[OSGeo-Conf] 2012 Status?

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 07:56:35 EDT 2012

I similarly have considerable concerns about the progress of foss4g 2012 
in Beijing, and suggest that we consider what options are available to us.

Current lack of progress is, or very soon will be, triggering a 
confidence vacuum amongst the international community. This will result 
in lack of attendance from a large portion of the international 
attendees. I'm guessing that international attendance will drop from ~ 
300 international delegates to ~ 40 delegates, unless some major changes 
happen to the organisation right away. This will mean foss4g Beijing 
will be drawing primarily upon Chinese attendance only, which will make 
the conference a regional event rather than an international event.

So here is information I would like to know, and see considered from the 
LOC. (The following information may be sensitive, and may be better to 
share with individuals in the first instance.)

1. Will OSGeo loose money if the conference only attracts a small number 
of people (say 100)? How much money would be lost?

2. How much money would OSGeo loose if the conference was cancelled?

3. Would we save money by hiring a professional conference organisor to 
bring coordination back on track, and in turn build confidence, and 
attract delegates? (I realise this has fallen through once before, and 
it will be harder to follow this path a second time around.)

I suggest that within 2 weeks, by 23 April 2012, the Beijing LOC should 
make some hard decisions about the future of the foss4g 2012 conference.
* Either work out a way to find more people to get the conference back 
on track - addressing the many fundamental issues which make a 
conference work, and which the international community have been 
complaining about.
* Or, face the reality that there will be very few international 
delegates at FOSS4G 2012. Then ask whether the LOC has the connections 
to draw local Chinese delegates to the conference if there are only a 
handful of international drawcard delegates.
* Then estimate how much money will be earned or lost, and whether it 
might be better to cancel the conference to mitigate losses.

On 7/04/2012 1:02 PM, Michael P. Gerlek wrote:
> We've tried a repeatedly to engage them, but the LOC seems to be pretty unresponsive -- and we don’t have any leverage to bring to bear on them. And there is no contingency plan that I'm aware of: I don't think it’s something anyone's seriously thought of in prior years, given the amount of up-front work needed for an effort like this. I suspect the 2013 selection team will be thinking about it this time, though.
> Having been a guest of the Chinese delegation a few years ago when they started their chapter, I was impressed by their hospitality. But unfortunately that experience has not carried over into planning for the 2012 event.
> As Paul mentions, they are listing Google and ESRI as major sponsors: I suspect this is a copy-paste from the 2011 pages, and if was Google or ESRI I'd not be pleased to be so associated with this 2012 effort.
> And as a possible attendee, after seeing the numerous problems just with the website itself after all this time, I'd be very reluctant to spend the time and money to go to Beijing for fear the conference would not be well-run.
> As of this writing, I think we (the conference selection team and the board, I guess) did not do well in choosing the 2012 committee to represent our organization and host this event. There are lessons to be learned here, when this is over.
> (on the bright side, I'm very pleased to see the discussion and engagement of the 2013 LOI submitters! and I'm looking forward to FOSS4G-NA next week!)
> -mpg  [speaking personally, not on behalf of the board]
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: conference_dev-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:conference_dev-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Gavin Fleming
>> Sent: Friday, April 06, 2012 7:04 AM
>> To: conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
>> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] 2012 Status?
>> On 04/04/2012 05:37, Paul Ramsey wrote:
>>> FOSS4G 2012 team, are you there?
>>> - When will there be a call for workshops?
>>> - When will there be a call for papers?
>>> - When will the web site stop being utterly incorrect?
>>>     - Sub-note, my 2011 workshop is listed there.
>>>     - Sub-note, sponsors (ESRI, Google) are listed there. Are they really?
>>> - Should I get a VISA?
>>> Thanks
>>> P.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Conference_dev mailing list
>>> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>> I'm just as concerned and sent a similar message to
>> xiongjie666 at gmail.com a few days ago.
>> If the wiki is anything to go by, milestones are slipping by rapidly.
>> But I doubt it is anything to go by since the few 2012 pages that are
>> there have not been touched in ages.
>> Does anyone here have personal contacts on the LOC, who could perhaps
>> shed some light on progress or reasons for a lack thereof?
>> Do we have a contingency plan and if so what's the threshold for acting
>> on it?
>> Gavin
>> --
>> Gavin Fleming
>> t: 0218620670
>> c: 0845965680
>> f: 0866164820
>> Paarl
>> South Africa
>> 18°59'19.6"E 33°44'46.1"S
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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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