[OSGeo-Discuss] some post-FOSS4G thoughts

Laura Toma ltoma at bowdoin.edu
Tue Oct 7 10:38:39 PDT 2008

Registration + hotel represent 1/2 of the price of the trip. So  
together they WERE a deciding factor.    I am always too busy, so  
browsing the discuss lists and the web for B&B in Cape Town was not  
an option.   If the conference is not targeted towards business,   
then the conference accommodation site should include budget hotels  
(the 5-star hotels can circulate on the discuss lists for those  


On Oct 7, 2008, at 10:46 AM, discuss-request at lists.osgeo.org wrote:

> Message: 6
> Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 16:42:47 +0200
> From: "Gavin Fleming" <GavinF at mintek.co.za>
> Subject: RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] some post-FOSS4G thoughts
> To: <cavallini at faunalia.it>, "OSGeo Discussions"
> 	<discuss at lists.osgeo.org>,	"conference_dev"
> 	<conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org>
> Message-ID:
> 	<EFD5295367266842A4FA779F598ED36905817777 at mail.mintek.ac.za>
> Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"
> This thread has been doing the rounds on the conference_dev list as  
> well
> Some of my thoughts in the aftermath of FOSS4G 2008.
> I have heard very positive feedback from all quarters. As Arnulf  
> alluded
> to in the AGM, I believe the decision to host in an 'untested'  
> location
> WORKED. The mix of FOSS and proprietary worlds WORKED. The mix of the
> full-spectrum ecosystem from geek to user to academic to  
> businessperson
> to government official WORKED.
> It WORKED on so many levels we'll be seeing positive spin-offs for  
> years
> to come.
> Business people loved meeting developers and picking up the sense of
> community.
> Developers loved being with other developers and interacting with  
> users
> and funders.  And we did manage a code sprint of around 40 people.
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G2008_CodeSprint
> Cost:
> -Registration was well within the limits set by OSGeo of $600. It was
> NOT the deciding factor for most people. Academics and students got  
> 50%
> discount, but these were a minority.
> -Travel was THE deciding factor.
> -Accommodation: yes, 'official' hotels where our agents got block
> bookings were not exactly budget prices (global tourist destination in
> high season) but we advertised and listed many links for organising
> one's own cheap accommodation from backpackers to B&Bs. So that should
> not have been a factor.
> -with more sponsorship we would have loved to support those who could
> not afford it. Luckily many who asked made a plan of their own.
> By its nature, a moving conference will be expensive to get to from  
> many
> places. But it will be cheap and accessible to regional attendees and
> that's the point. That's part of OSGeo's mission.
> The value of bringing FOSS4G to South Africa (or Sydney or other  
> future
> global venues) far outweighs the 'cost' to a few who could not make  
> it.
> Sydney will be in the same boat next year - far from almost  
> everywhere.
> But they're already focussing on Australia/NZ and Southeast Asia.  
> And a
> core contingent of OSGeo techies WILL make it to FOSS4G each year. And
> there you have the magic mix.
> So, from me:
> -keep FOSS4G roaming the globe annually
> -stimulate and support local or regional events whenever and wherever
> they emerge
> -keep the FOSS4G mix as it is - don't split along a perceived
> technical-business divide.
> -put out RFPs even earlier to allow time to secure cheap venues, big
> sponsorships, optimal scheduling, etc. A case in point is
> http://www.igarss09.org/ where the conference was awarded years back
> enabling the hosting of thousands at a cheap venue (university).
> Gavin Fleming

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