[OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G Handbook - Financial expectations

Venka venka.osgeo at gmail.com
Mon Sep 12 02:40:48 PDT 2016

Gert-Jan and All,

On 2016/09/12 17:13, Gert-Jan van der Weijden (OSGeo.nl) wrote:
> Maria, others,
> First of all: I hope this thread is not meant to discuss the Boston-2017
> setup, but the financial aspect of 2018 and onward. Boston 2017 is on
> it's way, based upon the bid they presented.

Yes, I agree that the financial aspects we are discussing concerns
FOSS4G-2018 and beyond.

Financial aspects of from Boston-2017 have already been presented and
approved by the Board. Let us now come forward to assist the Boston-LoC
is every way we can to make FOSS4G-Boston a great success.



> As a member of the Bonn-2016 LOC, and as visitor of FOSS4G-2015 Como,
> and 2 local German speaking events (FOSSGIS) in 2015 (Münster) and 2013
> (Rapperswil) I note that there is a main difference between a less than
> 500 attendees event (at an university: Como, Münster, Rapperswill), and
> more than 500 attendees event, which due to it's size almost by
> definition have to take place at a commercial congress center. The
> latter brings more luxury (whether you like it or not) since that's
> congress centers focus.
> Standard package deals with congress centers' preferred suppliers for
> catering, technique etc. almost can't be avoided, unless you pay a sort
> of penalty fee.
> Other expenses, including recorded and/or live-streaming video are a
> relative small part of the total expenses. Availability of cheap flights
> and/or cheap hotel accommodation has a far greater impact on the TCA
> (total costs of attending).
> Organizing a FOSS4G in the Como/Münster/Rapperswil way; at a relative
> low cost venue such a university keeps the costs low, but almost
> certainly will face you with the fact that demand (number of potential
> attendees) will be higher than supply (the number of available seats).
> That's a serious consideration to be made. And if so: would one reserve
> a certain amount of ticket for each continent/local chapter/OS Geo project?
> Kind regards,
> Gert-Jan
> Maria Antonia Brovelli schreef op 12-09-2016 0:23:
>> One possibility is to consider different fees. As an example you can
>> see the fees for last ISPRS Conference in Prague (8 days of
>> conference):
>> http://www.isprs2016-prague.com/fees/
>> Personally I prefer to eat simply a sandwich and be able to pay the
>> registration for a PhD student of mine ;-)
>> Why not consider a basic fee of 100 dollar/day and a full one with
>> lunches and gala dinner?
>> Maria
>> Maria
>>  ISPRS 2016 - Fees & Registration [3]
>>  www.isprs2016-prague.com
>>  Registration for Financial Assistance for the XXIII ISPRS Congress.
>> Deadline for Financial Assistance applications 20 March 12 p.m. CET.
>>  ----------------------------------------------------
>> Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli
>> Vice Rector for Como Campus and GIS Professor
>> Politecnico di Milano
>> ISPRS WG IV/4"Collaborative crowdsourced cloud mapping (C3M)"; OSGeo;
>> ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS Advisory Board; NASA WorldWind Europa Challenge; SIFET
>> Via Natta, 12/14 - 22100 COMO (ITALY)
>> Tel. +39-031-3327336 - Mob. +39-328-0023867 - fax. +39-031-3327321
>> e-mail1: maria.brovelli at polimi.it
>> e-mail2: prorettrice at como.polimi.it
>> -------------------------
>> DA: Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com>
>> INVIATO: domenica 11 settembre 2016 23.39
>> A: Maria Antonia Brovelli
>> CC: Michael Terner; Venkatesh Raghavan; Guido Stein; conference
>> OGGETTO: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G Handbook - Financial expectations
>> Maria
>> Could you share some of the numbers from your conference:
>> Venue fees
>> Number of delegates
>> Number of streams
>> Cost for video
>> Catering cost per head
>> Icebreaker
>> Gala night
>> Other major costs
>> Do you think you would have been able to accommodate 800-900 people at
>> those rates in that venue? If so we should look at Como for 2019.
>> I think the economics will vary for each city and venue. Perhaps we
>> should make it clear that we would welcome alternative venue and cost
>> proposals that potentially make the event cheaper to attend without
>> excluding the possibility of a higher priced venue. If we get options
>> running between say $200 for the 3 days and $650 then the conference
>> committee will have an interesting choice to make.
>> For 2018 we could also express our desire to make the event as
>> accessible as possible and see what options are submitted?
>> ______
>> Steven
>>> On 11 Sep 2016, at 22:28, Maria Antonia Brovelli
>>> <maria.brovelli at polimi.it> wrote:
>>> Dear Michael, I wonder how it was possible for me to organize a
>>> conference with a fee of 100 euro for 3 days ( 50 euro for
>>> students). I understand that Boston is more expensive than Como. But
>>> more than three times? Is it not possible to organize the conference
>>> at one university? Keeping the costs low means giving more
>>> possibility of participation to the people of our community.
>>> Many thanks!
>>> Maria
>>> Sent from my Samsung device
>>> -------- Original message --------
>>> From: Michael Terner <mgt at appgeo.com>
>>> Date: 11/09/2016 18:49 (GMT+01:00)
>>> To: Venkatesh Raghavan <venka.osgeo at gmail.com>, Michael Terner
>>> <mgt at appgeo.com>, Guido Stein <gstein at appgeo.com>
>>> Cc: conference <conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org>
>>> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G Handbook - Financial expectations
>>> As the group in the "on deck circle", this has been a very
>>> interesting and important thread to read. I hope that sharing the
>>> Boston team's outlook and perspective is useful to this
>>> conversation. Indeed, many of the things we believe and are pursuing
>>> are already reflected:
>>> * As Venka observes, we are not pursuing a "budget venue"
>>> approach. We are in a large, urban city and as Steven wrote the
>>> economics for finding this kind of space make $100/day really,
>>> really difficult (if not impossible). But, we also believe we are in
>>> a desirable location with a dynamic tech city and an incredible
>>> academic community that will help draw interest. We also want to
>>> create a local, regional and USA buzz so that Boston is The Place to
>>> Be for understanding some of the international trends in geo open
>>> source, and even the _ geo industry_ more broadly. As Eddie Pickle
>>> has observed, why shouldn't FOSS4G be the #2 "geo event" on the
>>> planet? In other words, one of our goals is to attract _more_ people
>>> who will be able to pay the full costs of the conference. From our
>>> vantage, this shouldn't be a "low budget affair", it should be an
>>> important "international happening."
>>> * That said, we fully understand the reality and necessity to keep
>>> the show as affordable as possible, and that there are very
>>> important communities that we would like to have attend where the
>>> published costs will be a challenge. We have plans for student
>>> volunteers and other kinds of discounts already. But, the way that
>>> some of the conference economics work, there is a tipping point
>>> where a larger conference actually can be a lower of the core
>>> conference costs (i.e., the venue, wifi, video, etc.) are prorated
>>> across more people. We want to be the first FOSS4G to draw >1,000
>>> people and we think we have a good shot at it. We also are going to
>>> be very aggressive in pursuing sponsorship, both from the
>>> established sponsor community, but also from first time sponsors,
>>> and tech companies in Boston. This too will help generate revenue
>>> and control costs. If we meet our attendance and sponsorship goals,
>>> we will return a significant profit to OSGeo and we hope that those
>>> profits can be used for the kinds of programs that Eli mentioned,
>>> i.e., committees that distribute travel grants; or provide support
>>> to events in the developing world; etc. Indeed, we have already
>>> proposed to follow Cameron's suggestion and expressed our return of
>>> profit to OSGeo as a percentage. Our proposal states returning 80%
>>> of profits up to $100K, and 100% of profits that are above $100k
>>> should we be lucky enough to be that successful.
>>> Having just returned from Bonn, we are more excited and more
>>> committed than ever (I just posted a blog on my impressions and
>>> experiences [1]). And, we believe we can follow Till's and the Bonn
>>> LOC's example in making this an exciting and dynamic event in a
>>> unique part of the world. Bonn's World Conference Center venue was
>>> worth its cost and added greatly to the event. We believe people
>>> will come to this kind of event; and we are equally committed in
>>> using the paying audience as a means of controlling costs and/or
>>> providing discounts to those who need them.
>>> All the best...
>>> MT
>>> On Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 8:38 AM, Venkatesh Raghavan
>>> <venka.osgeo at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> I do not think we need to select a "budget venue".
>>> Wonderful venues (perhaps, better than what we have seen thus far)
>>> are available at a lower price in low-income countries.
>>> I do not talk of any compromise on "core items" expected in
>>> FOSS4G conferences. Is video streaming a "core item" which
>>> was only recently possible in FOSS4G conferences?
>>> If we say that this is a "core item", that is as good as
>>> saying that FOSS4G conferences will be organized only in
>>> OECD countries.
>>> Venka
>>> On 9/10/2016 5:29 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>>> Hi Venka,
>>> I think that you are on the right track discussing "lower budget"
>>> foss4g
>>> conference in "lower income" countries.
>>> While the Global FOSS4G is firstly an international "gathering of
>>> the
>>> tribes" and should prioritise needs of the international attendees,
>>> we
>>> should recognise that historically over half the attendees come from
>>> the
>>> local region. I agree that it makes sense to see what can be done to
>>> help attract local attendees. If that means minimising costs, maybe
>>> by
>>> selecting budget venues etc, then a LOC should have the flexibility
>>> to
>>> suggest such options. However, selection budget options, should not
>>> translate to reducing the core items which are expected in FOSS4G
>>> conferences.
>>> Warm regards, Cameron
>>> On 10/09/2016 1:47 PM, Venkatesh Raghavan wrote:
>>> Hi Cameron,
>>> My comments inline.
>>> On 9/9/2016 9:05 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>>> Hi Venka,
>>> Thanks for suggesting specific ideas to implement.
>>> For this email thread, I'd like to focus on your suggestions related
>>> to
>>> financial expectations, so we can take it through to resolution.
>>> Namely,
>>> your item 5. Defining how profit should be returned to OSGeo.
>>> I suggest it is safer to define budget returned to OSGeo as a
>>> percentage
>>> of profit. As profit closely aligns with number of attendees, profit
>>> will be larger for larger events. Europe and US have historically
>>> attracted larger attendance than "Rest of World" and hence will
>>> return
>>> larger profit. As such, OSGeo should expect to earn less in "Rest of
>>> World" years.
>>> Yes, I agree with above. However "Rest of the World" include only
>>> low-income countries and not high-income countries like Australia,
>>> Japan, Korea etc. FOSS4G Conferences in low-income countries may
>>> spend
>>> less (lower venue and food costs) and also earn less compared to
>>> events
>>> in Europe and North America.
>>> I thought the RFP defined an expected budget to be returned to
>>> OSGeo
>>> under conservative estimates, but I can't find reference to it.
>>> (Maybe
>>> someone else can point to it).
>>> For management of special interest programs and sponsorship, I
>>> suggest
>>> refer to the email thread "FOSS4G Simplicity" started by Eli Adam,
>>> suggesting the be coordinated outside of the FOSS4G LOC (Like the
>>> academic track).
>>> I agree to making thinks easier and simpler coordinating Academic
>>> Track,
>>> Awards, Travel Grants outside the LoC.
>>> Best
>>> Venka
>>> On 9/09/2016 10:03 AM, Venkatesh Raghavan wrote:
>>> My Comments inline.
>>> On 9/9/2016 7:40 AM, Steven Feldman wrote:
>>> Maria
>>> Nice image, what are you suggesting in terms of the RfP? ______
>>> Steven
>>> On 8 Sep 2016, at 22:03, Maria Antonia Brovelli
>>> <maria.brovelli at polimi.it> wrote:
>>> <equity.jpg>
>>> Dear Cameron I prefer to take into account the differences among
>>> countries. We want to elicit people developing and using open
>>> source and we want to walk all together toward this result.
>>> Equality often is not the best choice. Best regards Maria
>> +1 for Maria's suggestion.
>> I would suggest the following;
>> 1) There was some comment on issue of too many people
>> requesting for free conference passes.
>> We need to clearly decide a guideline for offering free passes.
>> Free passes only offered to main Workshop Trainer, Keynote speakers
>> and
>> student volunteers? Apart from that *no one* gets a free pass.
>> 2) continue the discounted conference fee model for
>> low-income countries. This model has been successfully
>> used in FOSS4G-2015
>> 3) Offer Travel support only for participants who are
>> have their presentation accepted at the FOSS4G conference.
>> 4) Are we considering live streaming in future FOSS4G events?
>> In that case, request local chapters to organize local "FOSS4GFest"
>> during the duration of the main FOSS4G Conference and
>> take advantage of watching the live-streaming along with
>> the local community members who are unable to physically make it
>> to the FOSS4G event.
>> 5) Consider recommending LoC to return a minimum fixed amount
>> of profit to OSGeo. Taking into account, that OSGeo annual
>> budget for 2015 is $75,000, we could consider having $50K-$60K
>> returned from the profit to OSGeo foundation when FOSS4G is
>> organized in high-income countries and $25K-$30K when FOSS4G
>> is organized in low-income countries (they can retain part of
>> the profit for organizing events to grow local communities, but
>> should submit a budget report in subsequent FOSS4G conferences
>> as to how the profits were used). This will help the foundation to
>> sustain the "Travel Grant", "Student Award" and "Code Sprint" at
>> FOSS4G events.
>> 6) If the LoC of FOSS4G event is able to generate more profit
>> that stated in item 5 above, let them have a say in planning
>> how such "extra" profit will be used in future.
>> 7) Consider a upper cap on the conference registration fee.
>> I would suggest $100/day of conference event when organized
>> in high-income countries. This would be much lower when FOSS4G
>> is organized in a low-income country
>> Best
>> Venka
>>> Sent from my Samsung device
>>> -------- Original message -------- From: Cameron Shorter
>>> <cameron.shorter at gmail.com> Date: 08/09/2016 22:53 (GMT+01:00) To:
>>> conference <conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org> Subject: Re:
>>> [OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G Handbook - Financial expectations
>>> Ok, lets start working through Steven's list one item at a time,
>>> starting a new email thread for each.
>>> Once we have resolution (probably concluding with a vote) we can
>>> finalise it in the foss4g handbook.
>>> On 8/09/2016 9:12 PM, Steven Feldman wrote:
>>> 1) Overall financial expectations re surplus and sharing of
>>> surplus with OSGeo - possibly setting slightly different
>>> expectations for RoW to NA & EU
>> We have draft principles on Finances in the handbook here:
>> https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_Handbook#Finances [4]
>> <https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_Handbook#Finances [4]>
>> I suggest using this existing text as the basis for guidance. I
>> personally think it has the right principles in place. In
>> particular, it is recommending each conference aim to hand over a
>> fixed percentage of profits as surplus to OSGeo. 85% is suggested.
>> I prefer this advise over the suggestion that low income countries
>>  retain more profit.
>> -- Cameron Shorter M +61 419 142 254 [5]
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>> Links:
>> ------
>> [1]
>> http://www.appgeo.com/blog/picked-pieces-global-2017-foss4g-conference-bonn-germany/
>> [2] http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>> [3] http://www.isprs2016-prague.com/fees/
>> [4] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_Handbook#Finances
>> [5] tel:%2B61%20419%20142%20254
>> [6] http://www.appgeo.com/
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