Feeling Welcome

At AZUG, we care deeply about making our events a safe and welcoming space for everyone involved.

Given AZUG is driven by volunteers, this does involve making trade-offs due to available time and effort. We want to prioritize those efforts that have the most impact on safety, comfort, diversity, and accessibility.

On this page, we will list the things we are doing, those that we consider and those that we decided not to do for the time being.

Do provide us your feedback on these - if you are affected by these efforts, if you have relevant experiences, or if you are simply a bystander who cares, let us know what you would like to see us do differently.

Please send your ideas or concerns to getintouchwithus@azug.be. We treat all submissions confidentially and equally.

Doing

Code of Conduct

We ask all participants, speakers, sponsors and volunteers to adhere to our Code of Conduct at all of our events. We also invite everyone to report any violations as soon as possible, so we can take appropriate action.

Contact Person

Refer our Code of Conduct for contact details regarding violations or questions. For general enquiries, ideas or concerns, e-mail us at getintouchwithus@azug.be.

We treat all submissions confidentially and equally.

Speaker Reimbursements

Reasonable speaker expenses are reimbursed. For more information, check [our travel policy]/speakers/travel-policy).

Having limited means is not an objection to speak at our user group or conference. E-mail us at getintouchwithus@azug.be if you have any questions around this, we will happily assist.

Language

We encourage participants to speak English, even if you share another language with your conversation partners. This makes it easier for others to join.

Speaker Diversity

We put a lot of effort in curating the content we present at our user group events and conferences. Even though Microsoft Azure-related sessions are somewhat of a niche, we make additional research efforts to find relevant speakers from underrepresented groups.

Gender-inclusive language

We attempt to always use gender-neutral language in our communication. Do let us know when we make mistakes!

Dietary requirements

For regular user group events, please e-mail us at getintouchwithus@azug.be if you have dietary requirements. Food is usually provided by our partners and we can not guarantee options are available without a notification upfront.

For conferences, we try to provide a mix of various ingredients to accommodate most dietary requirements. When unsure, e-mail us at getintouchwithus@azug.be and we’ll help out.

Doing (at conferences only)

There are a few things we can not always do, given we often get a location based on goodwill of our partners and third-parties. While we strive to always provide these at our user group meetings and conferences, we can only guarantee them at our conferences.

E-mail us at getintouchwithus@azug.be if you have any questions, we are happy to provide more insights for specific events.

Wheelchair accessibility

For conferences, the venue provides this as it is required by law.

For conference hotels, please check with your hotel to assure you have such a room.

Reserved accessible seating

E-mail us at getintouchwithus@azug.be for info.

Bring your assistant

If you need an assistant to help you attend the conference, we’ll give them a free ticket.

Regular user group events are usually free to attend, so please bring your assistant if needed.

Assistance animals

Animals are not allowed but we make an exception for assistance animals.

Under consideration (or upon request)

Volunteers

We are considering opening several spots on our volunteering team for our conferences. Volunteers would get conference access and reimbursements of reasonable travel expenses, in return for helping out at the conference for a short period. More on this when we have this crystal-clear.

Presentation Support

We do not offer official support to speakers who are new to public speaking, or who are developing new content.

However, we are happy to help pair you with someone who may be able to assist on a case-by-case basis to give feedback on the material, or help find opportunities for a new speaker to do a tryout at a user group event (meetup). E-mail us at getintouchwithus@azug.be if you have any questions around this.

Quiet Room

Since our user group events are typically held in different locations that we can only use on an ad-hoc basis, we can not guarantee a quiet room at all times.

At conferences, we usually do have a separate quiet room available, but this is not advertised. E-mail us at getintouchwithus@azug.be to double-check.

Prayer

See Quiet Room.

Instructing staff

We hire a lot of staff through suppliers (catering, hospitality, security, …). We discuss our various accessibility and diversity requirements with these suppliers, but it is hard for us to make sure every one of the staff they bring in is fully trained. We’re considering what and how to teach them about these efforts.

Discounts or scholarships for students or underrepresented groups

At the moment we have no scholarship program. We feel that given the topics, user group events and our conference mostly benefits people who work in the industry and can therefore afford to register.

We are open to consider individual cases, so do get in touch via e-mail (getintouchwithus@azug.be) if you feel we should reconsider.

Custom pronouns

For every edition we reconsider if we should put custom pronouns on badges, but so far haven’t found a compelling reason to do so.

Web Accessibility

While we attempt to apply best-practices in creating our web content, there are probably some gaps to bridge. Do reach out or create an issue/pull request in our GitHub repositories - our sites are open source.

Not doing (for now)

Speaker quota

We aim for an equal representation of women, people of color, and other minorities, a 50% speaker quota is hard to achieve for a niche user group and conference like ours.

We do actively seek out speakers from underrepresented groups to grow towards having equal representation.

Blind CfP selection process

We feel a title and an abstract alone are not sufficient to determine whether the presentation is suitable for the conference. We research candidate speakers by watching videos of earlier talks, reading blogs, having a conversation upfront… Therefore, blind selection is not possible.

Audio loops

Audio loops are not provided.

Live captioning or transcriptions

Live captioning or transcriptions are not provided.

Sign language interpreter

A sign language interpreter is not provided.

Childcare

Childcare is not provided.

Security

For user group events and conferences, we currently do not have dedicated security staff at the venue.