[OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G 2017 - Questions for LoI cities

Robert Cheetham cheetham at azavea.com
Wed Aug 19 10:19:25 PDT 2015


Thanks for raising the question about affordability.  It is a key
consideration in terms of the ability of the FOSS4G event to bring together
a broad, diverse community from around the world.  While it is tough for us
to provide a complete cost breakdown at this stage, we believe that
Philadelphia is particularly strong on this front for the following reasons:


   Low land and housing prices make Philadelphia, in general, one of the
   most affordable large cities in North America -

   Philadelphia hotel prices are generally $50 - 100 lower than most east
   coast US cities, including Boston, New York and Washington DC.

   Philadelphia is the largest city in the United States to legalize AirBnB
   and similar rental services.  This has removed a great deal of uncertainty
   on the part of homeowners and has expanded the supply of hosts -

   Philadelphia serves as a hub for both American and Southwest airlines
   and also has robust competition on many routes.  In the most recent airport
   affordability report, Philadelphia was ranked #6 among the 100 largest
   airports in the United States -

   For international travelers, Philadelphia has a large number of daily
   non-stop international flights. Further, it’s location within 1 hour train
   ride from Newark Liberty International airport adds many more international
   direct flights within a reasonable distance from Philadelphia.

   For those traveling on a budget, there are robust train and bus links to
   major cities throughout the east coast as well as an extensive rail, subway
   and bus public transit system.

Our organizing committee includes several people involved with organizing
the 2015 FOSS4G North America event and the 2015 State of the Map US
event.  We plan to implement a similar set of measures to reduce the cost
of attending, including:


   Free passes for speakers

   Reduced price student passes

   Provide special pricing for local universities

   A limited number of targeted scholarships aimed primarily at improving
   the diversity of attendees

   A reduced “non-corporate rate” for people paying out of their own pockets

   Early bird registration pricing

If I’m traveling on a budget, here’s how I might keep my costs down:


   Travel - train or bus from most large east coast cities

   Hostel or AirBnB:  $35 - 125/night plus tax

   If I’m a speaker, I am attending for free; if I’m a student, I would
   receive a significant discount; and we are proposing this new
   “non-corporate” rate for people who are paying their own way

We believe that we can provides a substantial number of options for people
traveling on a budget as well as limiting the costs for all attendees
through the general affordability of the location.

Best regards,


Robert Cheetham

On Fri, Aug 14, 2015 at 7:11 AM, Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com> wrote:

> A question for all 3 cities:
> I am worried about the cost for a delegate to attend including hotels,
> food, workshops and conference fee. We know from past experiences that this
> can be an issue for people who are not sponsored by large organisations. We
> want to make FOSS4G accessible to as many people as possible and a few
> bursaries aren’t sufficient.
> Can you provide some estimates of all in cost for a delegate on a budget.
> OSGeo Board needs to give a clear steer on ‘surplus objectives’ to the
> bidding teams before they finalise their budgets in the next round
> To Ottawa:
> I agree with Jeff re co-chairs, for 2013 we had a single chair and 2 very
> strong vice-chairs who took on large portfolios of responsibility.
> ______
> Steven
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