FOSDEM 2022: Support for speakers

Hello FOSDEM 2022 speakers!

As you all know, this year’s FOSDEM will be very different again due to the global pandemic - it will be a 100% online conference.

Like last year, the organisers are still making decisions and creating systems to be used, so our deadlines are unfortunately short.

Below you’ll find information on what you as a speaker need to do, the technical video requirements, and advice on how to record your talk video, then upload it to the Pentabarf system.

Preparing your talk

Please ensure your pre-recorded talk for FOSDEM 2022 is uploaded to the Pentabarf system (where you submitted your talk) no later than midnight (00.00 UTC) 21st of January 2022.

If your talk is presented by more than one person, this person must create a Pentabarf account and send the username to @Erioldoesdesign and @ei8fdb, who can add an extra speaker to the talk.

1. Speakers must record and edit their own talk.

Speakers will need to record, edit and upload their own talks. Devroom managers, Points of Contact, or FOSDEM organisers cannot do this for you.

FOSDEM organisers recommend using OBS to record and edit your talk video. This how-to gives useful advice. (OBS Recording: How to Use OBS Studio to Record or Stream Live Presentations - DEV Community) It can be installed on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Personally in the past I have had good experience using ScreenFlow on Mac OS.

If you have experience of other software, then feel free to use it as long as it can create videos in the correct format. (See point 6 below)

2. Upload deadline

Deadline for uploading your video to FOSDEM’s penta system is the midnight (00:00 UTC) 21st of January 2022.

We recommend you recording and editing the video as soon as possible to minimise delays due to technical issues.

Practical advice for speakers

Here’s some helpful advice for speakers -

1. Keep it simple!

We recommend you keeping your presentation reasonably simple in terms of slides, and camera. Here are some different video layouts, from easy to more difficult:

  • Making a video of slides with voice - this is the simplest
  • Making a video of slides with a “speaking head” in a small floating window in front - a little more complicated

2. Make sure your slides scale well

Don’t overload your slides. Make sure everything is readable when scaled down slightly. The 1280×720 video you send in might or might not be scaled down to fit onto a FOSDEM template!

3. Don’t go over time!

Make sure your video presentation fits into the length of time you requested with room to spare for questions and answers.

FOSDEM 2021 works on a strict broadcast schedule. The FOSDEM systems will ruthlessly cut you off at the end of your timeslot!

4. Make sure your video is in the right format

Your recording video format must follow these technical requirements:

resolution: 1280×720
frame rate: 25 fps
video codec: h264 video codec, main profile
video bitrate: <= 2Mbit/s
audio codec: aac audio codec
audio sample rate: 48 KHz mono
audio bitrate: 128 Kbit/s
media container: whatever is easiest for you

5. Uploading your talk

For those who are unsure of the technical details above, follow this (hopefully) easy approach:

When you upload the video, the FOSDEM upload system will verify that your video file meets the above constraints. If it does meet these constraints, there should be no problem.

If it doesn’t, the FOSDEM system will need to transcode it (convert the video from the format you’ve created it in to a format it is able to accept). This will take a longer time. You’ll need to wait and confirm it has been uploaded.

Last year we put together a quick screencast showing how to upload your talk -


(Obviously choose 2022, instead of 2021 ;))

4. Any questions?

If you have any questions, please get in touch with your Devroom Point of Contact - you’ve received an email with there name and email address.

Good luck!

For speakers - FOSDEM organisers have released this speakers manual to help new speakers

I’ve extracted the most useful information, as of today, 2022-02-01T23:00:00Z, for speakers. I hope this helps.

Speaker Q&A sessions

Your Q&A session will follow your pre-recorded video, you need to be online, logged into the Matrix chat (more information below) for this time.

As an example - if your timeslot is 10:00 - 10:30 - your video will be played out over the stream from 10am. There will be an associated text chatroom where the speaker, host and audience can talk. This means any questions can be answered directly whilst the video plays.

When the video completes, for example at 10:25 minutes, 30 seconds later, the live stream will automatically switch over to a live video room with the speaker and speaker point of contact.
(For Open Source Design devroom speakers you’ve already received an email from @ei8fdb and @Erioldoesdesign introducing you to your Speaker Point Of Contact)

The speaker host will lead a live Q&A/discussion on video, asking questions that have been upvoted in the text chat or asking questions of their own, clarifying anything that may not have been clear.

Just before the 10:30 close of the session, the live stream will end and if any of the audience want to continue the Q&A/discussion, they will be directed to the right place to go do that.

Think of it as a “hallway” contiuation of the conference room Q&A. After the talk closes at 10:30, and the next one begins, you can continue with your extended Q&A in a more open, informal fashion than during the session itself.

Matrix Real-time chat

The Matrix chat platform has been selected for the real-time organisers chat during the event. FOSDEM have released an article explaining the rationale here.

[For XMPP/Jabber users: a bridge is lso available]

Devroom organisers/host/moderators will need to join the chat through one of these connected channels on the day to process Q&A and communicate with FOSDEM staff.

Hosts and coordinators, and all speakers must ensure they have a host and a coordinator to support their talk. [Open Source Design speakers have been introduced to yours already! If you don’t know who they are ask @ei8fdb or @Erioldoesdesign]

Speakers, devroom managers and hosts can see the events you are listed against at the ‘Own Events’ link and upload videos will be available here.

Please make sure that hosts and coordinators are not taking part in a talk before or after your own – otherwise there could be problems with overlap during Q&A sessions outside of the presentation time.
Remember, your Q&A can continue in a separate live video conference after your talk has ended.

Further support

Getting into Matrix: Go the talk you want t join. Click on the link ‘Chat: Join the conversation!’, click on Element app, choose ‘Open on’ to open in browser. Then you’ll join the broadcast room

Some screen grabs:
Screenshot 2022-02-02 at 18.39.16