[OSGeo-Conf] Final proposal for hosting FOSS4G 2015 in Seoul, Korea

Daniel Kastl daniel at georepublic.de
Sun May 11 05:43:49 PDT 2014

Let me share some experience and numbers from State of the Map conference
2012 in Tokyo. Because I had similar worries that time about attendance
from Europe or USA.

In the end the conference felt very international, because not all Japanese
attendants went to the venue every day, but the international attendants
generally did.
The numbers (see at the end) are tickets sold online, so some people bought
tickets later at the venue. I think the total number of attendants was
about 200 people (55-60% Japanese) ... and SotM was 1 year after the
nuclear accident, and in a country, that is said to be very expensive
(which isn't the case actually).
The attendance from Europe (especially from Germany) was quite good.

SotM is a very affordable event. The ticket price was about 70 USD for
mappers and it included T-Shirt, lunch and even the gala dinner cruise was
free, because it was paid by sponsorship money.

Which leads to the biggest problem in my opinion:
I was quite disappointed, that many of the big sponsors of previous
conferences didn't sponsor the Tokyo event. Some were so kind to pay a few
hundred dollars for the Bronze sponsorship, but it seems Asia is not their
market, so don't expect that a gold sponsor in USA or Europe will also
sponsor in South Korea. In the end almost the full sponsorship was
collected from Japanese companies.

As a German living in Japan I must say that the distance to travel to North
Korea isn't that different than from Europe to Portland. Or from Japan to
Australia, or from Portland to North Korea. Everyone able to travel to
Portland from Europe should be also able to travel to North Korea.

About the costs for attendants from "low income countries":
As you see with SotM, even if the ticket price was such a good deal, it
didn't have much effect. The costs to attend an international conference
involves much more: hotel, flight, food. We had organized quite affordable
hotels in Tokyo (a lot cheaper than what I could find in Portland so far),
but the costs were probably still too high. It probably needs an affordable
package including flight, stay and conference ticket.
Did you ever think about asking an airline to sponsor for example? They
might be able to provide flight discount tickets. Qatar Airways has a
sponsorship program: http://www.qatarairways.com/global/en/sponsorship.page

I'm not so worried about international attendance.
But you will have an organizational challenge in a big city such as Seoul:
I guess, most of foreigners will need some guidance to be able to get
together in pubs during the conference ;-)


Country statistics SotM 2012 Tokyo:
 99 Japan
 23 Germany
 13 USA
  9 UK
  5 Australia
  4 Taiwan
  3 France
  3 India
  3 Norway
  3 Switzerland
  2 Netherlands
  2 Romania
  2 South Korea
  2 Sweden
  1 China
  1 Estonia
  1 Ireland
  1 Mexico
  1 Spain
  1 Thailand
179 Total

On Sun, May 11, 2014 at 1:21 AM, Paul Ramsey <pramsey at cleverelephant.ca>wrote:

> Using the existing FOSS4G.KR attendance as a baseline, conservatively
> add in attendance from other Asian countries and Europe/NA, using the
> information from past FOSS4G conferences. I'd say the non-Australian
> 2009 attendance could serve as a worst-case scenario for what might be
> expected in terms of non-Korean attendance in 2015.
> P.
> On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM, Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Jeff, I don’t think anyone doubts the commitment and effort of the Korean
> > team. There will be different views as to why Beijing failed in 2012,
> surely
> > we all agree that both the Conference Committee and potential event
> > organisers should learn from that experience?
> >
> > Cameron raised a reasonable concern about the likely levels of
> attendance at
> > a FOSS4G in Seoul by those from outside of the region. He suggested that
> the
> > team consider a plan that would be viable with a primarily local
> attendance.
> > I have also asked questions about the financial viability of the model
> that
> > has been submitted. These are concerns that need to be discussed.
> >
> > Running a FOSS4G involves taking on some significant financial risks - if
> > delegate numbers and/or sponsorship income do not reach target levels,
> the
> > losses could be substantial. We may all agree that we would like to grow
> the
> > use of OSGeo in South East Asia but what level of financial risk are we
> > willing to accept? Are the organising team prepared to be the financially
> > responsible body, do they have the resources to take a hit?
> >
> > I want to see a successful FOSS4G 15 in Korea, even if that is on a
> smaller
> > scale than the European and North American events. A plan that ensures
> that
> > the event will be successful with say 350 primarily regional delegates
> and
> > which can flex to accommodate a larger and more international attendance
> > will minimise risk.
> > ______
> > Steven
> >
> >
> > On 10 May 2014, at 14:28, Jeff McKenna <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > There were of course warning signs...anyway but
> > yes please every Conference Committee and Board member must learn from
> > this.  I personally do not agree with throwing this message at the
> > Korean local committee, who are working so hard to be open and
> > passionate - it is on us to be mindful.
> >
> >
> >
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Georepublic UG & Georepublic Japan
eMail: daniel.kastl at georepublic.de
Web: http://georepublic.info
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