[OSGeo-Conf] Fwd: FOSS4G North America 2013

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 04:57:16 PDT 2012

On 1/08/2012 7:34 AM, David William Bitner wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM, Paul Ramsey <pramsey at opengeo.org 
> <mailto:pramsey at opengeo.org>> wrote:
>     You're not on the board yet :) stop worrying about these quotidian
>     details...

Paul, I'm pretty sure you are saying this tongue in cheek, but it is a 
valid comment, so I'll reply anyway.

We, the OSGeo Conference committee, should be assessing the full impact 
of these types of financial requests, and then recommending a course of 
action to the board, along with our reasons for our decision. The board 
should have enough information from our recommendation to vote without 
needing to do further research.

Hence we should be providing:
* Potential financial risk, including total exposure, also described as 
a percentage of OSGeo working capital.
* Probability of risk

We should also be taking into account that what we provide for one 
regional event, we should be providing for other regional events too. 
OSGeo might have enough capital to back one regional conference, but 
does OSGeo have enough working capital to back 5regional conference at 
one time?

It is possible I might be seen to being alarmist, but I've just been 
helping Beijing decide to cancel foss4g 2012, which someone would have 
lost a lot of money on, and I was also chairing foss4g 2009 in the year 
the Global Financial Crisis hit (and which only just made a mild profit, 
after some nail biting time when we thought we were going to be running 
at a loss).

>     I'm pretty sure the budget information is on the wiki
>     http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_Budget_2012
>     However you'd have to get YTD info directly from the Treasurer
>     (DanMo).

Daniel, any chance you could provide an update on the OSGeo financial 

>     I'd guesstimate the largest potential loss for the conference in the
>     $20K-$30K range, depending on venue cost, the assumption being you
>     sign contracts and pony up deposits, then cancel the event, thereby
>     maximizing your expenses and zeroing out your revenue. It seems
>     unlikely that OSGeo will rise or fall on that.

> As is detailed in the original message, we have a maximum venue 
> liability of $75,000 at one month out from the conference date (our 
> food minimum), 3 months out = $56,250, 6 months out = $37,500, 9 
> months out = $18,750. We have no room block liabilities.  There, of 
> course, will be other expenditures along the way (see the budget 
> attached in the original email), but the venue costs are by far the 
> most significant costs here.
> David

David, I suspect that worst case scenario would be a decision to cancel 
the conference after looking at early bird registrations and making the 
decision that the conference will not go ahead. I assume early bird will 
be ~ 3 months before the conference? So maximum liability would be ~ $56K?

That said, I think that FOSS4G-NA has excellent prospects, based upon 
the experience of the team, and success of past events.

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

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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