[maemo-community] Organizing Maemo Summit 2009

From: Sebastian 'CrashandDie' Lauwers crashanddie at gmail.com
Date: Fri Feb 13 16:50:22 EET 2009
On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 9:17 AM, Quim Gil <quim.gil at nokia.com> wrote:
> Another way to see this is that precisely Nokia employees are busy and
> perhaps a liberated community member is much better to coordinate a
> community event.

I would like to see a "liberated community member" being involved in
the rollout of the project, as to get a "second opinion", as it were,
from how things are shaping up.

> I coordinated the first Summit and in that case it was (imo) important
> to have a core Nokia guy there to set the path and the style, getting
> the company committed at the same time. I'm happy getting involved this
> time as well, and it's part of my role to do this but as full time
> coordinator again...

Fair enough.

> Nokia has a good platform to handle big payments and arrange corporate
> travel and accommodation. But it is less prepared for handling dozens of
> "small" payments (non-carrier cheap flights, affordable accommodation in
> hostels and non-concerted hotel chains...) Actually a big % of my time
> was invested dealing with those things. Now imagine that we would agree
> a single payment of €€€ to [local organizer] and they would handle all
> this + invoicing for the extra work.

I can understand that. I have been speaking with a few persons in my
company, and they would recommend to use an Event Planner. The reason
behind this is that Event Planners have the expertise, time and
know-how to work around a given budget. Yes, a percentage would go
into the Event Planner, but on the other hand you gain guarantee, a
scapegoat, and a unified entity you can discuss with.

> In practice (and simplifying) how this works is that Nokia trusts me to
> organize a Maemo Summit and then it is up to me to organize my trust on
> the community.

Do you send cheques? Are you the final approver of financial
transactions? In my experience of corporations -- and especially in
the current economical climate -- nobody takes those decisions

> For instance, if Niels and Kees agree recommending a venue in Amsterdam,
> the local org sounds confident after a first chat/visit, Dave agrees
> taking the role of coordinator, the community thinks it's a good plan
> and Peter (my manager) nods, I will consider that we are 49% done.

I said this on the #maemo channel, Niels or Kees, don't take this personally.

I cannot stress enough how much I dislike the idea of giving finances
to one single individual, no matter how trusted he is. It just gives
too much opportunity for abuse or mishaps, and I'd hate to see a loss
of trust because we are asking the wrong person to do something. I'm
not saying we have corrupt people, and I don't want to pull the
tin-foil hat out, but I just don't know if we have anyone whose areas
of expertise lies in the event organisation.

> And a big problem that can go easily above 50% of the budget. I wish
> Nokia would handle the big & critical funds guaranteeing free entrance
> (location, equipment, wlan and perhaps even some food and night life)
> and then make a one time donation to cover the sponsored participants
> and whatever else going in the low amounts (e.g. when organizing GUADEC
> I had to find out in the last minute where to rent a drum set).

Or, as presented earlier with the Event Planner, one payment to an
entity that would organise everything. From travel to accomodation.

> Same for accommodation, no problem if we want to send people to
> concerted **** hotels or make a big single package anywhere else, but
> the travel agency has no way to deal with scattered people landing in
> all kinds of cheap accommodation.

I would then suggest we try to book a long time in advance, as to
ensure we can have  a lot people in the same location.

> Following the good practices followed by community projects like the
> GNOME Foundation, I'm happy talking about budget plans in a somewhat
> private context (e.g. with the Council or an organization committee) but
> I don't feel comfortable discussing about money in a public mailing list.

Again, if you go through an Event Planner, the only figures that you
would have to show publicly would be in %. Wether you would qualify
those percentages in private is of no business to us.

question = ( to ) ? be : ! be;
      -- Wm. Shakespeare

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