[Board] FOSS4G Boston 2017 Financial Wrapup

Helena Mitasova hmitaso at ncsu.edu
Fri Dec 22 09:33:04 PST 2017


thank you for the amazing work that you and the Boston team has done for
FOSS4G global and OSGeo. I agree with your suggestion for OSGeo covering
the video capture of the presentations and I have included the 30K into the
budget proposal as an item for conference committee, to make sure it is
discussed and hopefully approved. LOC can then decide whether to use it or
not, depending on their local resources.


Best regards, Helena

On Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 5:51 PM, Michael Terner <mgt at appgeo.com> wrote:

> 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
>       Boston Team.
>       - 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
>    expenditure.
>    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 Boston. The
>       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
> feasible.
> 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
> --
> Michael Terner
> *Executive Vice President *
> Direct: *617-447-2468 <(617)%20447-2468> *
> Main: *617-447-2400 <(617)%20447-2400>*
> www.AppGeo.com <http://www.appgeo.com/>
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Helena Mitasova
Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
North Carolina State University
1125 Jordan Hall
NCSU Box 8208
Raleigh, NC 27695-8208

email: hmitaso at ncsu.edu
ph: 919-513-1327 (no voicemail)
fax 919 515-7802
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