[Foss4g2008loc] Latest -Version2 of FOSS4G2008 Budget

Dave Patton davep at confluence.org
Tue Oct 23 00:49:25 EDT 2007

Petro Farrell wrote:

> We have worked on the same registration rates as FOSS4G2007 but with a
> different policy for students. Take note of the impact of the exchange rate.
> Please also find attached the capacities based on current room
> configurations for Workshops, Labs and Presentations with possible times for
> the various sessions.
> Please send all suggestions and comments by close of business on Monday 22
> October 2007 to enable us to move forward with an agreed budget

My thoughts on the Capacities spreadsheet:
I don't know if "Workshops" are intended to be
an 'extra charge' item, like in 2007, but it looks
that way from the budget. Therefore the implication
is that Labs, like in 2007, are 'included in the
conference', just like presentations.
Those room sizes are going to be too big for some
Workshop topics. And larger rooms can present
issues with regards to things like projectors
and screens.
I suspect that having to pay extra for Workshops,
and then having them spread throughout the week,
will reduce the number of registrations. For example,
not having "6 at once" makes it easier to choose,
but for 2007, if you could find one morning Workshop
and one afternoon Workshop you wanted to attend, then
you could justify paying for Monday. With them spread
out through the week, and 'only' two at a time, will
people pay extra to attend workshops if there are
time slots where they aren't interested in either
of the two offerings? Also, socializing/networking
was a big part of FOSS4G2007 for some people, and
I wonder if people want to go to (or teach!) Workshops
from 6PM to 9PM?
There were comments for 2007 that some of the 3-hour
Workshops should have been 'just a little bit longer',
and comments that a break was needed, so maybe a three
hour time slot isn't enough?
It's my perception that even the most popular Labs in
2007 would not have drawn the same number of attendees
as the large Workshops. In part, that's because people
had paid for the Workshops, and because some topics
in a 3-hour format are going to draw more people than
the same or a similar topic in a 1.5-hour format. Also,
in 2007, Labs were at the same time as Presentations.
For Presentations, I had two 'first reactions':
- 20 minutes is two short
- the rooms are too big
For 2007, the 'plan' was to group Presentations into
sets of 3, and it was a bit surprising to see how
much 'switching rooms' went on, after we tried to
put presentations together into similar 'tracks',
so people could stay in the room for 90 minutes.
Rooms that can seat 280 are WAY too big for many
of the Presentations, if they are similar to 2007.
It doesn't matter for a BOF session, where people
will naturally gather together, but for a 'lecture',
it's never a good thing to have 20 people in a room
that size.
For what it's worth, I asked a friend whether he
did much 'switching around' during 2007. He said
that he first picked Presentations that he wanted
to see, and then if there wasn't anything obvious
in a time slot, he just went to the Lecture Theatre
(our largest room for Presentations), because he
know those Presentations were 'the most popular'.
Whether it's for "Classes"[1] or "long-format
Presentations", you might consider having some
longer time slots. Even with your current '20+10'
format, you could have some time slots that are
'50 minutes + 10 for switching rooms'.
For Labs, they appear to end mid-day on Thursday,
and then there is the closing plenary, yet there
are possible Workshops on Thursday afternoon, as
well as Presentations?
For 2007, BOF sessions were sort of planned 'after
the fact'. It may be wise to build the time for them
into the schedule right from the start.

As for the budget:
The student registration policy doesn't make sense
to me. First, if their registration "only covers
the food costs", then it can't be considered
'bonus income', as it nets to zero.
Secondly, it appears that this policy precludes
students from registering for Workshops.


Dave Patton

Degree Confluence Project:
Canadian Coordinator
Technical Coordinator

Workshop Committee
Conference Committee

Personal website:
Maps, GPS, etc.

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