time, and let MC know if presenters
    need to be nudged along
  • May support MC by communicating with presenters
    using cue cards
  • 5 Minutes Left, Times Up

Other Operators/Assistants
  • Monitor outgoing and incoming audio
  • Manage front display wall
  • Monitor outgoing video streams
  • Manage microphones
  • Manage podium laptop with presentation tools

Essential Communications
  • Use the MOO, the official Access Grid
  • Communicate among staff at all participating
  • Communicate among staff at local site
  • Optionally, use telephone back-channel
  • Optionally, use headset radios within the room

Evaluating AG Events
  • Learning from Your Experience

Special Considerations
  • Participants geographically distributed so
    event experience may vary significantly from site
    to site
  • Quality of audio system?
  • Appropriate size of room and screen?
  • Effective and efficient management of front
    display screen?

Areas to Evaluate
  • The content of the event
  • You can adapt your current evaluation form for AG
  • The technology and how well it supports the
  • Audio, video, presentation materials clear?
  • Communications among sites work smoothly?

A Suggested Strategy
  • Web-based evaluation form with no required fields
  • Announce URL of evaluation form during event
  • Follow-up email to participants the next day,
    including URL

Share Your Results
  • Understanding how and why AG events succeeded, as
    well as failed, helps us all

Case Studies
Case Study SC Global 2001
  • A component of Supercomputing 2001 (Denver,
  • Volunteer planning committee, representing many

Dancing Beyond Boundaries, Presented by U. of
Florida As Viewed from University of
Manchester, United Kingdom
An Unprecedented Event
  • Very structured, high-visibility, and
  • 40 participating sites, some contributing
    content, some just lurking
  • 100 participants at many locations
  • Four days of content, often in four or more
    concurrent tracks

Diverse Content
  • Visual arts
  • Music and dance
  • Technology demonstrations
  • Technical Papers
  • Panels
  • Birds of a Feather sessions

Unprecedented Preparations
  • Application process winter/spring 2001
  • Separate proposal processes for presenting
    sessions and participating as a Constellation
  • Test cruises twice a week, July November 2001

Required Training for All Sites
  • Production Institute, September 2001
  • Production-oriented training for staff at all
    sites contributing content
  • Mega-cruise, October 8
  • Dry runs of (most) all content

SC Global Successes
  • Innovative sessions a big hit
  • Many successful new AG deployments, both before
    and after SC Global
  • Enabled people to interactively participate in
    SC01 conference who would not otherwise been able
    to do so, both as presenters and as audience

SC Global Lessons Learned
  • Never underestimate the importance of adequate
    lead time for new AG installations, especially
    with regard to network debugging
  • Create redundancy in staffing and equipment
  • Prepare evaluation strategy well before the event
  • Bring more widgets than you need

SC Global Lessons Learned
  • Practice pays off
  • Some of the most successful sessions were also
    the most practiced, in some cases because they
    were innovative AG uses
  • Calculated risks are worth taking
  • As always, your staff is your most important asset

Sneak Preview SC Global 03
  • Phoenix Arizona, November 2003
  • One physical venue in Phoenix
  • Proposal process tightly integrated with SC03
    Technical Program
  • Strong preference for sessions featuring
    technical advances in advanced collaboration

Case Study MPI Workshop
  • Report on March 28 29, 2001, MPI Workshop over
    the Access Grid, Leslie Southern, Ohio
    Supercomputer Center, April 2001
  • http//
  • Excellent overview of preparation for and
    evaluation of the event

In Closing. . .
Recommended Reading
  • Access Grid Documentation Projecthttp//www.acces
  • As you gain expertise and confidence, please
    consider writing documents to submit to the AGDP

Practicing What We Preach
  • Please fill out our evaluation form
  • http//
  • Ideas for other seminars? Please let me know ?