[OSGeo-Conf] Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011

Andrew Ross andrew.ross at eclipse.org
Mon Aug 20 08:40:11 PDT 2012

On 08/20/2012 10:50 AM, Jeff McKenna wrote:
> On 12-08-20 11:41 AM, Jo Cook wrote:
>> Personally I think the most important thing the conf team and board
>> should jointly be deciding on right now is how, or if, OSGeo can
>> financially support two or more events. David Bitner and Steven Feldman
>> have both asked this question a couple of times and it seems to have got
>> lost in the noise.
>> For FOSS4G 2013, we're extremely keen that our partner organisation, the
>> AGI, don't have to take on any additional risk for helping us with
>> FOSS4G, and that was the basis under which we agreed to go forward with
>> the proposal, but that was before there was a decision to hold FOSS4GNA
>> again, and for OSGeo to potentially provide financial cover for that
>> event too.
>> I'm not trying to say that other events shouldn't be covered- but should
>> you be establishing a protocol for moving forward, such as an amount
>> which you will cover, or a plan for what happens if both events need a
>> helping hand, and what you'd do in a year when there was a FOSS4GEU or
>> similar?
> Hi Jo,
> You're bang on, and this is where I am silent - I don't really know how
> we can support other events (with so few volunteers, as well as
> financially).
> So I am very much interested to hear how we can do this.
> I've added this to today's Board meeting discussion.  I am not sure the
> answer but hopefully we can all work this out soon.
> -jeff

LocationTech may be a potential help.

As an example at one end of the spectrum, the Foundation's organizing 
team run EclipseCon & EclipseCon Europe for the Eclipse community 
annually. Community members make up the program committee at strict 
arm's length from any sponsorship & membership influence. Similarly, 
keynotes are not for sale at any price. Foundation staff do the grunt 
work of the arranging the venue, call for papers, supporting the program 
committee, registration, logistics, sponsorship, web infrastructure, 
etc. In essence the Foundation acts in both it's normal role in service 
to the community and also as a POC. A dedicated team specializing in 
running events really helps in many ways.

There are also roughly 100 democamp events each year. These are 
typically 1/2 day or 1 day events aimed at outreach, are often less 
formal, and usually free to participants. These tend to be light weight 
and organized by community members. Modest financial support from the 
Foundation & member companies is fairly common.

I have reached out to investigate if this type of service might make any 
sense for FOSS4G & regional FOSS4G events or what other potential there 
might be.


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