[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] FOSS4G Discount for Charter Members proposal

Andrew Ross andrew.ross at eclipse.org
Thu Aug 28 07:00:40 PDT 2014

Hey Bart,

I think that's one of the key things to talk about, along with profit 
sharing as another obvious one. I'm not sure what is best. I hope we can 
discuss & figure out something that works well.

I'd like to share some thoughts in hopes they might be at least somewhat 
useful or promote ideas and discussion.

For what it's worth, host city selection for EclipseCon, as an example 
model, is for the most part seems a lot less contentious. Staff 
ultimately select the city, but based on community input. Many of the 
same factors such as cost, accessibility, vibrancy of the regional 
community, etc. are heavily weighted. While being able to run a 
financially viable show is obviously important, it isn't the only goal. 
Staff have a huge vested interest in a successful conference and growing 
ecosystem. It's probably obvious, but it's worth pointing out that most 
of the time staff are hired out of the community to serve it. In 
summary, this is one model to handle city selection. I can't really 
comment whether it's better or not. I do believe that it tends to be 
more efficient and perhaps less risky.

Doing a bid process like FOSS4G is another model. I recognize that it is 
more heavyweight from the perspective of the people from the community 
who bid. It's a lot of work! Being candid, and I don't mean to offend, I 
noticed those reviewing don't always have the proper time or sometimes 
the experience to effectively dig into the details. The other thing I've 
noticed is that the number of bidding cities can sometimes be quite low. 
It's another model that's fairly well understood.

In general, allowing the Eclipse Foundation influence in selecting the 
city would tap into a wealth of experience and help help factor & 
address risk. It may save time & energy of people from in the community.

For what it's worth, in my opinion, the smaller events like monthly 
meetups, regional events like the tour stops, and 1 or 2 day regional 
smaller conferences are good mechanisms for outreach into new areas. The 
goal is to help them grow to be able to sustain a big conference in time.

Pulling Daniel's question into this response, the Eclipse Foundation 
recently added a 3rd annual conference in France in response to demand. 
I can comfortably say that doing the same elsewhere is very possible. 
Just thinking out loud, but co-hosting FOSS4G with an EclipseCon 
conference in a new area may make a conference viable faster than it 
would otherwise be which I find kind of interesting & exciting for outreach.

These are just thoughts though. Please do poke holes or let me know if 
there's anything you like or find concerning. Thanks.


On 28/08/14 09:14, Bart van den Eijnden wrote:
> Hey Andrew,
> in the case where the Eclipse Foundation staff would run the FOSS4G event, would OSGeo still issue the RFP? Or would this be done by the Eclipse Foundation instead?
> Best regards,
> Bart
> On 28 Aug 2014, at 15:09, Andrew Ross <andrew.ross at eclipse.org> wrote:
>> Cameron,
>> I'd like to start (continue?) the discussion by simply offering to have the Eclipse Foundation staff run a regular event on behalf of the FOSS4G community (including OSGeo projects, LocationTech projects, & many other related organizations and unaffiliated projects) similar to what we proposed for Washington D.C.. It was a detailed proposal so perhaps a good place to start with and frame the discussion. Unless I'm mistaken, much of it may be quite acceptable and help us narrow what could be an overwhelming discussion down to a few key areas. Is this reasonable?
>> For what it's worth, I'm definitely open minded if there's a better approach.
>> Andrew
>> On 27/08/14 16:54, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>>> All good ideas.
>>> Anyone up for consolidating ideas into a proposal, then obtain agreement from the conference committee?
>>> A start has been made at:
>>> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_Handbook
>>> In particular:
>>> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_Handbook#Editing_this_document
>>> It still requires some integration with the FOSS4G RFP
>>> On 27/08/2014 3:54 am, Andrew Ross wrote:
>>>> Thanks for the clarification Peter. For what it's worth, I agree that a clearly defined mechanism makes a lot of sense.
>>>> On 26/08/14 12:08, Peter Baumann wrote:
>>>>> sorry, folks, that was not intended to go into this thread but another one. Now I see I have not been fast enough with ESC.
>>>>> OK, another attempt to say something meaningful:
>>>>> OSGeo might license its brand to conferences, and this allows them to send invoices even to universities. Secures OSGeo a fixed income, allowing LOCs to plan ahead.
>>>>> -Peter
>>>>> On 08/26/2014 05:42 PM, Andrew Ross wrote:
>>>>>> Sorry Peter, I'm not sure I understand your comment?
>>>>>> On 26/08/14 11:22, Peter Baumann wrote:
>>>>>>> so back with universities :)
>>>>>>> -Peter
>>>>>>> On 08/26/2014 05:16 PM, Andrew Ross wrote:
>>>>>>>> Very good point.
>>>>>>>> A not-for-profit organizer may be a significant benefit and simplify things quite a bit.
>>>>>>>> A bunch more legal/fiscal issues emerge when you run events and have to handle and transfer funds internationally. The number of organizations who can handle this is fairly limited and those that do so for a reasonable fee even more so. Continuity helps make it worthwhile to figure this out in the first place and stay on top of it as things change over time.
>>>>>>>> On 26/08/14 10:59, Darrell Fuhriman wrote:
>>>>>>>>> Amen. We burned at least two months, maybe three, working that out.
>>>>>>>>> I think it’s actually really funny that the first piece of advice given to the LOC by OSGeo is “Find a conference organizer to help you.”
>>>>>>>>> If that’s the first piece of advice, then it seems pretty clear to me that OSGeo should just have a conference organizer on contract. The benefits of continuity from year to year would be enormous.
>>>>>>>>> d.
>>>>>>>>> On Aug 26, 2014, at 07:54, David William Bitner <bitner at dbspatial.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>> And none of this even discusses the hassles that a grass roots organizing group has with finding an entity to act as a fiscal agent (aka deal with the money).
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