[OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G 2011 Attendance Projections and Attendee Profiles

Eric Wolf ebwolf at gmail.com
Wed Jun 16 10:43:42 EDT 2010

I have beat my head against the attendance projections long enough now to
realize that there is no formula based on the data we have collected about
past FOSS4G events to predict future events. What I think works best is to
take the top 20 countries and make three guesses for each about how many
people are likely to attend: low, mid and high. The low being near the low
end of that country's attendance history, the mid being near the average
(unless their is a definite upward trend), and the high being near that
country's highest attendance. I did not make allowances for downward trends
due to the recent economic factors. The host country would contribute
50%-60% of the attendance. Fortunately, I had a high US attendance in
Victoria to provide some confidence.

My guess for attendance at FOSS4G 2011 in Denver is:

Low: 426
Mid: 839
High: 1431 (capped at 1200)

Brady Forrest, who organizes the Where 2.0 conference for O'Reilly and has
attended FOSS4G in the past, said he thinks we should expect the same number
as Victoria, plus or minus 100 (621-821). That bears out with my
guesstimate. We do have a wildcard with access to the GITA members who are
not traditionally FOSS4G attendees.

Does anyone have any other input?

I have also been working on "attendee profiles" to help GITA put together
their bid requests from the venues. I did not think it was fair to create a
single attendee profile for FOSS4G as it's a diverse conference. The
breakdown of these attendees is important because we need to be able to
estimate how many people will stay in the conference hotel. It is typical in
the US for many venue costs to be eliminated based on the number of people
staying in the hotel. Please see the Wiki:


Eric B. Wolf                    New! 720-334-7734
USGS Geographer
Center of Excellence in GIScience
PhD Student
CU-Boulder - Geography

GPG Public Key: http://www.h4h.net/ebwolf.public.key.txt
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