[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] [OSGeo-Discuss] Conference Committee F2F meeting

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Tue Sep 6 13:33:07 PDT 2016

Yes, final call should go to the LOC, but we shouldn't shy away from 
making hard decisions and providing solid advice. We in this committee 
have the hard won, painful experience of running a foss4g conference. We 
should step up and help new LOC members by providing clear guidance and 

Providing ticket pricing guidelines and profit guidelines along the 
lines of Till's suggestions should be in our Cookbook, probably in or 
next to this section:


On 7/09/2016 2:48 AM, Steven Feldman wrote:
> How about we leave the choice of whether to offer some form of concessionary pricing and the conditions of eligibility to the LOC? It’s difficult, if not impossible to write a one size fits all policy.
> The same could apply to the decision as to whether to offer a travel grant program.
> IMO, the costs of any concessions/grants should be included in the event’s budget and should not be dependent on approval and/or funding from the OSGeo Board/Foundation.
> Perhaps the advice in the RfP should be that “Decisions on concessionary pricing, student bursaries and travel grants are within the remit of the LOC who should provide an outline of their policy within their LoI an more detail and costings in their full proposal”?
> If I have learnt one important thing from chairing a FOSS4G and attending (and supporting in a small way) Bonn, it is that we should place the maximum amount of trust in the people we select to run our FOSS4G’s and allow them to innovate.
> ______
> Steven
>> On 6 Sep 2016, at 13:47, till.adams at fossgis.de wrote:
>> Hi Venka, Cameron, @all,
>> I see the same problem Cameron mentioned. In general, making a FOSS4G does not necessarily mean, that you make a surplus, regardless where - although OSGeo aims on that. Sleeping calmly and making a "0" or even a surplus is even more difficult, if you can't rely on ticket price per attendee. Costs are there and at least partwise fixed (venue, PCO, etc.) and reducing ticket-prices for one group means to rise them on the other side.
>> Also, if you offer various ticket categories (same is valid for students in my eyes), you also open the doors for people, that try to make misuse of that. It is kind of unsure, that people claiming for a cheaper ticket really need it. Take travel, accommodation and also food-costs into account and a reduced ticket price does often not mean, that the person that claims justifiably for a reduced ticket is able to attend on a FOSS4G or not.
>> We discussed a lot about the topic "opening the doors for people from poorer countries", but cheaper tickets also brings LOCs into the position to "have-to-decide", who gets a cheaper ticket and who has to pay full prize (@Cameron -. same here, we had a lot of requests for free passes... even two days before ;-)).
>> I think that a travel grant programme, that is fixed and (even better) financed part of a FOSS4G (than ours with 10k $) is a better medium to reach our goals.
>> Regarding students I think, that our student helpers programme, that opened the possibility for students from all over the world to participate (50/50 work/visit deal) by a simple "first comes, first serves" was a good way to reach that goal.
>> BTW: I brought in the topic "travel grant programme" and the discussion inside ConfComm went towards discussing this after our FOSS4G and make it a fixed part of upcoming FOSS4G's.
>> I think it's time to do that now ;-)
>> Till
>> Am 2016-09-06 13:08, schrieb Cameron Shorter:
>>> Venka, all,
>>> I agree that low income economies don't have the potential to make as
>>> much money as high income economies. Everything is cheaper: venue
>>> hire, food, tickets. However, both high and low income conferences
>>> face the same risks (as a percentage) and as such should factor to
>>> have the same surplus (as a percentage) which should be returned to
>>> OSGeo.
>>> I feel quite strongly that there will be significant (often unvoiced)
>>> decent from areas within the OSGeo community if OSGeo is seen to be
>>> favouring one community over another. (Even if the favoured community
>>> is very deserving).
>>> When I was a FOSS4G chair I was surprised at just how many different
>>> user groups had incredibly valid reasons for getting a free pass, and
>>> then felt very put out if they were not granted such a pass. The
>>> problem is, most people don't want to pay for someone else's free
>>> pass.
>>> On 27/08/2016 7:44 AM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>>>> One of the strengths of successful open source communities (actually most volunteer communities) is their long term sustainability, which is achieved by each small component within the community being self sustaining in its own right. Extending this principle to finances of conferences, I suggest that every conference should aim to be financially sustainable. It need not aim for a huge profit, but should aim to break even under conservative estimates (leading to a modest profit under typical scenarios).
>>>> It is worth noting that small foss4g events can be run very cheaply, using a basic formula of a "Meetup Event" getting free space at a local pub, with participants buying their own beer/food.
>>> On 6/09/2016 7:53 PM, Steven Feldman wrote:
>>>> Thanks Venka
>>>> Minutes updated to include your suggestion at https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Conference_Committee_F2F_2016
>>>> ______
>>>> Steven
>>>>> On 6 Sep 2016, at 03:19, Venka <venka.osgeo at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Hi Guidi and all,
>>>>> On 2016/08/26 1:18, Guido Stein wrote:
>>>>>> I have added my notes and action items from the meeting on the wiki.
>>>>>> https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Conference_Committee_F2F_2016
>>>>> Thanks for your notes of the meeting.
>>>>> "Rest of World years should target a minimum of a break with a lower expectation of the share of surplus being returned to OSGeo. A larger share of any surplus should be reinvested into local OSGeo activities."
>>>>> Regarding the note above, such special arrangement should apply
>>>>> only when FOSS4G is organized in/by communities of the
>>>>> Low or Lower-Middle Income Economies as defined by the World Bank and WHO [1]. Cost of living and PPP [2] is considerable different in
>>>>> Low or Lower-Middle Income Economies and thereby the conference fee
>>>>> could be considerably lower.
>>>>> FOSS4G-2015 in Seoul adopted a special pricing for participants for
>>>>> Low or Lower-Middle Income Economies, which could be adopted in future
>>>>> conferences.
>>>>> "Rest of the World" would surely not include high income countries listed in [1], I think.
>>>>> Best
>>>>> Venka
>>>>> [1] https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519
>>>>> [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchasing_power_parity
>>>>>> Hope that this helps,
>>>>>> Guido
>>>>>> On Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 1:58 PM Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>> Reminder
>>>>>>> Face to face meeting tomorrow at 16.00-17.00
>>>>>>> Suggest we meet at the reception desk and the funds somewhere to sit
>>>>>>> (perhaps by the river?)
>>>>>>> Agenda at http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Conference_Committee_F2F_2016
>>>>>>> Regards
>>>>>>> Steven
>>>>>>> +44 (0) 7958 924101
>>>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
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Cameron Shorter
M +61 419 142 254

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