[OSGeo-Conf] A: Helsinki, Finland LoI

Pekka Sarkola pekka at gispo.fi
Wed Apr 4 01:28:43 EDT 2012

Dear Friends,


Here are answers for Helsinki LoI:


Q: Your chosen venue, the Marina Congress Center, has a maximum capacity of
700, in the Fennia rooms. Do you anticipate capping attendance at 700?


A: There is no intention to restrict the attendance. We have preliminary
reservations also to the Finlandia hall and the Finnish Fair Centre
(capacity of the main halls in both venues 1000+). However, the location and
the facilities of the Marina Congress Centre are more suitable for the event
that those of the Finlandia hall. The Fennia rooms are next to the large and
comfortable lobby area, which has been successfully linked to the main room
with video screens before; this could give us an option to host the
conference in Marina. However, of the committee dos not find this
appropriate, we can move the event to one of the other venues mentioned


Q: Historically FOSS4G has drawn a majority of attendees from the region
around the event. International attendance is always a much smaller minority
of attendance. The FOSS4G program is in English. Do you anticipate any
difficulties generating interest in an English-language-only program in
Finland and surrounding countries?


A: We expect to draw attendant both from Finland and from the EU countries.
Generally the Finns speak English well (being a small language area). This
is even truer amongst the people working in the tech field, because many
companies (Nokia etc.) use English as the business language. So, the local
participants are completely comfortable with an English-speaking event. This
is also true with other Scandinavian countries. We expect also good
attendance from mainland Europe. Finland is one of the most popular
conference destinations in Europe and very well connected to all major
European cities, and people are used to travel between different parts of


Q: Similarly the majority of sponsorship for the event has come from local
government and companies. What entities and organizations in Finland and
Scandinavia do you expect will support FOSS4G financially?


A: We have already discussed with several local and international entities
to support FOSS4G in Helsinki. We presume that there will be 2-3
international entities which will support FOSS4G conference. Sponsors from
Finland and around (Scandinavia and Baltics) will include government and
private companies. Private companies will include major IT integrators
(Logica has already expressed their interest), smaller GIS solution vendors
and also users of the FOSS4G software. Current economic situation in Europe
is a challenge. However, Finland's public (state and local government) and
private company economics are one of the strongest in Europe. We see that
collection of sponsors will be a challenge, but base on the feedback, we are
very optimistic.


Best Regards,


Pekka Sarkola



Pekka Sarkola

pekka.sarkola at gispo.fi

Gispo Oy - www.gispo.fi

GSM 040 725 2042



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