[Board] FOSS4G Boston 2017 Financial Wrapup
mgt at appgeo.com
Fri Dec 22 08:51:39 PST 2017
Earlier this week we wrapped up the finances of FOSS4G Boston and closed
our accounts with our fantastic professional conference organizer (Delaney
Meeting & Event Management, DMEM). And with Dar es Salaam's call for papers
out there, and the selection of Bucharest for 2019 announced, we felt the
time was right to share these results, and one important
observation/suggestion. Suffice to say it's the holiday "giving season" we
are extremely proud and pleased to be able to give back a substantial
financial contribution to OSGeo. Here's what has happened:
- Earlier this week the OSGeo Treasurer, Michael Smith, confirmed that a
sum of *$178,132.29* was deposited from DMEM to OSGeo. This sum
represented the following:
- 100% repayment of the *$70,000* advance that OSGeo provided the
- A surplus payment of *$108,132.29*
- In addition, the Boston Team earlier provided OSGeo *$8,241.88* via
an earlier cash payment and in-kind services provided in Boston (for a*
total surplus of $116,374.17*)
- In addition, and as per our original proposal, we have also been able
to provide appx. $20,000 to endow a local non-profit - Technocation - to
become a local/regional OSGeo chapter. Our Co-Chair, Guido Stein, will
direct that non-profit.
We wish Mark and Msilikale as well as Vasile similar luck and success this
year, and next.
Last, the Boston Team would like to make a suggestion for use of some of
these funds for the Conference Dev and OSGeo Board to consider. Simply put,*
we believe that OSGeo should fund the creation of, and distribution of the
video record* (and/or any streaming). The video component of the conference
was by far the most complicated and difficult part of our experience; and
that is certainly part of our delay in posting the videos *which we are
still doing*. Indeed, *this week we posted an addition 30 videos for a
total of 182* that are now online
<http://2017.foss4g.org/post_conference/#slides>. Here is a quick summary
of our experience, observations and rationale for this recommendation:
1. Videoing a conference of this magnitude is a significant endeavor. We
had 11 rooms running concurrent sessions plus the main plenary hall for
keynotes. Over 230 sessions needed to be recorded.
2. Not only do you need to record the videos, but they must be post
processed/edited and then posted where they can be accessed. We grossly
under-estimated how much time and attention this takes.
3. Given the magnitude of the job, the cost is relatively high. Our
quote for having a third party do it was close to $50,000. It could be
lower in other locations, but it will still be multiple five-figures of
4. Given the cost, and the financial insecurity we had before all
registrations and sponsors came in, we chose a lower cost "do it yourself"
approach. This involved buying equipment, and running the equipment with
volunteers. And it was time consuming and extremely stressful, and it has
ultimately resulted in the delays in the post-processing of the videos.
5. If we knew the financial success we were to achieve, there is *no
question* that we would have chosen to spend the $50,000. And I say this
as I know - via the 2019 RFP Q&A - that Vasile is considering using our
approach, and indeed he is welcome to our equipment, which will be 2 years
old by the time Bucharest comes around.
6. But here's the rub from the Chair's and LOC's point of view:
- From our vantage, our main job was to create an amazing event, *in
Boston,* for the people and sponsors who could attend (and ultimately
paid for the event).
- The video'ing task was very important, but very secondary to making
the in-person experience great.
- We would argue that the video'ing is *more important* to OSGeo than
it was to the BLOC itself. OSGeo wants to create the permanent record;
OSGeo wants to broaden the reach to people who couldn't come to
LOC is more focused on those who *could *come; OSGeo is legitimately
more interested in those who could *not *come to Boston.
- So, it seems to make sense that OSGeo should *actually pay* for the
videoing (or for some portion of the videoing). Something like a $30,000
grant to the chosen LOC and dedicated to funding videoing would make good
sense. This will help relieve stress and to help ensure financial success
for the LOC while ensuring there is high quality videoing
occurring and the
results are posted in a timely fashion.
We would strongly urge the consideration of this proposal as we know that
Boston's financial contribution to OSGeo helps to make this increasingly
All of us thank you for the opportunity to show what the Boston and OSGeo
communities could do together. We will be forever grateful for this
experience. Happy holidays to all!
Sincerely, MT & the BLOC
*Executive Vice President *
Direct: *617-447-2468 *
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