[OSGeo-Discuss] [Board] Free Developer Slots at FOSS4G events

Daniel Kastl daniel at georepublic.de
Sat Mar 9 04:21:30 PST 2013

On Sat, Mar 9, 2013 at 4:07 PM, Paolo Cavallini <cavallini at faunalia.it>wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Il 08/03/2013 16:16, Steven Feldman ha scritto:
> > I've been following the conversation that was prompted by Paolo's
> > comment about FOSS4G pricing
> > We are trying to balance the need to have an economically viable
> > conference that covers costs and returns funds to OSGeo (which is
> > what we were asked to do) with making the event as affordable and
> > accessible as possible. We consulted with the OSGeo Board on how to
> > balance these objectives before finalising our prices.
> Hi all.
> We have shown that admitting for free a limited number of top developers
> from OSGeo core projects, that could not otherwise attend, will not be a
> cost to the conference, but an opportunity. The attitude shown confirms
> the widespread feeling of a modest attention to developers, and of the
> primary aim of FOSS4G as a moneymaking machine.
> To me, developers are really the blood and nerves of free software, and
> should be cared of.
What for OSGeo are the developers are for OSM the mappers.
Last year I was involved in SotM Tokyo and I like the way OSM keeps the
costs low for their community:

   - Organized by volunteers (there is a core team that has the knowledge
   of several years SotM now)
   - Free (or cheap) venues
   - Lunch boxes (affordable and quick to hand out)

And they have basically two ticket types: "regular" and "mapper" (would be
"developer" for OSGeo).
Someone is community member, when they own a username (printed on the
If you want to get a receipt and a company name printed on your badge, you
need to pay the regular fee.

The "community" price only covers the variable costs per attendant (mainly
food and T-Shirt). It would be too risky for the organizer to cover all the
costs for free tickets, because it's hard to predict how many people will
signup with discounts or for free. But "community" tickets should not make
any profit. Regular tickets, which are significantly more expensive, and
sponsors have to cover the fix costs instead.

As it has been said several times already, for companies sending developers
to FOSS4G, the conference ticket itself is only a small share of
the total cost (travel, hotel, working time).
But for a developer, taking a holiday and travelling to UK to attend
FOSS4G, the conference already is quite expensive in my opinion.

As Cameron said, for 2013 it's already a bit late to talk about ticket


Georepublic UG & Georepublic Japan
eMail: daniel.kastl at georepublic.de
Web: http://georepublic.de
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