[Board] FOSS4G Boston 2017 Financial Wrapup

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Fri Dec 22 19:02:30 PST 2017

Dear Michael, Ashley, Guido,

Thank you for such an amazing Christmas present to the foundation!  The 
whole BLOC should be immensely proud.  And such a financial contribution 
to OSGeo, truly the whole community thanks you.

I am also very happy to hear of the creation of your new local OSGeo 

Regarding your proposal of OSGeo handling the video records of FOSS4G 
events, I have also been thinking of this; I agree that streaming, 
recording, and fast publishing of talks is now mandatory for events.  I 
have spoken to Volker and others about the streaming and sharing of 
FOSSGIS event talks (I have for years now been impressed with the group 
behind that for FOSSGIS).  I believe that group (http://c3voc.de/) 
handles events, sometimes for free: even if I am wrong on the cost, I 
think this is one of the possible groups that we could work with for 
FOSS4G (and get a cost quote if need be).  Talks for FOSSGIS are often 
archived and posted minutes after each talk.

I agree that OSGeo should now step in and make sure this is handled. 
Especially with the FOSS4G-Boston financial contribution, I hope we can 
now consider to set this up for 2018, 2019 and beyond.

Finally, the spirit of FOSS4G is about giving the spotlight to a 
community and group, planting a seed or just helping things grow; the 
Boston community took the spotlight and showed the whole geospatial 
world what innovation and community really is.  Thank you!

Merry Christmas to you and your families Michael, Guido, Ashley, all,


On 2017-12-22 11:51 AM, Michael Terner 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:
>       o 100% repayment of the *$70,000* advance that OSGeo provided the
>         Boston Team.
>       o A surplus payment of *$108,132.29*
>       o 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 _
> Main: _617-447-2400_
> www.AppGeo.com <http://www.appgeo.com/>

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