LOC conference call Jan 12, 2011

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Agenda

Meeting notes in bold spread through the document

Attendees:

  • Ben Tuttle
  • James Fee
  • Tyler Mitchell
  • Tyler Erickson
  • Dana Wood
  • James Sakamoto
  • Libby Hanna
  • Jeff McKenna


Review of LOC members and roles

Sponsorship Update (Peter Batty / Tyler Mitchell)

  • Review of sponsor prospect list and status of those that are likely / confirmed

We have had a good initial response on sponsorship. We currently have commitments for 1 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze sponsorships, and one expression of interest in a platinum. LOC members are encouraged to contact companies they know who are interested, but if you want to do this please ask Peter to add you to the Google spreadsheet we are using to coordinate contacts with potential sponsors

Workshops (Ben Tuttle)

Ben Tuttle (lead), Jeff McKenna, Chris Helm

  • Upcoming deadline: issue call for workshops, Jan 15
  • Anything we need to do differently from "typical" year? We are planning I think on a "newcomer" event in parallel with the technical workshops. Do we need to ask for proposals to contribute to that, or will we just solicit people? May be worth getting proposals for sessions in that event versus whole "workshop" proposal ... in which case do we just do that as part of the main call for papers? Brian Timoney to lead discussion on this.
  • Jeff/Ben to give short summary of anything the group should know about the overall typical process here / update on progress

We have wording for the call for papers page and the web form completed. GITA will get the form set up, Peter or Tyler will add the web page. We want this to go live by Friday.

Academic Track (Rafael Moreno)

  • Rafael has emailed Thierry Badard who organized this last year (at the suggestion of Eric), and just heard back from him the other day.

There were various suggestions for others we might get in touch with also - Jeff said he would connect Peter with Venka. Eric and Tyler E were also people who might have input. One specific concern that has been expressed by several people is that it is very important for academics to get papers published, and this is something that FOSS4G hasn't always done well on in the past.

Program (James Fee)

James Fee (lead), Brian Timoney (newcomer focus), Matt Krusemark (open data focus), Tyler Erickson (govt focus)

  • Upcoming items: issue call for papers, Feb 1. Will need suitable verbiage on our focus areas as well as web forms etc. Also do we want to ask for submissions for multiple formats, e.g. 5 minute presentations in addition to longer format ones? Panels? One idea from a recent UK conference I attended is to have 5 minute "georants" on more informal / fun / contentious topics in a bar one evening.
  • Today I chatted with Paul Ramsey about the community voting system that has been used in previous years. Paul has a system that will handle this process and he has volunteered to take care of that for us. We will just need to provide him with the abstract information in a spreadsheet / csv format, which the GITA system can do. I was somewhat concerned about people gaming the system and Paul has done some analysis in the past to identify when this is going on. Having discussed it with him I'm less concerned than I was about this. This process at least gives us an initial sort on the abstracts. Last year they had 360 for 120 slots. We have discretion on how many abstracts we take from the voting process and and how many we select as a committee. We don't need to make firm decisions on that up front.
  • Answer the following question from Adrian Custer on the mailing list:
Some questions below about whether you have settled on an explicit focus for your conference. It seems your choices during your organization work will invariably influence the nature of this conference as mainly either a gathering of free software hackers for fun and cooperation or as a platform for those of us vending our software projects. I wonder how much thinking and conscious decision making you have made on this issue. (My high level answer: we aim to address needs of both groups)
Will there be any limits on talks from the same organization, from the same vendor, or from members of the organizing and selection committees? In particular, how does this work in that sponsors at the $most_precious_metal sponsorship level are already guaranteed one slot? (My suggestion, let's discuss: not hard pre-defined limits but we will review number of papers accepted per company before finalizing the program and may make adjustments if we feel it is appropriate).
Does anyone know what the policy has been (if any) in previous years? Also, are talk proposals once again going to be submitted to a popularity vote? In my analysis, that resulted in getting many talks from the well known projects and well known personalities rather than getting a wide distribution of talks favouring the, possibly whacky, smaller projects. All are interesting, of course, but lead to a different flavour for the gathering so I am wondering what you are hoping to produce. (Yes we plan to do a vote but intend for the final program to be a mix of papers selected by the vote and papers selected by the organizing committee).
  • Keynote speakers ... are we planning to get any "external" keynote speakers (people outside those we would expect to submit abstracts)? If so need to start on getting those identified and signed up now. Examples might include well known figures from the broader open source world, maybe some to address the "open data" theme. Steve Coast would be one candidate there. I might be able to get John Hickenlooper, the Colorado Governor, to do a short welcome address - he is a good speaker and has some geo background. On the open data theme, Tim Berners Lee might be a good if ambitious choice to pursue ... he has been widely credited with pressuring get the UK government to open up its data, including geospatial data. He's known to be a fan of OpenStreetMap too.

There was general agreement that we should include a request for 5 minute presentations in the call for papers. While there are still lingering concerns over people gaming the system, we agreed we would use the community voting system run by Paul as in previous years, and we will use the committee's discretion to decide what proportion of papers come from the voting process and what proportion are selected by the committee. We do not plan to set hard guidelines in advance.

Peter will draft a response to Adrian's email and submit this to the group.

Registration / Pricing (Tyler Mitchell)

  • Does proposed 2011 pricing need adjustment? Current budget proposal is $*** for early and $*** for late.
  • Is the timing shown on the timeline right ... really should have at least the provisional program available a little way ahead of early registration deadline
  • Need to establish policies for any discounted registration categories (students??), policy for comp registrations, etc (not today but reasonably soon)

Peter, Tyler and Henry will follow up on that.

Social Events (Peter / other volunteers?)

Proposed main social events are as follows (get agreement on this today, need to confirm venues asap):

  • Sunday night - potential informal meetup combined with State of the Map (may just be "meet at this pub"?)
  • Tuesday night – informal welcome event, open to all attendees. Likely venue Wynkoop Brewing Company. Potential for pool tournament / challenge the pro games with "Melissa the Viper" :)
  • Wednesday night – reception at Sheraton on and around exhibit floor. Need to work out logistics as number of attendees much larger than will fit in exhibit space.
  • Thursday – “Signature Event”, priced separately. Probably at cool venue like the Art Museum or similar. Propose stand-up versus seated event, lower cost and better for networking. Initial budget had this priced at $99, seems high to me (though not out of line with previous years). Suggest $75 target?

There was general agreement on this as a high level approach. There weren't strong concerns about $99 being too high. At past events there have been price levels similar to this and the event has still sold out. Henry will investigate options and we'll keep an open mind about price until we know more details. Peter will talk to the Wynkoop. It was also suggested that we designate one or more 'default meeting places' to help people network outside these events and we will do that. The new bar at the Sheraton, the Yard House, is the most obvious default location.

Marketing (Matt Ball)

  • Matt to work with GITA on marketing plan
  • Current assumption is no printed material except for on site program - everyone ok with that?
  • Will have plenty of informal marketing via OSGeo mailing lists, blogs and twitter of LOC members, etc
  • One option for graphical design is that we can contract further work with the person who produced the winning logo
  • Work on media sponsors

Short term, Matt will look at what outlets we should use to announce the call for papers on Friday. In the past this has apparently gone out as a formal press release, so we will include that in what we do.

Website (Who owns ??)

  • Currently hosted on squarespace - seems fine so far for basic content, reasonable control over design etc. Only $20 a month including hosting and all editing tools
  • Need to look soon at requirements for doing a nice job of an online conference program, need to evaluate whether squarespace is up to this

SotM coordination

  • More info coming here shortly - I just had a good chat with Hurricane

Ideas we are currently considering:

  • Having a closing SotM/opening FOSS4G social on Sunday evening: Mappy Hour!
  • Have a mapping party on Monday - possibly organize a trip to the mountains and map / explore a national park? Possibly also just organize one or more recreational trips?
  • Have a common website (or source material) for “what to do in Denver”, logistics, etc
  • Make it easy for people to submit abstracts to both SotM and FOSS4G (focused on the open data track for FOSS4G)

Future Meetings

  • Discussion on future format (conference call versus IRC, etc) and frequency of calls (perhaps weekly in short term, maybe switch to every two weeks at some point if we feel that works better)
  • Possibility of monthly get-togethers for happy hour for the local crowd? We need to try out the Yard House, the new bar connected to the Sheraton

It was agreed that in the short term at least, we will continue with weekly conference calls