PyData is an educational program of NumFOCUS, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity in the United States. Through the combined efforts of NumFOCUS staff and the PyData community, we have created a strong brand recognized for conferences that:

  • Deliver valuable content from excellent speakers and presenters;
  • Serve the community through a strong organized network;
  • Provide beneficial sponsorship opportunities;
  • Give attendees a place to share and exchange knowledge, as well as to network with others in the field of data science; and
  • Uphold the high standards of conduct and conference diversity held by NumFOCUS.

The following guidelines will be used for all PyData events:

  • Any and all proceeds made from PyData events will benefit NumFOCUS, to be used for the support and promotion of the ongoing research and development of open-source scientific computing tools through educational, community and public channels.
  • PyData organizing committees should ensure that women and other underrepresented groups are members of the organizing committee and well represented among conference participants and invited speakers. We strongly encourage you to read through the full DISCOVER Cookbook and incorporate its recommendations into your conference planning.
  • An organizing committee of 5-7 members should be created with a chair or co-chairs as the main point of contact for communication with NumFOCUS, with the following positions assigned:
    1. Organizing Committee Chair(s)
    2. Program Chair (CFP, proposal review committee, schedule),
    3. Venue and Hotels Chair (catering, AV, hotel room block, etc.),
    4. Diversity Chair
    5. Sponsorship Chair, and
    6. Printing Chair (schedule handouts, signage, badges, t-shirts, etc.)
  • To provide continuity and consistency across all PyData events, as well as to reduce the time local committees spend on administration, NumFOCUS has established the following:
    • A Sponsorship Prospectus outlining sponsorship levels and benefits (custom packages can be created in consultation with NumFOCUS)
    • Website template that can be customized for each event location
    • Proposal submission and review system
    • Registration site managed by NumFOCUS
    • Diversity scholarship submission form
    • Financial administration executed by NumFOCUS

NumFOCUS is happy to discuss any requested changes that can help improve the event.


In order to proceed with a local PyData Event, the following should be established:

  1. An organizing committee of 5-7 members with a chair or co-chairs
  2. A review committee of 5-7 members with a program chair or co-chairs
  3. Confirmation of a venue with specific dates and any and all additional costs clearly identified (security, AV, custodial services, etc.)
  4. Quotes for videography and catering/food services
  5. Confirmed sponsorships sufficient to cover the costs of keynote travel expenses
  6. A detailed proposed budget (estimated ticket sales and all expenses)
  7. Written approval from NumFOCUS staff

Email [email protected] with questions or to propose a PyData event in your city.

Detailed Responsibilities:

Divided responsibilities of the Organizing Committee and NumFOCUS are listed chronologically in the table at the end of this document.

1) Organizing Committee Responsibilities:
  • The Organizing Committee Chair(s) will convene regular meetings of the committee, at least once per month, and ensure that meeting minutes are recorded. The Organizing Committee Chair(s) will maintain consistent and timely communications with NumFOCUS staff to ensure close coordination on matters affecting the conference. The Organizing Committee Chair(s) will serve as the primary point of contact for the entire committee, so as to keep communications with NumFOCUS staff centralized and manageable.
  • The Program Chair will convene a proposal review committee of 5-7 members. The Program Chair will serve as the main point of contact for communication with NumFOCUS about the CFP, Review, and Scheduling process. The committee will issue a Call for Proposals (CFP), review and vote on proposal submissions, coordinate 2-3 keynote speakers, and create the event schedule.
  • The Venue and Hotels Chair will be responsible for arranging audio/visual services and catering at the venue. All A/V and catering decisions must be made in consultation with and receive approval from NumFOCUS staff. The Venue and Hotels Chair will identify hotels where NumFOCUS can book a room block for discounted reservations for event attendees.
  • The Diversity Chair will be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the conference promote diversity of participation and an inclusive, welcoming environment. The Diversity Chair will promote and manage diversity scholarships, develop partnerships with local organizations to increase participation by underrepresented groups, and consult with other members of the Organizing Committee to ensure all aspects of the conference promote diversity and inclusion.
  • The Sponsorship Chair will be responsible for ensuring all committee members are identifying, approaching, and securing corporate sponsors for the event. The Sponsorship Chair will ensure that there are enough confirmed sponsorships sufficient to cover the costs of the venue, catering, AV/videography, and keynote speaker travel expenses. The Sponsorship Chair will coordinate with NumFOCUS staff prior to arranging any non-standard sponsorship packages. The Sponsorship Chair plays a very important role in ensuring the financial viability of a PyData event.
  • The Printing Chair will be responsible for the design, printing, and distribution of schedule handouts, venue signage, attendee badges, t-shirts, and any other collateral or “swag” required for the event. The Printing Chair will coordinate with NumFOCUS staff and must receive sign-off from NumFOCUS prior to printing/ordering.
2) Event Structure

The most common format for PyData events is:

  • 2 days of talks, 2-4 tracks
  • 1-2 days of tutorials, 2-4 tracks

Other formats are possible (e.g. 1-day workshop event). Email [email protected] to discuss potential event structure options.

3) Venue Guidelines

NumFOCUS asks that all PyData events attempt to secure the following:

  • A venue provided at no cost, hosted by a corporation or university
  • Plenary space for 250 or more people
  • Additional breakout rooms for 80 or more people for additional tracks (utilizing the plenary space for one track)
  • Space for sponsor tables, catering, and networking
  • AV connections for laptop presentations, with lavalier and hand mic
  • Wifi for all attendees
  • Electricity for attendee charging stations and sponsor tables
4) Budget

Revenue generated from PyData events play an important role in supporting NumFOCUS sponsored projects and the ongoing research and development of open-source scientific data tools through educational, community and public channels.

To facilitate financial administration by NumFOCUS staff, committees must:

  • provide up-to-date cost estimates, invoicing, and expenditures on a designated spreadsheet (provided by NumFOCUS)
  • secure approval from NumFOCUS for all transactions prior to payment (and prior to making any specific promises or proposals to vendors)
5) Sponsorships

To defray the cost of the event, organizing committees must secure corporate sponsorships. Sponsorship funding should cover most or all of the costs for the venue, catering, AV/videography, and keynote speaker travel expenses.

6) Templates

NumFOCUS can provide templates for the following items:

  • PyData conference logos
  • Sponsorship outreach and solicitation
  • Diversity scholarship program applications
  • T-shirt, badge, and lanyard designs
  • Sponsor banner(s) and schedule flyers/posters design
  • Video thumbnail, title cards, and closing slides

The following table delineates responsibilities between the local organizing committees and NumFOCUS:

On-Location Organizing CommitteeNumFOCUS
Venue arrangementsLocate a donated venue to host event, check available datesConfirm venue with sponsor or host
CateringArrange for catering if not included in venue sponsorship.Approve catering and costs, if applicable.
AV, Electricity and Wi-FiSet up with venue or outside AV team if not provided.Approve cost if not covered in venue sponsorship.
Website & MarketingHelp keep website “news” up-to-date, help with marketing and social media promotionOversee website, marketing, and social media coverage. Promote event through main PyData channels. Post news items if not posted by committee.
RegistrationHelp to determine ticket price and promote registration to local groups and community.Approve ticket price and set up and manage registration site
CFPPromote call for proposals to local meetups and communityIssue call for proposals on website and social media
Keynote SpeakersDetermine keynote speakersHelp with suggestions and contact of keynote speaker(s) if needed. Approve selection.
Proposal ReviewDetermine keynote speakersHelp with suggestions and contact of keynote speaker(s) if needed. Approve selection.
Speaker ContactNoneSend acceptance/rejection notices to speaker applicants; set up PyData speaker email group
ProgramCreate conference program/scheduleApprove schedule and post on website
Venue SetupArrange room setup with venue (classroom/theater, sponsor tables, stage, common/networking areas)Approve setup
HotelsCreate list of nearby hotels and submit for website, reserve a room block at a discounted rateEnsure hotels info is posted on website
SponsorsObtain sponsorships to cover the cost of the venue, catering, and AV/video recording. Forward sponsor contact info to NumFOCUS.Manage sponsorship agreements, communication, and invoicing
Video RecordingArrange for video recording if outside of US (unless provided by venue host). We have a contract in place for all US events.Approve recording estimate or arrange for video recording and contract. Coordinate publishing of videos to PyData YouTube channel.
Swag and T-ShirtsCoordinate design and printing of T-shirtsApprove t-shirts/swag
PrintingOrder conference banners, signage, and schedule handoutsApprove order estimate for printing and assist as needed
Badges & LanyardsDesign badges and lanyards, and find badge and lanyard SponsorsOrder badges and lanyards (if not ordered by sponsors)
VolunteersSecure volunteers to staff conference and manage registrationApprove volunteer numbers. Attend conference and help to oversee logistics if needed.
Post-ConferenceConduct post-conference internal review; provide feedback on how to improve in futureSend out post-conference correspondence