[maemo-community] Organizing Maemo Summit 2009

From: Dave Neary dneary at maemo.org
Date: Fri Feb 13 17:50:44 EET 2009

Sebastian 'CrashandDie' Lauwers wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 9:17 AM, Quim Gil <quim.gil at nokia.com> wrote:
>> 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.

I can understand Quim's concern here - if Nokia isn't set up to do many
small payments, that's a problem.

I would be very afraid of an event planner. You could get a really good
one, who would listen carefully to what you need & ration your budget
nicely. Or you could get one who will spend the budget (or tell you it's
not enough & ask for more), and put us in a hotel ballroom.

This is a grungy community event, and people outside the community will
have difficulty understanding it. Certainly, professional event planners
would. You might have more luck getting someone from an independent
underground techno cafe/theatre type place to organise it - they would
know the network of places that we are looking for.

Anyway, I'll reiterate: we have a maemo.org team, and if Quim asks me to
take a lead on organising the summit, well then that will become part of
my job for the next few months. I am not at my first conference :)

> 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.

I would suggest creating an association (in Dutch, a Stichting), have
the council names as its inaugural board, open a bank account, have the
treasurer & the event organiser have signing power for cheques & bank
transfers, send a budget proposal to Nokia, and have funds transferred
to the account of the Stichting. At the end of the conference, fold up
the association, and give any left-over money to me (oops! I mean Nokia).

I don't know how much the budget for Nokia would be, but I suggest that
an event planner might well take up to 25% or 30% of the budget - and
that's plane tickets they're eating.


maemo.org docsmaster
Email: dneary at maemo.org
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