[OSGeo-Conf] Time to decide on FOSS4G NA 2017

Steven Feldman shfeldman at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 15:09:11 PST 2016

I posted this on the NA mailing list:

In the past as chair of FOSS4G 2013 I was pretty concerned that an NA event earlier in the year would weaken attendance at our event from NA delegates. It may have done but not by much and overall attendance in 2013 hit a new record which suggests that a NA event does not adversely impact a FOSS4G in Europe. The stats suggest that the largest source of delegates for a global event come from the home region, I think the 2014 and 2015 events would confirm that.

A NA regional event and a global event in the same year could be different. It may be possible to differentiate the appeal of the 2 events to different audiences but I would need convincing on this. I know that we have a global event in Europe this year and the community has chosen not to run a regional event in the same year (there will be a couple of much smaller country level events).

I am not sure that trying to run 2 NA events in the same year is a great idea, it may increase the risk of a failure or even a double failure. 

Perhaps the Boston team should be asked for their opinions and at the very least they should rework their budget to take account of the potential reduction in sponsorship and delegates that could result?

I am going to cross post this to the Conference mailing list to encourage more contributions



> On 18 Feb 2016, at 19:37, David William Bitner <bitner at dbspatial.com> wrote:
> If any folks from the OSGeo Conference Committee have thoughts or concerns on this, I'd love to hear them on FOSS4G NA selection mailing list <https://groups.google.com/forum/#%21forum/foss4gna_selection>.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Andrea Ross <fosslc at gmail.com <mailto:fosslc at gmail.com>>
> Date: Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 1:32 PM
> Subject: Time to decide on FOSS4G NA 2017
> To: "foss4gna_selection at googlegroups.com <mailto:foss4gna_selection at googlegroups.com>" <foss4gna_selection at googlegroups.com <mailto:foss4gna_selection at googlegroups.com>>
> Dear Everyone,
> As many of you know, FOSS4G NA is an important annual conference for a number of communities, projects, and initiatives. OSGeo & LocationTech are two of the well known Foundations participating, but FOSS4G NA spans well beyond both. 
> In 2015, a number of people participated in crafting governance for FOSS4G NA <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WlgmJgtl0LaV0EO0NtDDSnloTgsIvxu9KwddPDwX1WU/edit>. Following that governance, the core committee (see below), is working on making a decision regarding FOSS4G NA 2017. 
> The key decision for the short term is whether FOSS4G NA 2017 should be held in 2017. FOSS4G Global will be held in Boston in late August (IIRC), so the decision is not as simple as it would have otherwise been.
> Discussion is taking place on the FOSS4G NA selection mailing list <https://groups.google.com/forum/#%21forum/foss4gna_selection>. All are invited to participate.
> For context: 
> FOSS4G NA has grown into a good sized conference in its own right, and keeps growing. The next one is taking place May 2-5, 2016 in Raleigh North Carolina <https://2016.foss4g-na.org/>. FOSS4G NA has done some things differently than global such as free passes for speakers, registration discounts for committers, and and more.
> In other regions, the regional conferences have run in the same year as FOSS4G Global with no serious issues noted. It is likely FOSS4G NA could run anywhere other than the North-eastern United states, and both it and FOSS4G Global in Boston would succeed.
> A few groups have expressed some interest in FOSS4G NA 2017 being hosted in their region including San Francisco and Ottawa. It is now time to decide if we proceed with NA 2017, or not.
> As per the FOSS4G NA governance <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WlgmJgtl0LaV0EO0NtDDSnloTgsIvxu9KwddPDwX1WU/edit#>, the committee consists of:
> 3 past chairs of FOSS4G NA (Currently: Eddie Pickle, David Bitner, Rob Emanuele)
> 1 representative for OSGeo (Currently: Mark Lucas)
> 1 representative for LocationTech (Currently: Jim Hughes)
> Sarah Cordivano (chair 2016), will soon join the FOSS4G NA core committee as Eddie Pickle (chair 2012) retires from it.
> For those interested, the kinds of things the committee is looking for in a place to host FOSS4G NA are:
> Good flight links nationally.
> Appropriate sized venue (500-700 people).
> A choice of accommodations at various price points.
> Economical price point for the conference venue.
> Active community in the region.
> Downtown location near many points of interest is a big plus
> Kind regards,
> Andrea
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> ************************************
> David William Bitner
> dbSpatial LLC
> 612-424-9932
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