[OSGeo-Conf] 2017 Conference dates question

Robert Cheetham cheetham at azavea.com
Wed Oct 21 11:29:51 PDT 2015

Jeroan and Helena,

The August dates proposed for Philadelphia reflect a similar set of
concerns to those articulated by Michael and Dave.  I personally think late
September or early October would be much preferable, but the primary
concerns that drove our proposed dates were:

 * Late September and early October is a common time for other professional
conferences, so availability, even 2 years in advance is limited and costs
will rise significantly - there is a clear trade-off between budget
assumptions and dates
 * Late September overlaps with the Jewish holidays and would have an
impact on some potential attendees
 * Univ of Pennsylvania, Temple, and Drexel (the large downtown
Philadelphia universities) within the week or two after our proposed dates




On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 11:55 AM, Michael Terner <mgt at appgeo.com> wrote:

> ​Jeroen & Helena:
> David and Ottawa lay out the basics, and our proposal also explains the
> reasoning behind our date selection, but I would like to elaborate and
> provide a few further details on the Boston LOC's (BLOC) reasoning:
>    - For an event of this size it will be impossible to find a perfect
>    date where everyone who wants to participate will be able to​.
>    - The need to "fix" a particular date and not have much flexibility is
>    a function of how the OSGeo RFP is written. The LOCs are asked to provide a
>    date, and more importantly a budget. As Dave explains, the time of year is
>    a significant factor for both budget and availability. Thus, we needed to
>    make a series of tradeoffs regarding availability, affordability,
>    "tradition" and potential impact on attendance. For Boston, and apparently
>    the other two bids, that calculus resulted in mid-late August, and indeed
>    the August date for Bonn provides an important precedent.
>    - In the Boston area, and for the typical Boston/New England academic
>    calendar, August is far preferable to September. Our region's myriad
>    academic institutions tend to startup in early September and there was
>    unanimous agreement among our academic participants that August, before
>    school starts was far preferable and ensured their participation. In
>    addition, this opened up far more options for us to leverage our academic
>    partners to obtain excellent and affordable venues for hosting our
>    workshops.
>    - October is the most expensive month to visit Boston due to the large
>    number of USA and international visitors that come to see the fall foliage.
>    It is also a competitive time to host conferences and there was very
>    limited availability at high cost even ~2 years in advance.
>    - Last, there is ample time between July and August to have a vacation *and
>    *to plan to attend an important conference. It won't work for
>    everyone, but as David points out (and our proposal highlights) there are
>    opportunities to combine vacation and FOSS4G attendance, and August is
>    arguably the best time of year to visit Boston and New England given the
>    weather. Toward that end, it is worth noting that the largest geospatial
>    conference - the Esri user conference which draws 15,000 people to San
>    Diego - is typically held in July (i.e., it will be July 10-14, 2017).
> We sadly understand that this date will not work for everyone, but as per
> our proposal our goal is to make Boston FOSS4G the can't miss geo event of
> 2017 and give people every reason to use the next 20 months to find a way
> to attend.
> Sincerely, MT on behalf of the BLOC
> On Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 4:39 AM, Dave McIlhagga <dmcilhagga at mapsherpa.com>
> wrote:
>> Hello Helena, and Jeroen,
>> For Ottawa, the venue is the only practical one available for the size of
>> event — and it really is a beautiful place in the heart of the city. As a
>> consequence, choice of dates is limited for us as prices would rise
>> dramatically in September / October when available.
>> We considered doing this in August vs. November — and decided that given
>> our weather is fantastic in August (and a bit grey and wet in November)
>> plus closer to the typical timing of FOSS4G that this would be the way to
>> go. With the many celebrations that will be going on for Canada’s 150th
>> over the summer — it will be a special and unique time to be in the city.
>> Jeroen — I have a good solution for you, just bring the family for a
>> holiday. They will love it! :)
>> As for the academic timing conflict Helena, I can say for the
>> universities in Canada it won’t be an issue as the earliest I’ve heard of
>> universities starting here is the week before Labour day. I’m not sure
>> about the rest of the US.
>> Thanks,
>> Dave
>> > On Oct 21, 2015, at 5:16 AM, Helena Mitasova <hmitaso at ncsu.edu> wrote:
>> >
>> > I too have a problem with the August date although for a different
>> reason - I am not sure whether this is specific to North Carolina
>> > but our fall semester starts exactly at the same time in August and it
>> is quite important for the instructor (me) to be there for the first and
>> second class (for numerous quite obvious reasons). This could be the case
>> for other universities in the US as well.
>> > I was hoping that Bonn in August was an exception - I most likely won’t
>> be able to come, but I really don’t want to miss two FOSS4G in a row.
>> >
>> > And I can totally understand Jeroen’s concern. I don’t think that
>> August is a good time for the conference
>> > and I hope that the dates could be still changed.
>> >
>> > Helena
>> >
>> >
>> >> On Oct 20, 2015, at 11:52 PM, Jeroen Ticheler <
>> jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Hi all,
>> >> First of all a big thanks to all three LOC's for your impressive bid
>> documents! It will be a tough decision for the conference committee to
>> select a winner I think.
>> >> I will take time soon to read carefully through all bids in the coming
>> days so I can ask sensible questions. But one thing that I noticed at a
>> first glance is that all three bids propose a week in the second half of
>> August for the conference.
>> >>
>> >> My question is: are your dates fixed at this point in time? If so,
>> why? If not, what other dates could be possible?
>> >>
>> >> My concern is that August is (with July) the middle of the summer
>> holidays (in Europe at least). Having kids myself, I have a conflicting
>> agenda for the conference in Bonn 😢 and I'm surely not the only one.
>> Planning the conference during summer holiday time may make it difficult
>> for quite some potential participants to attend the conference. Personally
>> I would hate to miss the conference, but the summer holidays with the kids
>> would prevail when I have to choose.
>> >>
>> >> Thanks,
>> >> Jeroen
>> >>
>> >> _________________________
>> >> Jeroen Ticheler
>> >> GeoCat bv
>> >> Veenderweg 13
>> >> 6721 WD Bennekom
>> >> Tel: +31 (0)6 81286572
>> >> http://geocat.net
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> Conference_dev mailing list
>> >> Conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
>> >> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>> >
>> > Helena Mitasova
>> > Professor at the Department of Marine,
>> > Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences
>> > and Center for Geospatial Analytics
>> > North Carolina State University
>> > Raleigh, NC 27695-8208
>> > hmitaso at ncsu.edu
>> > http://geospatial.ncsu.edu/osgeorel/publications.html
>> >
>> > "All electronic mail messages in connection with State business which
>> are sent to or received by this account are subject to the NC Public
>> Records Law and may be disclosed to third parties.”
>> >
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