FOSS4G2018 Q&A Bangkok
- Can you please provide information about security situation in your city and around the venue? Also I'd like to know whether there was any terror attack/ attempts in your city within the last 1 year.
If any, please report that?
Nitin Tripathi: Jomtien Beach area is a very clean white serene beach and in recent years it has never seen any kind of terror attacks. This hotel is around 15 minutes away from vibrant Pattaya so very quiet.
- Do you believe you can get major sponsorship from Thai government, if you won this bidding?
Nitin Tripathi: We already have assurance from few Thai Univ, GISTDA (Thai Space Agency) and CCM systems. Other organisations which have always supported our conferences in past will surely extend the support as FOSS4G 2018 will be a grand event addressing the major smart city issues which India, Thailand, and other ASEAN nations are trying to achieve through smart systems involving GIT. Not only Thailand, I am also very optimistic about Indian organisations like National Remote Sensing Centre Hyderabad and Ministry of Science and Technology will join as sponsor and take lead in supporting this event.
- For the benefit of those of us who are not familiar with Bangkok, could you give us an indication of the climate in September
Nitin Tripathi: The weather of Pattaya in September is max 30 Celsius and minimum 25 degree Celsius. It is a wet month where we can expect rains. But it is not everyday raining. We plan to include an umbrella in the conference kit!! September is a lean tourist season in Pattaya so you can expect the cheapest flight, hotel and even discounts at restaurants and bars.
- How long is the transfer from Bangkok to Pattaya?
Nitin Tripathi: Pattaya city is special administrative city of Chonburi province and located East side of Thailand. It will take about 90-120 minutes to reach from the main international air-port to the conference venue. There is excellent Highway road collection by passing the city traffic. Taxi, buses (every hour) are available at any time and would cost around 5USD for bus and 30USD for taxi. If you have plan for extend your stay and visit Chaing Mai, Phuket or Samui Island. There is an airport 'U-Taprao' which is 30km from Pattaya city and daily low-cost flight are available. Additionally, the low-cost flights for China, Russian and South East Asia countries are available. BTW, this airport is being upgraded and will be operated as an International airport in mid of 2017 .
We would also like to point out that the conference venue and surroundings is completely self-contained. Of course we are sure that participants would like to see Bangkok City and we will have a on site travel desk to take care of all local traveling needs.
Later: "We will arrange airport pickup and drop at very reasonable cost."
- Let's say you achieve 600 attendees and regarding your cost-structure of 450/400/300$ conference price and assume 30% Early Birdies paying 20% less I can do the following rough calculation:
300 x regular x 450$
200 x regular low/middle income eco x 400$
100 x students x 300$
400 x workshop (-30% because 1 workshop free for early birdies) x 50 = 16k
total income: (135k + 80k + 30k) - 20% + 16k from workshops = 216k $
I am also not aware about your costs for venue/food/PCO etc. I know, this is a conservative and very rough calculation and we are in an really early stage, but I would be happy if you could outline your financial calculation a little bit more precise?
We have initial expense calculation as follows:
Total number participants at 600 70K for 5 days including WS and Code sprint 50k Venue cost 50k PCO (Professional Conference Organizer) 25k Postage, printing, marketing 20k Broadband internet, computer hire for WS
Based on your rough calculation of income (216k) we expect a zero surplus. We expect that venue and PC0 costs will not go up much even if we have 700-750 participants in which case we expect to generate a surplus of 20K or so.
We off-course would push hard for sponsorship and feel confident of raising additional 100,000USD through sponsorship. With the support of OSGeo, we hope we can enhance number of sponsors.
- Maybe it's just a misunderstanding, but you list two Co-chairs, but who will be the chair or do you plan to chair the conference with two people?
Background: Two years ago we (F4G 2016's Bonn's LOC) did the same in our proposal but we were pleased to nominate one chair.
Regarding chair and co-chair, through our (Sarawut and me) experience in organizing several large (300+) conferences in Thailand, we find that work sharing works very well for us. I am living and working in Thailand for last 16 years and have very good relations with Thai Professional community. But having on board a native Thai is very important as many times we have to do communications and letters in Thai language for official purpose to attract more number of delegates and sponsorships. With this idea, I always work with Dr Sarawut as my co-chair. It worked very well in past. Sarawut will handle aspects related to technical content and marketing in Thailand and I plan to handle logistics, international communications, and marketing. So we choose to have a Chair (me)and co-chair (Sarawut) for the conference. It is also very efficient as there will be no delay in response system even if one person is busy in other works then another one can respond.