[OSGeo-Conf] Start 2019 RFP / Board discussion about RFP for FOSS4G-2019

Eli Adam eadam at co.lincoln.or.us
Thu Aug 31 09:13:21 PDT 2017

On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 4:03 AM, Till Adams <till.adams at fossgis.de> wrote:
> Dear Conference Committee,
> (as not finally voted, but last nominated chair of this committee I start
> this process before nobody else does ;-))
> I just chatted with Steven, and we'd like to get the 2019 RfP in motion
> ASAP. Writing this, I aready started and created a WIKI page (see link
> below). I think for the RFP the most important point is the timetable. In
> comparison to past calls, I tightened the timetable a little (e.g. 14 days
> for questions instead of a 21 day period), so that we have the chance to get
> a decision by mid of december.

Let reason not arbitrary dates drive the schedule.  That being said, I
think that your timeline is reasonable.  Consider your own personal
schedule and the AoE timezone and budget an extra day for you to do
work where needed.

> Feel free to comment and/or edit:
> https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_2019_Bid_Process

I did some light editing.  Perhaps review my assumptions/corrections.
The major change I made pertained to announcing a result.  We may
announce the results of our voting but we don't actually select the
LOC and FOSS4G location, we pass it to the Board to approve it.  You
may want to coordinate dates with the Board so that they have a
meeting 1-3 days after our result so that they can approve it and then
it is official.

> We also have to include the suggestions of the board Venka recently sent.
> Regarding them, I see no problems with adapting Venkas points a - e and g,
> point h depends on time but might be critical, because we are already little
> late.

a) OSGeo AGM not in parallel with sessions is a good idea.  Lunch, or
late afternoon after sessions but before evening events sounds good.
I believe that technically the AGM is without cost and open to

b) Prohibition on BYOD should be removed

c) Add "at FOSS4G" to "OSGeo Community Events" seems unnecessary since
it is in a FOSS4G RFP and everything is at FOSS4G.  It is an easy
change so might as well do it.

d) ""Hosted (or Presented/Produced) by OSGeo" need to be mentioned in the
conference website." is micromanaging and I'd prefer to not get into
specific words on the website but this could be added to the existing
Conference Naming section of the RFP:

Conference Naming
The conference name will be “FOSS4G <city name> <year> hosted by
OSGeo”. Other variants of the name may
be considered, for translation purposes.  Include this on the website.

e) Replace "Rest of the World" with "Other Regions" based on agreement
on mailing list.  This is a good idea and should be done.  It is on my
list to make proper motion so that this is official policy of the
Conference Committee, OSGeo, and FOSS4G.

f) see below

g) Seems good, should update the wiki with this

h) good idea if time permits.

> I'd like to suggest a more comprising section instead of Venkas point f:
> Venka writes:
> f) Page 11 mentions "We hope to keep cost per participant under $650 USD for
> the conference
>> plus workshops."
>> I (Venka) am not aware of how the affordability discussion went on at f2f
>> in Boston. However a
>> more specific statement could be better for the 2019 RFP. e.g.
>> "We strongly recommend to keep the cost per participants under $XXX USD
>> (early bird) and
>> $YYY USD for the conference and workshops."
> I'd like to replace the sentence in question by:
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Please be aware, that a global FOSS4G is OSGeo's major event and that it
> should be open to as many participants as possible. One major factor are the
> overall costs of the conference-visit for potential attendees.
> We suggest to keep conference fees per participant under $650 excluding
> costs for workshops and the social event. The experience of the past years
> has shown, that the social event is one major part of a FOSS4G, so we
> suggest to include the social event in the overall conference package.
> Please line out:
> - whether you are able to hit our expectations of a max conference fee of
> $650 or if not, why and whether it will include or exclude the main social
> event
> - costs for accommodations around your place from basic to premium (I think
> this is included anyhow)
> - give us a hint on the general living costs such as averaged costs for a
> meal/drink/public transport and so forth
> - describe briefly how you will enable especially financial weak persons to
> attend your conference (e.g. student helper programme, pre-reservation of
> especially cheap accommodations, collect money on top of travel grant
> programme funding from OSGeo, [your ideas], etc.)
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~
> I think we must see the overall costs - low fees and high accommodation
> costs or even high costs for drinks may also exclude many people from FOSS4G
> or from one of the most important parts of a FOSS4G: Socializing (having low
> fees of e.g. $400 does not help anybody jumping into our community, when a
> beer costs $8 and he/she is not able to join other participants in the
> evenings....)

I'd like to not add a bunch of words or restrictions on the LOC.  LOCs
endeavor to make FOSS4G as cost effective as possible.  I think that
prices will remain about the same.  There is the possibility that
someone who thinks dramatically differently about prices figures out a
way to do it and submits a bid.  When we have such a bid, I'm sure
that it will receive votes.  Realistic low cost bids is how the price
will change.  Or a dramatic change in OSGeo finances such that OSGeo
sponsorship goes up substantially and FOSS4G can be run at a loss as
an outreach event.

In my opinion, the current wording is already sufficient:

Cost for attendees
o We hope to keep cost per participant under $650 USD for the
conference plus workshops.
o We would welcome innovative approaches that can offer more
affordable options to
delegates. These might include differential pricing, alternative
venues, reduced catering costs,
changing dates or excluding the cost (or part of the cost) of social events.
o Note: please include all prices in USD in your proposal, and please
specify a currency date in
your proposal (e.g. USD 2015-07-01).

> Also I can imagine of editing the section regarding the conference dates:
> I think we just have s.t.h like a target timeperiod (Sept-Oct), but we
> should hint bidding teams, that they may choose the best and/or maybe also
> cheaper period around this target period. On the other hand, I also know,
> that there have been some problems for people attending the conferences in
> 2016 and 2017 that took place in holiday-pregnant August, so maybe we can
> also have a discussion whether we can/will allow people to have their
> conference in August?

We can comment that September is the preferred time frame but bids
will still bid what works.  September has higher venue prices.  You,
even in Europe, found that August was the best option.  For 2017 we
had three bids all in August.  I think that many Conference Committee
members will preferentially vote for September dates but those are not
what LOCs are finding is reasonable to bid.  If anything, this
September goal runs counter to the low cost goal above.

Before we start the RFP process, I'd request a member freeze on the
committee until after the final decision.  If we are making voting
member changes to the committee, these should be completed before we
start the RFP process.  See also,

When we get to motions, please use the process:

Thanks for doing this Till.  I'm looking forward to helping a little bit.

Best regards, Eli

> Please also comment on this as well!
> Regards, Till
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