[OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G 2018 Dar es Salaam Submission - Questions

Mark Iliffe markiliffe at gmail.com
Fri Dec 2 11:02:11 PST 2016

Dear Till,

Many thanks for your questions and comments - I’ve responded in-line. Many thanks for sending over the budget for Bonn, it’s very useful. I think broadly, there is a question on our cost for the conference. We believe that having a $500 price point for a ticket would raise attractiveness for international attendees to come to Dar (for me, this would mean that the cost saving would be marginally higher for London to Dar es Salaam when compared to London to Bonn, considering the inclusion of hotels and flights).

I’m raising this now to the OSGeo Conference committee, is this an advisable path to continue on? To stress, we believe that this diversity and attractiveness of price for attendees will bring a new set of attendees to a FOSS4G - one that also allows for a new group to be untapped. As a LOC we’d be very interested in hearing perspectives on this.

I hope the answers below resolve your queries in this mail, I’ve responded to the workshop questions in the separate thread with yourself and Eli. 



> On 1 Dec 2016, at 15:12, till.adams at fossgis.de wrote:
> Dear Dar-LOC!
> I have some questions too. Some of my points were already covered by earlier questions. So I concentrate mainly on things we did (I am still under impact of the 2016 conference ;-))
> 1. I would encourage you to make kind of "financial risk analysis": This needs to play around with some numbers as number of participants, little more complicated for you, as you plan to have massively different fees. But also inherits the question: What do we have to pay, if we cancel (worst case scenario) the event 12, 6, 3, 1 month before? This is of course due to contracts you likely are going to sign in the future…

We broadly aim to make this FOSS4G as inclusive as possible, to be clear this is a priority for our LOC. I agree that we will undertake a much more comprehensive financial risk assessment once an award decision is made to ensure that we have a FOSS4G in Dar es Salaam. We would be willing to compromise on our fee structure, however, we need to ensure that for local community delegates (students + innovation hub attendees) have access to a discounted rate - we could explore using a discount code for this to ensure that a small subset has access to the conference, this discounted rate is for local students and innovation hub members (ie. graduated students). Considering the local environment, anything more than $100 would be too prohibitive.

> 2. Sponsorship: I miss bronze and supporter sponsors - keep in mind, that we have a landscape of many SME's with a stress on the "S" - so many of our OSG-Companies may like to have a smaller sponsor package. The "supporter package" which was created for one/two-man companies, that allows them to "donate" smaller amount of money by paying a more expensive ticket (in Bonn this package was 1.500.- instead of 790.- reg. fee).
> See our sponsorship page at http://2016.foss4g.org/sponsoring.html#sponsor-packages
> This package was created because there was a need for this, so I would encourage you to offer this as well.
> Just to make that point clear: From our ~100k of sponsorship, we created nearly 50% from bronze/supporter sponsors!

Many thanks - we’ll ensure that’s added to our sponsorship packages - within our existing budget we only listed institutions/commercial enterprises that had positively responded regarding sponsorship. As detailed in our proposal, we plan to have a dedicated team that aggressively pursues it, they will incorporate this suggestion into their plan.
> 3. The PCO cost calculation looks quite high for me as well, but I do not know,. what they exactly will do for you. We calculated much more, than we used, because we did a lot of things on our own. No need to do this, but if the team wants to, do not restrict them. So perhaps you may aim on a kind of support contract with the PCO and the concrete payment is connected to the ToDo's they do for you. For us that worked quite well.

In using the PCO previously, they had provided us with a full service from the facilitation of the sessions to recording them. This cost also reflects the streaming to non-attending FOSS4G delegates.

> 4. I am honest: Our B2B meeting happened more by coincidence, but the feedback was overwhelming and I guess especially for your region, a possibility to get people in possible contact with business partners is a good idea. See http://2016.foss4g.org/programme.html#b2b-meeting for details.
> The fact, that this was a de-coupled event inherited some chances to this. Perhaps that's an opportunity for Dar as well.

Thanks for the suggestion, we’ll incorporate into our plan.

> 5. Perhaps think about extending the code sprint - developers attend on a F4G anyhow, so why not creating the frame for them to work together? I guess in Dar s.th. like our basecamp could be open air ;-)
> For codesprints you might also request for extra funding, that helps you to de-couple this from regular conference budget (we had FOSSGIS and OSGeo as Code Sprint sponsors).

Good to know these lines of attack. Our aim with the code sprint in Zanzibar is to showcase what Tanzania has to offer - Dar is a great place, however, Zanzibar is a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the reasons for not holding a FOSS4G in Zanzibar (we have support from the Government of Zanzibar as well as the Government of Tanzania for this) is the lack of venue that would support all delegates being in the same room - a maximum venue size of 350~. In holding a code sprint and final beach party in Zanzibar we broaden the experience of the delegates - however, we could also seek to hold this in Dar es Salaam. I believe this could be a point of discussion between the LOC and OSGeo committee board. 

> 6. I know, we in Bonn started the early scheduling and let the conference take place in August, but I know, that this caused problems for many potential attendees. Boston in 2017 is even earlier.
> How fixed are your dates or would a later time period still be possible? If so, please consider this.

Our dates aren’t fixed precisely, however early brings us into conflict with religious and national holidays, later is also possible. Could you provide a short description of the problems faced?

> 7. In my eyes social events are a vibrant part of a FOSS4G. We put a lot of effort in giving attendees the possibility to meet, also outside the official happenings such as Ice Breaker and Gala Evening. If possible, I'd encourage you to describe more briefly (and more than the short article on p.20) what you plan and also what is possible in Dar.

In Dar es Salaam, our venue has a rather impressive exhibition hall - with overlooking balconies. The space was used rather effectively at the African Open Data Conference after the presentations[2], for evening drinks and lunch. This enabled a lot of interaction between delegates and the exhibitors too. This central space will be optimised by long lunches and breaks that increase social interaction.

Our food tour would take groups of delegates on a night walking tour of central Dar es Salaam, nibbling as people go. The icebreaker would happen as common to other FOSS4G’s - including yours - there is a potential for utilising the space of the National Museum for this, which is a very lovely outside space with a baobab tree in the middle. 

This is complemented by the usual suite of bars and nightlife that you’d find in any other city - we would have curated social events for each evening, walkabouts in the city at night, street food, bars and trips to the beach. We have a dedicated team that will resolve a social plan and maximise interaction between delegates.

> 8. Same direction: In Bonn we coupled the Gala Evening with the attendance fee, that led to having nearly 700 people on the boat, which was a phantastic event and created a special spirit on the conference. How do you proceed here?

Our gala evening will not be as impressive - but will be also included in the conference fee! Our gala evening would happen at our venue, in and around our exhibition and map area. This is provisionally planned to be catered by “The Alcove”[1] that would offer numerous cuisines, from African, Indian, and Oriental styles for every palette and dietary requirement. This is very much intended to illustrate the culinary mashup that is Tanzania. 

There is also a plan to entertain through traditional East African culture and dancing in the main hall, through the main door of the atrium. We’d aim to have live music to complement this too - this is a point of discussion with our PCO. 

> Hope that helps!
> Till

[1] http://www.alcovetz.com/ <http://www.alcovetz.com/>
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