Re: GUADEC registration fee

James makes some excellent points and I agree with

I am disturbed by this entire discussion line,
however.  What are we saying here?  That you like and
want the conference, but aren't willing to support the
organization and running of it?  That you aren't
willing to pay the cost of three beers to support

Monies raised through sponsorships and registration
fees serve to:

1)Bring GNOME contributors to the conference who could
not otherwise attend.
2)Bring valuable speakers and contributors to the
conference so we can get a broader perspective on the
work we're doing - we've had some amazing speakers in
the past and this year will be even better.
3)Pay for the hard costs, like facilities, networking,
materials, etc.
4)Hopefully give us a little reserve to do it all over

We are offering liberal concession for contributors
who cannot afford even the lowest registration fee.
There's even a special section in the registration
form to request subsidies for travel, registration,


--- James Henstridge <james daa com au> wrote:
> On 5/05/2004 2:22 AM, Mikael Hallendal wrote:
> >On tis, 2004-04-20 at 10:10 +0800, James Henstridge
> wrote:
> >
> >  
> >
> >>I've helped organise a similar conference in the
> past ( 
> >>where this was the primary reason for the
> registration fees.  We were 
> >>charging AU$550 for a professional registration,
> which is quite similar 
> >>to the fee set by the guadec organisers.
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >I think Guadec is (or at least should be) very
> different from
> > (haven't been there though, just
> heard about it). 
> >  
> >
> They are different in scope, but there are a lot of
> similarities:
>     * organised by the community rather than a trade
> show company (like
>       LWCE is, for instance)
>     * moves to a different location each year with
> different organising
>       committees (while still being run under the
> umbrella of the same
>       non-profit organisation).
>     * aims to break even rather than make a profit. 
> The idea is to
>       provide the best possible conference for the
> attendees while not
>       sending the organisers bankrupt.
>     * aimed at the developers and interested users
> rather than being a
>       corporate trade show.
> Given the similarities, it is worth looking at some
> of the things that 
> have helped make sustainable.
> >To me Guadec is a meeting to get together and
> discuss the future
> >development of GNOME. It's also (probably more
> important) a place to get
> >together, share a few beers and get to know the
> persons behind the IRC
> >nicks and email addresses. 
> >  
> >
> LCA fills a similar role for the Australian free
> software community (it 
> isn't just a kernel conference).  I think you'll
> find most technical 
> conferences are like this after the talks.
> >I can understand a fee if we can't get enough money
> to make it go break
> >even but it has to be clear that this is the reason
> for the fee and not
> >a way to milk the corporations of money. 
> >  
> >
> A conference has two ways to make money: sponsorship
> and registration 
> fees.  When organisers take money from a sponsor, 
> they'll generally 
> want something in return (for registrants it will be
> a good conference, 
> for sponsors it will be advertising and/or good
> will).
> All the previous Guadecs have been primarily funded
> by sponsorship 
> (donations and grants have helped a bit, but they
> aren't really 
> something you can rely on in the long run).  The
> problem with this is 
> that it places a lot of power in the hands of the
> sponsors -- the loss 
> of a sponsor might kill off the conference.
> However if the organisers know that they will be
> getting a certain 
> amount of money from registrations, they are in a
> much better position 
> to bargain with the sponsor.  If they lose the
> sponsor, it'll probably 
> just require scaling back the conference a bit.
> It's also worth noting that the proposed fees are
> quite small compared 
> to those of other commercial conferences where you
> might pay that much 
> for half a day of the conf.  By running the
> conference at a cooperative 
> venue (most universities are happy to provide rooms
> for free to such 
> conferences in exchange for being listed as a
> sponsor) and not trying to 
> make a large profit, it is possible to keep the fees
> low.
> >I really hope that this doesn't make companies such
> as Novell/Ximian or
> >Red Hat to not send all of there GNOME hackers just
> because it'll cost
> >too much.
> >  
> >
> When you factor in the cost of an international
> airfare and 
> accommodation, it looks very small.  It is true that
> the full fee might 
> act as a deterrent for students and locals, where
> the conference fee 
> isn't a small part of a much larger cost, which is
> why the lower rate is 
> also available.
> Many conferences also throw in a small number of
> free conference 
> registrations into the sponsorship packages, so that
> sponsors don't feel 
> like they are paying twice.  I don't know if this
> has been done this 
> year, but it might be worth considering for the year
> after.
> >So in short, what are we paying for?
> >  
> >
> A sustainable conference.  Granted we don't know
> whether this model will 
> work for Guadec, but the only way to find out is by
> trying.
> It is worth noting that LCA manages to pay the
> airfares and 
> accommodation for most of the speakers each year,
> including a fair 
> number of international ones.  Unless something has
> changed, the Gnome 
> Foundation/Guadec isn't really in a position to do
> this for too many people.
> When you tell people that X number of extra
> professional registrations 
> means that one more international speaker can be
> brought in, they are 
> usually pretty happy with what they are paying for
> (and "X" should be a 
> lot smaller for Guadec compared to LCA since it is
> held in Europe rather 
> than the middle of nowhere).
> James.
> -- 
> Email: james daa com au
> WWW:
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