[OSGeo-Conf] On the creation of permanent OSGeo/FOSS4G CRM
shfeldman at gmail.com
Fri Mar 28 05:42:16 PDT 2014
I don’t agree that what we received from the Denver team or the records that we handed over to the Portland team are a “complete fucking disaster”.
Yes a spreadsheet of sponsorship prospects may not be as robust as a CRM but it was very flexible. We updated the spreadsheet with the 2013 sponsorship outcomes and identified all the dead mails etc from the old list. Many of the names on that list were probably inherited from old lists prior to 2011 and were of little use, inevitably lists get out of date. You don’t get sponsorship from massive mailing lists, it comes through a combination of personal contacts, advertising and social media promotion, a good dose of serendipity and a lot of effort. A CRM may sound like a useful tool but I doubt it will make much difference in securing sponsors.
Building a CRM database of all the delegates who attend a FOSS4G may have more value in terms of communication with delegates although we found a spreadsheet that was extracted from our booking system to be adequate for our weekly comms with delegates.
If we create a CRM it will need a lot of management to keep records up to date and to ensure that people have opt out options etc. and for us EU people we will need to jump through several data privacy hoops before we can import old data into a system and start mailing people.
Incidentally we put our sponsorship targets and delegates spreadsheets into Google Docs, easy to use, multi user accessible and free (yup I know it’s not open source but it worked well for us) in the planning, marketing and though out the event.
My 2 cents
On 27 Mar 2014, at 20:50, Darrell Fuhriman <darrell at garnix.org> wrote:
> One of things that has become apparent in going through the process of getting sponsorships for FOSS4G is that the current system is rather unwieldy. In fact, the use of the word “system” implies a type of order which does not exist.
> There are no designated contacts at each company, no consistent tracking of past sponsorships or expressions of interest, no tracking of non-functioning e-mails, or people who have left a company.
> In short, it’s a complete fucking disaster.
> This is a problem because:
> 1) FOSS4G is dependent on sponsorships to finish in the black
> 2) OSGeo is dependent on FOSS4G events (not just the big annual conference) for a large portion of its income
> 3) We should be making it easy, not hard, to keep FOSS4G/OSGeo solvent.
> We have individuals who have expressed an interest in getting all of the past and current data into a CRM so we can more easily track this in the future. However, unless there is a future for such a system, it’s probably not worth the non-trivial amount of effort it would take.
> Hence, I propose:
> The 2014 LOC will work to configure an instance of SugarCRM, including entering the data we have collected on current and past sponsorships.
> After the conclusion of FOSS4G 2014, OSGeo would agree to:
> 1) Move the SugarCRM instance to be hosted and maintained by OSGeo
> 2) Strongly encourage (mandate?) its use by future OSGeo affiliated conferences
> 3) Give access to other geospatial related events as appropriate
> I realize there is some reluctance to "give orders" to the people who have volunteered to do these events. However in the long run having a central CRM will reduce the amount of work required by future LOCs, and by past ones who get requests to dig out contact information from events that occurred years ago.
> The use of a CRM could also be expanded to track contact information for all attendees including which events they’ve attended, so they can be contacted about future relevant events – another case where there is no coordination or sanity to any of the extant data.
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