[OSGeo-Conf] [OSGeo-Discuss] regional conferences

Paul Ramsey pramsey at opengeo.org
Mon Jun 18 09:18:18 PDT 2012

On Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 5:08 AM, Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com> wrote:
> If there are regional events in every continent except for the continent
> where the global event is being run we may risk diluting interest in the
> global event.
> We will have the global FOSS4G in Europe in 2013 (either UK or Finland will
> host) we would expect to see less delegates from outside of Europe if there
> are North American, Asian and other regional events.
> Perhaps a compromise would be to ensure that the timing of regional events
> is as close as possible to 6 months away from the global event?

That's always a risk, but the reality is that the vast majority of
FOSS4G attendees are from the local region, and only a small slice are
international. So we really are effectively serving a much larger
population with regional events. In some ways (watch this rhetorical
bend) dilution is actually a net positive, because it keeps the
same-old-same-old highly rated software talks from clogging up the
agenda leaving little space for quirky local topics.

But I digress.

I've been encouraging the regional organizers to try and keep as much
schedule space between their event and mid-September as possible. This
I think helps the international travellers make schedule time to
potentially attend two events in a year.  It does lead to some awkward
moments though, like FOSS4GNA this year coming just 6 months *after*
the last event in NA, the Denver conference. All in all though,
because we were serving a market (DC) that itself couldn't all get
even so far away as Denver, we ended up serving a wider group.

So I think on balance the regional thing is serving us very well. It
pains me to say it, but we might be better off de-emphasizing
FOSS4G-the-international-event and trying instead of space regional
events regularly around the calendar so it's possible for some
in-demand speakers to hit 2-3 regional events, while still allowing
more travel-constrained local delegates the option of having a regular

So many options, but unfortunately there's no slam dunk way of knowing
what is "best".


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