[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] Fwd: Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011

Daniel Kastl daniel at georepublic.de
Fri Aug 17 12:45:40 PDT 2012

> I also prefer B. I'm not very familiar with conference organising
> software (FOSS or Commercial) so I don't know what range of
> functionality they offer. So if the first prize scenario I agree just
> using and sticking with a conference hosting service would be great.
> If the tool offerings miss useful bits it might be worth aggregating
> the remaining functionality (e.g. issue tracker) from the FOSS
> ecosystem and providing a persistent hosting platform for them (and
> paying someone to do that if it comes to it). If folks feel the idea
> has legs, it would be worth polliing past organisers to see what
> critical functionality they needed (or missed) in previous events.
> Regards
> Tim
I fully agree with Tim and Jeff. Helping to organize SotM this year in
Tokyo I must say that it is very convenient to be able to re-use templates,
setups, experience, etc.. from the past years.
It saves a lot of time, money and resources. Being able to transfer
knowledge from the past conferences helps to improve the quality and
efficiency year by year. SotM organization is far from being "professional"
level, it's all done by volunteers, and there is a lot of room for
improvements. But it works well and is way cheaper, I think, than what
FOSS4G conferences need to invest in tasks, that are recurring every year.

Just let me give a few examples, how SotM does:

   - The payment and registration system remains the same (EventBrite), so
   there is an account and someone knows how to setup the tickets, etc..
   - The website is just a clone every year, and we even publish slightly
   modified articles from 2011 ;-)
   - There is a telephone conference account we can use
   - Statistics of the past years are extremely valuable
   - Sponsorship brochure and other materials of the years before can be
   taken as a template.

And, the most important thing: there are people from the past conference
(or even before) who take a lead in many tasks and help the local team a
lot. Btw., the SotM is a conference organized by OSMF, so they take the
risk but also get the revenue.

There is one important issue, that probably needs to be discussed for 2013:
Since all the work is done by volunteers, sometimes tasks remain
unresolved, because nobody feels responsible, is busy with other work, or
because it's just not a very exciting task (ie. sending reminders to
sponsors to submit their logo).
So having 1 or 2 people being paid (not a full-time position), so they can
set priority in preparing the conference and can do the less exciting
tasks, would probably make a conference even better: more attendants, less
stress for volunteers and more sponsors, which means more revenue.


Georepublic UG & Georepublic Japan
eMail: daniel.kastl at georepublic.de
Web: http://georepublic.de
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