[OSGeo-Conf] North American FOSS4G conference

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Mon Sep 26 18:50:22 EDT 2011

On 24/09/2011 9:14 AM, Paul Ramsey wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 10:52 AM, Volker Mische<volker.mische at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> I don't think that a yearly North American FOSS4G is a good idea. I fear
>> that people will be going there and the global one will die (especially
>> next year, when it is "in some other country").
> Well, one reaction is to say "don't have another conference in NA".
> Another is to ask, "why are we having conferences that people have to
> be forced to go to?"
> While it's nice that we're going off an evangelizing open source geo
> in far away places (and yes, I know China is not far away from China,
> but it's far away from the majority of our developer community, whom
> we putatively want to attend), it don't personally feel it enriches me
> professionally to do so (though it does enrich me culturally). So the
> personal economic value for me is low. I imagine the same could be
> said for many of the event sponsors.
> If there was a North American event, I would preferentially attend it.
> But I don't think that's a strike against the North American event,
> rather the opposite.
> P.
> _______________________________________________
Paul, Volker and many other developers have suggested that if there were 
both a US and Beijing foss4g conference, then these developers would 
only attend the US conference.
The practical reasons are obvious. Developers want to go to a conference 
with other developers, where there is a good chance of corporate 
sponsorship, and preferably close to where the developer lives. For this 
reason, the US and Europe are more attractive than China as OSGeo has 
more public contributors for US/Europe than China, and I suspect others, 
like me, are unclear about regional opportunities in China.

About 50% of foss4g attendees are international osgeo developers, 50% 
are local or regional attendees.
If a US foss4g conference is set up in 2012 then I'm reasonably 
confident the Beijing 2012 foss4g will attract just a few developers, 
and in turn will not attract attendees. It will be a non-event at best, 
and financial flop at worst.

If an extensive foss4g happens in this US in 2012, I strongly suggest 
that we re-consider whether we hold a foss4g in Beijing, or 
alternatively restructure the focus of the Beijing event to be a 
regional event rather than an international event.

Some alternatives might be to hold osgeo streams in other geospatial 
conferences, or to set up smaller events, such as osgeo workshops. A 
regional US foss4g event could start in 2013 (competing against a 
stronger European event).

I'd be very interested to hear input from the Beijing team with regards 
to the number of regional attendees they could expect to attract to 
foss4g based upon different scenarios.

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
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