Re: Desktop Summit Planning

On Wed, 2011-12-14 at 17:08 -0600, Brian Cameron wrote:
> [...]
> Yes, as you might remember, we have had difficulties organizing the
> Boston Summit this past year, ending up relocating the event to
> Montreal rather last minute.  Also, most of the volunteers who have
> made GNOME.Asia successful the past few years have indicated that they
> are stepping down, so the future of GNOME.Asia is unclear and plans
> are behind normal schedule.  We need volunteer help in these areas
> badly. If we want to have the Boston Summit at MIT again, I believe we
> need to secure rooms in the next month or two.  Any volunteers?  We
> need help in these areas.
> [...]

Regarding to Boston Summit, there was also another problem: we lost our
contact at MIT.  Colin Walters tried to get rooms there with no luck,
but it was not for lack of interest.

Perhaps we (the board) failed to find a replacement for J5 _earlier_.
However, back then (January?) we did not have ED and 5/7 board members
were new.  Even though we tried to split ED's work among all of us, it
was not easy and we could not do all the work we wanted to do.

> That said, I do think that the last Desktop Summit event suffered from
> a general lack of participation on the GNOME side of things.  When we
> were unable to find a sponsor for GNOME social events, alternatives
> were not organized, for example.  GNOME was unable to find resources to
> help with infrastructure issues, such as identify management or helping
> to setup a registration system (a longstanding problem we seem to have
> year after year).  More seriously, a event like the Desktop Summit
> should inspire collaborative work and there did not seem to be enough
> effort in terms of planning concrete collaborative activities.  If we
> are to hold Desktop Summits in the future, I think we need to focus
> more energy in these areas to make them successful.

FWIW, the problem with social events was not the lack of interest in
sponsor them.  It was too expensive for some companies.

If you look at the brochure[1] (page 6), in order to sponsor a social
event it was required to be a Gold sponsor (€20,000, plus the cost of
the event).  This requirement immediately narrows the potential sponsors
for social events.

Previous events did not have this requirement.  However, social events
get very high exposure and it was a bit(?) unfair that some companies
gets less exposure when paying for a higher sponsor level.

Also, the organization wanted to limit the number of social events.

Certainly there were issues, like the registration process for Desktop
Summit.  KDE had a single-sign on system working and we did not have
one.  If we wanted to use a different thing, we had to jump in and bring
something better or equal.  So, for some tasks we had people working,
but for other we did not have (even thought those that were

> I am not trying to make volunteers who did a great job feel badly that
> they did not do enough.  Instead, I am trying to highlight that the
> amount of work is great and growing.  We need to consider how to
> better address this going forward.  How we can ramp up the energy?  If
> the workload is too great, should we scale back our event planning
> efforts, or find help in other ways (e.g. perhaps by hiring more event
> planning help)?

Maybe the energy (or the availability) is located in different places
that we were used to, and perhaps we should consider it when organizing
the events. For instance, there was interest in organizing an event
(like Boston Summit) in Portland.

Portland could be a good chance to convert those half-converted (and yet
popular) hackers that besides their rants still use GNOME 3, and live in
the area :-)

Joke asides, I do not like the idea of hiring an event manager.  It can
create friction and the issues at this time are specific to some events.
For instance, hackfests are almost self-organized and have worked better
than any expectation when we started to encourage them.


Germán Póo-Caamaño

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]