More tales from DrupalCon-land...

Before we professionalized our events, we had a competitive system
like C4L. That was fine as long as we had one solid proposal. In 2008,
the only proposal for out European event was from Szeged, Hungary,
near the borders with Romania and Serbia, and a long way from anywhere
mot westerners would like to fly in to. We drew 500 folks and broke
even. 125 of them were from North America, so it really wasn't
successful in terms of building our European community. Interestingly,
hardly any of the Hungarian developers showed up. They had a bigger
turnout in Barcelona, a year earlier.

I don't think that C4L should professionalize its conference. Our
needs and scale don't support that. I do think that It wouldn't be a
bad idea to start planning two years out front.

The primary attendee concern and single biggest budget item for
DrupalCon is IP. We now hire Marriette Associates, the folks who do IP
for Apple's WWDC, to manage our conference IP. We were fortunate in
getting to do one event in a place with an open pipe, which gave us
some great metrics and reduced the amount of guesswork going forward.
This spring, we had our conference in a Chicago hotel that had great,
'90s era service, so we put a point-to-point tower on the roof and did
it ourselves.

For the upcoming C4L, we looked at three venues and were very
fortunate to find one that had sufficient bandwidth, decent
infrastructure, and perhaps most importantly, a qualified tech. The
other two were black holes.

Since it is doubtful that, unless we want to sell a lot more
sponsorships, we will be able to afford to run our own networks
(although this is more doable in a single room event than on four
floors of a hotel), moving the timeline out an extra year could be
very helpful.



On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM, Sean Hannan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Honestly, I'm the most concerned that there was only one proposal last year.
> Let's try to solve that problem.
> -Sean
> On 6/15/11 1:46 PM, "Kevin S. Clarke" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 1:27 PM, Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Heresy I know, but I wonder if we should change conf host/site selection
>>> from an open vote, to a conf selection committee that chooses.  Then the
>>> committee could say to themselves "you know, even though the hosts say no
>>> problem keeping costs as usual, we don't think an expensive city like that
>>> is the best thing for us." Of course, in addition to being heretical, that
>>> would rely on there being some people who wanted to fill that role, which
>>> there may not be.
>> What is the problem we're trying to solve again?  Do we think that the
>> recent conferences have cost too much for the attendees?  That this
>> year's will cost too much?  Are we worried about not finding places to
>> host in the future?  Are we worried about needing the level of
>> sponsorship that we currently do?
>> This seems, to me, like a solution in search of a problem.  If we've
>> trying to address the conference's relationship with its sponsors,
>> Jaf's suggestion (e.g., define our expectations and see what happens)
>> seems like a reasonable first step to me.
>> Kevin

Cary Gordon
The Cherry Hill Company