[OSGeo-Conf] OSGeo Booth

Eli Adam eadam at co.lincoln.or.us
Tue Sep 1 15:50:52 PDT 2015

On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 1:50 PM, Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com> wrote:
> Jeff
> This shouldn't be a touchy subject. It should be a mandatory requirement on bidders for a FOSS4G

I consider it already an unwritten requirement.

> My suggestion - the organisers should provide a space of similar size and specifications to that offered to top level sponsors in a prominent location. OSGeo should be responsible for fitting out the stand and staffing it

An overly large booth is a drawback, not an advantage.  You want a
"full" booth.  You can make it full with furniture, displays, people,
etc.  Empty booths look bad.  OSGeo should be provided with a booth of
size and space that they can appropriately fill.  I recall the 2011
OSGeo booth looking great in Denver; large, prominently visible at the
end of the hall, a default hangout location for people (I think that
it had couches), busy, full, etc.

> If the conference committee agree we can make this a requirement for bidders for 2017 (and we can request it from 2016 as part of the guarantee agreement)

Agree.  Let's have time to discuss it a while then if everyone agrees
(or those who voice an opinion support it), I'll update the 2018 RFP
and commit to SVN.  I think that this has been a unwritten requirement
that was never formalized.  I'm trying to add all the unwritten
requirements to the RFP as written requirements so we don't have
surprises with unwritten requirements.

> I suggest that we also require bidders for 2017 and beyond to provide details of any advances and guarantees that they require with supporting schedules as part of their proposals

Agree.  If others agree, then we can add this to the RFP as well.

> Regards
> Steven
> +44 (0) 7958 924101
> Sent from my iPhone
>> On 1 Sep 2015, at 21:36, Jeff McKenna <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com> wrote:
>> Hello Conference Committee,
>> I would like to discuss something, that, in all honesty is a very touchy subject, as there never seems to be a good time to discuss this (I may offend current local committees, past local committees).  So, this is a disclaimer: In this message I am not referring to any past or current FOSS4G.  I am merely needing to explain the issue, so we can possibly handle this for future events.  And I realize that the experienced Conference Committee members will know the best way to handle this from now on.
>> Each year I must contact the FOSS4G local committee and ask about an OSGeo booth.  Now, the local committee has to please its sponsors and attract more sponsorship revenue and there is a lot of pressure on them for this reason.  (OSGeo is never classed as a sponsor) Yet, here is OSGeo, the host of the event, the foundation who awarded the team the event, the foundation who provided the necessary seed money a year in advance, the foundation who gave the local committee the spotlight, and so on...asking for a booth as well.

So long as sponsors are not stuck in a "bad" booth, I don't think that
they care what booth OSGeo has.  I would avoid giving OSGeo the "best"
booth in whichever class selected.  That way you can point out to
people who complain about their booth that we selected a "worse" spot
for our own booth.  Also, with last minute sponsors signing up it is
very helpful to have one flexible booth.  In addition to a booth,
OSGeo can get visibility in non-booth ways, like logos on signs, etc.
Where you put OSGeo logos is not limited.  Again Denver did a great
job of this in 2011, very visually prominent and large and full but at
the end of the hall so to get there must walk by all the other booths.

>> On my (OSGeo) side, I want a large prominent booth; I do not want OSGeo to be given a small booth away from the main exhibition area, facing a wall etc.  In fact, sure, I want OSGeo to have a double-booth, we want to be seen, to show that 'hey yes we are hosting this event, we are great, we do great things'.
>> The reality is that there is no requirement to give OSGeo a booth, as it is not mentioned in the FOSS4G RFP.
>> If it is not in the RFP (and here is where my tongue gets tied always) should I be asking the OSGeo Board for approval to become a platinum sponsor, of our own event, so we can get a great booth?  Imagine that reaction.   Then, what happens is I instead ask for a booth to the local committee, and they often do their best to give OSGeo a booth.
>> My question is: should the OSGeo Conference Committee be including the OSGeo exhibition booth as a requirement for hosting FOSS4G, by adding this to the RFP; or should the OSGeo Board be looking at ways to become platinum sponsors for FOSS4G as well?
>> I really feel that this should (well it is) become a requirement.  If it is written in the RFP then this pressure is removed.

RFP requirement makes sense to me.

>> Does the OSGeo booth hurt the event's bottom line? (less sponsor space etc., less sponsor revenue)  Yes this does open a can of worms, back to the focus/priority/goal of FOSS4G. And I also am acutely aware of OSGeo's lack of marketing committee and materials (it is funny how I/we are asking for great booth space, and yet we don't have professional marketing materials, I realize the irony here).  Even still, this needs to be discussed openly.

No, an OSGeo booth does not hurt the bottom line.  It is not going to
impact the price of the space in any noticeable way and so long as it
is planned for, then it does not displace paying sponsors.

>> But I feel that it is the OSGeo Conference Committee that can solve this.

We can probably solve getting the booth.  Filling it with people and
marketing material is another matter.  In 2014, the LOC recognized
that our local chapter was fully busy with FOSS4G and sent a call out
to our two neighboring chapters (and OSGeo discuss) to run the booth.
That mostly worked.


>> Thanks for understanding,
>> -jeff
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