[North America] Initial thoughts on the first North America Regional conference

Tyler Mitchell tmitchell at osgeo.org
Thu Nov 24 03:42:48 EST 2011

On 2011-11-18, at 8:47 AM, Mark Lucas wrote:

> 1) Deconflict the schedule.   Perhaps schedule our regional conference around May (I believe Beijing is Sep)

> 2) Use GITA with our collective experience of the Denver FOSS4G 2011 event to minimize risk (outsource much of the organization and logistics to GITA again)

+1 and +1 - they were really great to work with on so many details, it was a real pleasure.

> 3) Plan for a smaller, less complex event (not as many parallel tracks, maybe in conjunction with another planned activity)

We have a good opportunity to address one major FOSS4G feedback I've heard a few times now - giving businesses a place to meet with their peers.  I don't mean the one man consulting shops, rather larger companies even some of the largest we can think of.  They have geo needs for sure but won't get much out of a primarily technical focused event.  We can address that need here.

The second group I'd like to target are those new to this sphere - what Brian Timoney kicked off this year with the "newcomer" event - aiming at middle/upper management and helping get them oriented would be a natural fit with my first interest as well.  

That way we get the decision makers up to speed and then we get them networking to solve bigger problems and find collaborative solutions with their peers.

> Then we can plan a larger conference early 2013 for North America - we'll have more time, resources, and experience under out belt

Hopefully we can raise a bit of funding in 2012 to help launch the bigger event in 2013.  If GITA is game to take on the risk this year, without us footing much of the bill then I expect we'll need to give them a larger part of the revenue pie, but hopefully there is still enough to bootstrap 2013 and that we can earmark it accordingly.

> I'd like to hear everyone's initial comments on this approach.

Sign me up, this is right up the alley of where I'd personally like to take things anyway.  So regardless I'll be pursuing something along this line.  I'll also be talking to GITA about how I can help them directly with these kinds of events.

Cheers to Mark for getting the ball rolling,

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