FOSS4G2019 Q&A Sevilla

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Questions Till Adams:

  • Do you expect, that you can attract your supporting organisations also to sponsor the event?

This proposal has been very well received by public administrations, local, regional and country wide and many of them have already sent their letters of support. All this public administrations have directives to attract foreign investment and boost employment, so they are very interested in participating and have expressed their desire to collaborate. Also, in Andalusia region there is a strong support for open source by the public administrations, so they welcome all the initiatives that can boost the use of open source in the region.

On the private companies side, there is also a lot of interest as FOSS4G usually takes place very far from their location and it is difficult for them to invest in promoting their products. If the conference takes place in Sevilla, they are willing to sponsor and maximize the efforts to have presence in the conference. There is a growing bussiness network based on open source and geolocation technologies both in Spain and Portugal and many of these companies will use FOSS4G as their trampoline to the rest of the world.

  • You expect 80% of the attendees to pay the registration fee. I am a friend of a very careful calculation, nevertheless I'd like to ask, who you expect not to pay the fee - at least 20% of expected 1200 attendees are 240 people, that receive a free ticket?

We will offer a set of 100-120 free inscription for volunteers, in exchange of specific help in tasks during the workshops (helping with recording, checkin, etc...), during the main conference days (helping on the sessions, delivering food, giving directions, helping the speakers,...) and/or during the codesprint (technical support, checkin or general help). They will only have to pay for their accomodation and food, except the meals included in the ticket (except the Gala Dinner).

We will offer also a set of free inscriptions to some students or specific chosen people who we will offer the free fee for the conference, accomodation and the meals included in the conference. It will be a small group (15-20) chosen by a comittee to help leveraging the gap on diversity. We will use also use these free inscriptions to promote the participation of interested students and /or people with economic limitation, specially from Africa and Latin America. We are really interested in attracting attendees from both continents because of proximity (cultural and/or geographical) and the possibility of reuse of software developed in Spanish or Portuguese. We have already experienced that in Latin America we can replicate OSS projects with minimal customization costs.

Last but not least, we will also offer some free tickets for speakers and sponsors.

  • There was a big discussion about how we can open the conference for as many attendees as possible. Of course, this also is a function of the whole package price (travel, accommodation, conference fee,). Could you please line out, what your plans are in order to make a travel to FOSS4G 2019 possible for as many people (especially students, people from 3rd-world countries) as possible?

Combining the volunteers and whole free package described in the previous question, we expect to increase the number of participants from lower income economies.

Regarding travel cost, today it's easy to get a return ticket from almost any part of the world to Sevilla, Málaga, Faro or Madrid by less than 600€ to 700€ if purchased in advance. If it is from any other European country it can be less than half that price. Sevilla is a very cheap city for students and travellers who doesn't mind to share a room. In the Inturjoven hostels, the price for sharing room about 12/17 € per person for young people up to 25 years. The Young Hostels, depending on the establishment, costs around 10/15 € per person in a shared room.

Qestion by Eli Adam

  • You have very specific dates that you've been lining up since 1519. Have you checked availability of your venue in those dates? Presumably it is not only geography and cartography people who will be interested in the day that marks the 500 anniversary of Magellan-Elcano Expedition departure from Sevilla towards the East Indies. Have you considered other dates? (Although I do like the idea of your existing dates, reasonability suggestions that the potential for flexibility could be good.)

Although it may seem a bit random and accidentally have in common the anniversary, the dates have been carefully chosen: Going to Sevilla in August, besides the northern Summer problem I mentioned some weeks ago, also may be a problem for people coming from cooler countries. They are not used to our temperatures and may dehidrate too much. We consider anything above 30ºC to be not welcoming for many visitors. September, on the other hand, has a perfect 15/25ºC temperature in average.

But on September we have the schools starting. So if we wanted to use the university, we had to make sure it was before the full classes began and the booking of rooms collide with our needs. On the other hand, too early on September we have the problem of Isla Mágica being still used full time as an amusement park. If we want the park to be closed for us, it should be after mid September. So, that week is the perfect week for us. The four factors (climate, university, Isla Mágica and anniversary) match on that week. Of course, we carefully asked about availability before selecting the dates. Otherwise it would have been very risky. There will be more events around the anniversary, but most of them are distributed among the full year and the full duration of the trip.