Re: GNOME and KDE to Co-locate Flagship Conferences on Gran Canaria in 2009

On Tue, 2008-07-15 at 11:57 +0200, Vincent Untz wrote: 
> The GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. announced that they will hold their
> yearly conferences, GUADEC and Akademy in 2009 in Gran Canaria. The
> conferences will be separate events, but co-located and hosted by the
> same organizers, the Cabildo of Gran Canaria and its Secretary of
> Tourism, Technological Innovation and Foreign Trade.

Great - something I'm keen to understand is what co-located means. Does
it mean that we just happen to be at the same venue at roughly the same
time, but otherwise separate - separate finances, sponsors, sponsorships
(of speakers), parties, swag, etc. Or are the conferences to be jointly
organised at that kind of infrastructure level, so that there will only
be one bank account, set of sponsors, sponsorships, parties, swag, etc.
My understanding is that it's much more of co-organisation rather than
simple co-location, but it's not clear to me where the boundaries lie.

This isn't a complaint, just a heads up - at some point in the next
months people will be working on the sponsorship brochure, website, call
for volunteers, and I think there is a fine line to be walk.

For sponsorship in particular, many (larger) sponsors probably have
investments in both GNOME and KDE so having them at the same place, with
one sponsorship, one set of travel, etc will be very attractive. However
other companies are only invested in either GNOME or KDE and would need
more clarity as to how their sponsorship euros are getting spent, how
their brand is used and associated, etc.

This isn't just about sponsors either. Sponsoring speakers and attendees
is a huge chunk of GUADEC budget and always fraught with tensions and
potential disappointment - how this is handled needs to be clearly
explained, and carefully handled to prevent the perception that one
'side' or the other is getting preferential treatment. Similarly
attracting volunteers and assigning responsibilities would need some

Overall I expect overall sponsorship and participation to increase - for
example I would hope that one of the companies invested in both KDE and
GNOME to step up to cornerstone sponsor :-) - and I don't sense that
anyone existing sponsors or volunteers are going to walk away. However I
do think it will need to be more carefully explained than simply saying
'co-located' unless we really do mean same place same time and nothing

Regards, Paul

> While there were other excellent bids, the GNOME foundation and KDE e.V.
> have settled on Gran Canaria because of its position as Port to Africa
> and the excellent circumstances for holding such an event there.
> Unfortunately, having three proposals, two have to be rejected. The
> proposals from Tampere in Finland and Coruna in Spain were close
> contenders. Both foundations would like to thank those organisers for
> the work they have put into their proposals and encourage them to
> consider their cities for conferences in future years.
> Read the full press release:
Paul Cooper                    |  Tel: +44 0208 819 6559 ext 333
Business Development Manager   |  Fax: +44 0208 819 6559
OpenedHand                     |

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