[OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G Discount for Charter Members proposal

Bart van den Eijnden bartvde at osgis.nl
Tue Aug 26 04:46:17 PDT 2014

Hey Andrew,

(my response is a personal response, not a board response).

First off I’d like to thank you for the kind offer of working together. I want to make sure we discuss this at the board level and hopefully come to some consensus on this.

Personally I am very interested to see what this collaboration could bring both parties.

Best regards,

On 15 Aug 2014, at 05:51, Andrew Ross <andrew.ross at eclipse.org> wrote:

> Hey Jeff, Everyone
> I'd like to comment briefly.
> I feel a 800+ person conference is of a sufficient size that it's not a good idea to burn out volunteers organizing. To throw a new team to the wolves each year is extremely risky.
> The obvious options are to not have such a large event, or choose a different model to organize.
> I feel that a conference of such size is very important. It's what draws the ecosystem together and helps it grow. Not having the large event would be a loss.
> It is simply too big to hold at most Universities, and especially in the fall.
> For what it's worth, I also feel smaller regional and plenty of local events are important too. That's orthogonal to the global event though.
> I've been open about what the Eclipse Foundation & LocationTech can do. It has full time staff with experience to run a consistently great technology conferences with lots of camaraderie.
> Let's work together. FOSS4G NA 2015 will be a nice opportunity, test, and display. For those who are highly motivated, feel free to go back to the D.C. bid and provide feedback. I feel it was a great bid, credible, and a good indication of the kind of event we'd hold in the future. Maybe this is a good option to address many of the issues? Worth exploring a bit in any case.
> Andrew
> On August 14, 2014 9:54:49 AM EDT, Jeff McKenna <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com> wrote:
> Hi Darrell,
> I can say that in 2011 I did bring this issue strongly, and very 
> publicly, to the OSGeo Board.  I even proposed a part-time position to 
> manage the main FOSS4G conference (google 'foss4g advisor' for some 
> history and fun reading, all there outlined in a public wiki page forever).
> Well, that didn't happen.  And as you just mentioned, it's still needed.
> Or, if that cannot happen, we need to realize this, and change our 
> mindset, back to the origins of FOSS4G: a meeting of the tribe, cheap 
> admission, affordable university venues, bare-bones (essentially what 
> our FOSS4G regional events are doing now).
> Because yes I agree, to assume a bunch of volunteers can run a ~1,000 
> attendee event in the best conference venue in the city and still make 
> it affordable for the tribe to attend, will not work.
> -jeff
> On 2014-08-14 12:10 AM,
> Darrell Fuhriman wrote:
>  I’m trying to formulate a response to this, but it ties into an e-mail
>  that I owe this list, but haven’t had time to send because I’ve been
>  busy finalizing the conference preparations.  Also, I’m well into my
>  third pint this evening, so it’s probably not the best time. :)
>  While I agree the early bird discount is important for the reasons you
>  state, there actually aren’t that many commitments that can be avoided
>  after the deadline. Frankly, the only significant contracts unsigned by
>  our early bird deadline of June 15th were the catering contracts. Though
>  admittedly, that’s a substantial portion of the budget – if we were on
>  that red line, we’d be jettisoning coffee breaks like ballast in a
>  sinking ship.
>  I think right now the quickest thing I
> can say is that OSGeo has so far
>  shown minimal interest in actually taking responsibility for FOSS4G. If
>  OSGeo is going to increase the demands made on the committee, OSGeo
>  needs to be stepping up and taking a more hands-on approach to
>  conference organization.
>  For the record, I believe OSGeo needs to step up and take such a more
>  hands on approach. I’d love a chance to talk about in person at the
>  board meeting.
>  SotM.us <http://SotM.us> runs very different, and I know from talking
>  with the organizers that it was a challenge to break-even this year. The
>  difficulty is that as conferences get bigger, they get more expensive to
>  put on (primarily because the supply of possible venues shrinks very
>  rapidly, and the per attendee costs go up substantially). They also get
>  logistically more challenging, and having dedicated resources,
> either
>  employee or outsourced, can vastly decrease the workload on the LOC.
>  Frankly, unless something changes on this front, it’s just a matter of
>  time until there’s another 2012.  To be honest, I’m not sure SotM.us
>  <http://SotM.us> would have been a success if Mapbox hadn’t devoted
>  significant employee resources to making sure it was (as they have for
>  the past three SotM.us <http://SotM.us> conferences). Conferences take
>  huge numbers of hours to organize. The inefficiency introduced by having
>  someone re-learn the job every year is substantial, wasteful, and
>  incredibly risky.
>  Anyway, I’m supposed to be on vacation.
>  Greetings from Yellowstone,
>  Darrell
>  On Aug 13, 2014, at 13:41, Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com
> <mailto:cameron.shorter at gmail.com>> wrote:
>  I'm open to the idea of providing benefits to osgeo charter members,
>  but suggest having an early bird discount apply to all ticket
>  categories. I'd suggest something like a 5% discount for charter
>  member tickets instead.
>  Note: conferences organisors need to decide whether they will also
>  give such a discount to professional bodies as well (such as
>  professional institute of surveyors). Such organisations often
>  aggressively request a discount for their members in return for
>  publicising foss4g to their membership.
>  There is a very important reason conferences have a early bird
>  discount. It means that conference organisors get an early indication
>  of the number of attendees coming to the conference. This helps
>  significantly with
> regards to making financial decisions about the
>  conference. In particular, it enables organisors to decide to cancel
>  the conference before having to lock into key financial commitments
>  and potentially sending OSGeo bankrupt. This was very important for us
>  in FOSS4G 2009, the year of the global financial crisis, when
>  registrations were much lower than expected. At the early bird
>  deadline, we were aware that we had enough people attending that we
>  would loose less money by going ahead than if we cancelled, so we went
>  ahead. Without that confidence, we likely would have decided to cancel
>  the conference. (In the end more people did register, and we were just
>  able to make a modest profit.)
>  On 14/08/2014 4:56 am, Kate Chapman wrote:
>  Hi All,
>  I think the comparison between the SotM model
> and the FOSS4G model is
>  interesting, but it is important to think about the financial
>  objectives of each conference. My understanding was that FOSS4G
>  provides most of the funding for OSGEO over the year, this isn't the
>  case for SotM. Though successful sponsorship programs could possibly
>  make up the difference between the discounted tickets.
>  One note, I've worked for a few organizations that have paid my
>  ticket for SotM. I've also paid the mapper price myself previously as
>  well. I would have not been able to get them to pay for FOSS4G
>  though. Some of you may have noticed I have given a workshop every
>  year I've attended FOSS4G. I would not be able to attend otherwise.
>  Not that it is conceivable for everyone to give a workshop to be able
>  to attend.
>  Best,
>  -Kate
>  On Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 11:46 AM, Daniel Kastl <daniel at georepublic.de
> <mailto:daniel at georepublic.de>> wrote:
>          SotM finances are based on the expectation that most people
>          attending will be ‘mappers’ who pay the lower rate, I doubt
>          they make much money from the business tickets.
>      Hi Steven,
>      I agree that SotM is a bit extreme in the price difference. It
>      doesn't need to be that much. But I can speak for SotM Tokyo,
>      where I was involved, and there were more business tickets sold
>      than I expected and they made up a large share of the total
>      revenue through ticket sales.
>      My main point is, that for delegates, who get paid the conference
>      by their employer, a slightly higher price doesn't really matter
>      (it's just a fraction of the total cost anyway), because they
>      just pass the costs to the employer. For the employer it has a
>      value, if one can see the company name on
> the badge.
>      But someone from nearby for example or tries to keep the travel
>      costs low and takes a holiday to attend FOSS4G, such a discounted
>      community ticket makes a difference, whether the person is a
>      charter member or not.
>      I think we should strengthen the value of the community, not the
>      "club" of charter members. ;-)
>      Daniel
>      --
> Conference_dev mailing list
> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
> _______________________________________________
> Conference_dev mailing list
> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/conference_dev/attachments/20140826/0328cf41/attachment.html>

More information about the Conference_dev mailing list