[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] FOSS4G North America 2013
shfeldman at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 09:45:01 PDT 2012
As time is of the essence with the Board's need to sign off on the NA conference I am going to give some quick responses to your questions without reference to some members of my LOC team who are on vacation.
Early funding requirements
I imagine that we will need some seed funding from OSGeo to cover deposits and some early expenses prior to revenue starting to come through from sponsors and registrations. At this stage I cannot envisage this requirement exceeding 10% of our budgeted costs i.e $40k
Our main commitment is to the venue at Nottingham, we are awaiting a draft contract from Nottingham Conferences however we know the broad outline of their contracts from previous experience of the venue. Our cost is largely based on a per delegate rate so we have some flexibility but we will need to commit to say 750 delegates with flexibility to increase (or decrease) as needed. On this basis we would have a cost of $190k approx with a 0% cancellation fee up to 6 months prior to the event and 50% cancellation charge (only for the part we cancel) in 4-6 months period and increasing thereafter.
Most of our other costs will not require irrevocable commitments until nearer the date of the conference. So we have a mid March date for pulling the whole event with minimal exposure (we will inevitably have spent a little money to get to that point). Thereafter the costs of cancellation will ramp up.
We plan to launch our sponsor packages in September and would hope to have passed our sponsor target by mid March
The calls for presentations, workshops and academic papers will have gone out in January or early Feb so we should have some indications of interest by mid March
Registrations are unlikely to take off until we can publish a program and that is likely to be late April or early May so we are going to go past the zero cancellation cost point without that knowledge (but that has been the case for every conference I have been involved in organising).
Assuming we are on target for sponsorship in mid March (and I am confident that we will be based on early conversations) then we know we can deliver a break even on an attendance of 600 delegates and that would seem to be very low based on past events so I would use sponsorship as a major determinant of go/no go in mid March
Volunteers and local chapter
In our proposal we indicated that we would like to share a portion of the surplus in excess of $30k with the UK chapter, we did not set a level for that and would be happy to discuss this further with the board/conference team over the next few weeks. We are expecting that many active members of the UK Chapter will be volunteering in one way or another to support FOSS4G 2013
Peter Batty is already participating in some of our LOC discussions as both a board representative and a past FOSS4G chair
I would only add that at this stage I am very confident of a successful and profitable FOSS4G 2013 given the buzz and entusiasm that we have already generated, we will need some funds to cover early expenses but should not be a drain on OSGeo reserves at the end.
I hope that is enough to help you reach your decisions on the NA event, mail me back if you need anything more from us.
On 21 Aug 2012, at 05:00, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> I'm moving this email thread back to the conference list, and request that all responses CC the conference list in order to keep the history.
> There are long term discussion items to consider from this email thread, and questions needing answers within 40 hours to meet FOSS4G-NA requirements of securing a venue. I'll divide the issues accordingly, and request that everyone focus on immediate questions first, and park other questions for future discussion.
> Immediate question we are trying to answer is: Is OSGeo able to financially guarantee both FOSS4G-NA and FOSS4G-Nottingham, and is OSGeo willing to do so?
> In order to answer that question, we need to know who much OSGeo is capable and prepared to loose, and how much the 2 conferences could potentially loose.
> So questions to ask are:
> Daniel Morissette, as treasurer, can you please explain how much money OSGeo has, what our current commitments are, and as such what is the maximum amount we are in the position to loose.
> Daniel, Can you also comment on what you think would be a maximum exposure we would consider we acceptable. Eg: I suggest that OSGeo should not be exposed more that 80% of our total resources.
> Does the board need to consider saving extra funds to support other regional events? I believe that FOSS4G-Nottingham and FOSS4G-NA will be our biggest, most lucrative, highest profile events this year, and as such the OSGeo board is justified in offering them special help, above other regional events.
> FOSS4G-NA (David Bitner) and FOSS4G-Nottingham (Stephen Feldman):
> * Can you please describe what the maximum exposure will be for your conference. (in $$).
> FOSS4G-NA and FOSS4G-Nottingham:
> * Can you please explain the decision points during planning. These decision points will include:
> ** Date
> ** Event
> ** What your maximum exposure will be at this point
> ** What your criteria will be to decide to continue with the conference, or cancel at that point.
> Board members:
> * Who will volunteer as FOSS4G-NA board representative?
> * Who will volunteer as FOSS4G-Nottingham board representative?
> Andrew Ross, I understand that LocationTech wish to help with FOSS4G conferences. Are you in a position to rally unconditional support from LocationTech/Eclipse within the next 40 hours. In particular, provide a financial guarantee.
> From OSGeo commitments listed below:
> 1. Provide an OSGeo representative to sit on the Local Organizing Committee
> * OSGeo Board: Who will volunteer for this?
> 2. Provide oversight over the budget through filling a seat on the
> Conference Executive Committee
> * OSGeo Board Rep: Can you please confirm that you will accept this role.
> * In particular, can you please confirm that you will immediately raise the issue of cancelling the conference (to the board) should the conference not meet financial expectations of decision points above.
> 3. Earmark a minimum of 50% of net conference profits for future FOSS4G
> North America events (excluding the main FOSS4G international event).
> * I think this is a valid request, but there are many grey areas associated with the wide comment and I believe it requires more discussion (at least weeks). FOSS4G-NA, in the interests of getting this motion approved, can we please remove this point from the motion.
> 4. File any required post event Federal and State income tax returns.
> Daniel Morissette, As conference treasurer, can you please confirm you accept to take on this role.
> Items to discuss later:
> * 50% of profits to go back to FOSS4G-NA
> * Are there enough volunteers to go around?
> * Expectation that FOSS4G LOCs should take an active part in the conference email list, and in particular help build up FOSS4G processes, in a FOSS4G Cookbook or similar.
> * A possible relationship with LocationTech/Eclipse
> * How to build a potential FOSS4G Cookbook and revitalise the Conference email list, and what shape this might take.
> On 21/08/2012 7:46 AM, Mark Lucas wrote:
>> I have previously reviewed this material and I'm ready to move forward with it.
>> On Aug 20, 2012, at 5:40 PM, Daniel Morissette <dmorissette at mapgears.com> wrote:
>>> Hi Board and Conference Committee,
>>> At the 2012-08-09 board meeting, it was decided that "The board agrees in principle to work towards financial support of the FOSS4GNA regional event, with details to be sorted out before final approval of the support". And then Peter and I were appointed to help sort out the details with the FOSS4G-NA LOC and come back with a proposal.
>>> The documents proposed by David in this email are the result of this work (and my concerns have been addressed). They were on the agenda of today's board meeting but unfortunately we ran out of time to fully discuss them, so it was decided to go with offline review and have the board come up with a decision within 48hrs. (72hrs may be more realistic)
>>> FYI, a more complete discussion of the budget and our actual financial liability in case of cancellation is available in the following board email: http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2012-July/009876.html
>>> I'd like to add that we didn't forget that FOSS4G 2013 (Nottingham) is also expecting the same level of support, and that is still on the radar.
>>> The FOSS4G-NA LOC needs our response ASAP in order to secure their venue, so your input in the next day or so will be most welcome. Then the next step will be to vote a motion of the board by email if everything is okay.
>>> On 12-08-15 4:43 PM, David William Bitner wrote:
>>>> Dear OSGeo Board (Welcome new members!) and Conference Committee,
>>>> Thank you very much for your support to date in helping us get
>>>> everything in place to be able to make financial arrangements for the
>>>> FOSS4G North America Event in 2013. With the help of Peter and Daniel as
>>>> indicated at the tail end of the last Board meeting we have worked over
>>>> the last week to really put some "meat on the bones" of what all
>>>> agreements must be in place for us to be able to leverage OSGeo to help
>>>> the Twin Cities Local Chapter by acting as the financial backstop for
>>>> this conference.
>>>> I do apologize for the rushed nature of this request, but I wanted to be
>>>> able to present a full and accurate budget to the Board along with this
>>>> request which we could not do until we had a full offer from our venue.
>>>> And of course, getting the full offer from the venue then comes with a
>>>> limited time to sign that contract.
>>>> Where we are at now. As attached here and presented to the Board and
>>>> Conference Committee previously, we have a current offer for a venue
>>>> that we have worked into our budget documents. As detailed before, we
>>>> have made sure to be very careful in controlling for any liabilities.
>>>> Our team has significant experience having hosted the 2003 and 2005
>>>> proto-FOSS4G events as well as experience working on other conferences
>>>> including the annual comparably sized Minnesota GIS/LIS Conference.
>>>> In order to get the ball rolling and to sign the contract with our
>>>> venue, we must put in place the agreements for the fiscal management of
>>>> this conference. As the Twin Cities Local Chapter is not a legal entity,
>>>> we have secured the local non-profit organization SharedGeo to act as
>>>> our fiscal agent for this conference and are requesting that OSGeo
>>>> establishes a service agreement on the behalf of the local chapter with
>>>> SharedGeo for the fiscal management of this conference. OSGeo will
>>>> retain the liability for the event as well as any net profits from the
>>>> Attached to this message along with the current budget is a draft
>>>> agreement to be made between SharedGeo and OSGeo. Additionally,
>>>> following this message is text to be considered as an agreement between
>>>> OSGeo and the Twin Cities Local Chapter to make sure that all the right
>>>> expectations are in place.
>>>> We look to the Board to provide any feedback on these documents (these
>>>> are living documents right now, any changes are still welcome) and to
>>>> take the following three actions upon satisfaction of the documents. If
>>>> at all possible, we would hope that we will be able to address any
>>>> concerns there may be and get these agreements together as soon as
>>>> possible while making sure that we remain diligent about getting
>>>> everything right.
>>>> 1. Accept and sign agreement between OSGeo and SharedGeo (attached)
>>>> 2. Pass a resolution describing the expected relationship between OSGeo
>>>> and the Twin Cities Local Chapter (below)
>>>> 3. Provide a Board representative to help support this event
>>>> We thank you for your support to date and will try to answer any
>>>> questions that you may have.
>>>> David Bitner
>>>> FOSS4G North America 2013 Conference Chair
>>>> ---------------------- Agreement between OSGeo and Twin Cities Local
>>>> Chapter ----------------------------------------
>>>> With reference to Board Resolution accepting the Services Agreement
>>>> between OSGeo and SharedGeo, the OSGeo Board establishes a relationship
>>>> with the OSGeo Twin Cities Local Chapter to create the Local Organizing
>>>> Committee for the planning and running of the Free and Open Source
>>>> Software for Geospatial North America Conference (FOSS4G NA) 2013
>>>> Conference to be held in Minneapolis, MN May 22-24 2013.
>>>> As part of this relationship, the Twin Cities Local Chapter agrees to:
>>>> 1. Establish a Local Organizing Committee (LOC). This committee shall
>>>> fulfill all roles within the Services Agreement assigned to "The
>>>> Committee". Specifically this encompasses all activities in the
>>>> Services Agreement Section II.A other than "filing of any required
>>>> post event Federal and State income tax returns".
>>>> 2. Establish a Conference Chair.
>>>> 3. Establish a Program Committee that responds to the Chair and the LOC
>>>> and tries to represent the broader North American OSGeo interests.
>>>> 4. Establish an Executive Committee made up of the Conference Chair,
>>>> the Conference Venue Chair, a representative from SharedGeo, and a
>>>> representative from the OSGeo Board of Directors. No expenditures
>>>> outside of the budget or changes to the budget are to be made
>>>> without full consensus by this Executive Committee
>>>> 5. Communicate all major developments with regards to the conference
>>>> with the OSGeo Conference Committee and OSGeo Board of Directors.
>>>> The OSGeo Board agrees to:
>>>> 1. Provide an OSGeo representative to sit on the Local Organizing Committee
>>>> 2. Provide oversight over the budget through filling a seat on the
>>>> Conference Executive Committee
>>>> 3. Earmark a minimum of 50% of net conference profits for future FOSS4G
>>>> North America events (excluding the main FOSS4G international event).
>>>> 4. File any required post event Federal and State income tax returns.
>>>> Board mailing list
>>>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
>>> Daniel Morissette
>>> Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000
>>> <FOSS4G 2013 Draft Budget - Budget %28Marriott Option%29 (2).pdf><2012_0809_SharedGeo_FOSS4GNA_Services_Agreement_DRAFT_sds.doc>_______________________________________________
>>> Board mailing list
>>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
>> Board mailing list
>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
> 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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