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Re: [Debconf-team] RFC: (Hopefully) Last draft of the dc15 sponsorship brochure

Thank you, Tincho, for taking the time to read through the brochure!

also sprach Martín Ferrari <tincho@debian.org> [2014-09-07 11:06 +0200]:
> It seems to me that we are trying to increase the money we collect
> more than what we might need, with the risk of losing a bit of the
> soul of DebConf, or even make our sponsors think that we are being
> greedy.

You are putting your finger exactly where it belongs. Without trying
to portrait any "official" position or anything, I can give you two
answers though:

  1. It is and should always be our top priority not to lose the
     soul of DebConf, not even "a little bit". It's a great choice
     of word you made here, because I think it *is* possible to
     change stuff about DebConf, even fundamental aspects, without
     changing the spirit of the conference.

  2. You can never have too much money, because if we do it right,
     it just means we can sponsor more people to attend, or build
     a financial buffer for future DebConfs — we will have problems
     in the future at some point… I agree that we ought not come
     across as greedy, but this really depends on what we put into
     the final report. If I compare our offerings to what I've seen
     with other conference sponsoring programmes, we are *cheap*.

> In my opinion, I would slash all these extra perks.

There are other reasons at work than just wanting more money. One of
them lies in the nature of the non-profit in Germany, because paying
a nice dinner for everyone, or sending people into nature, is not
considered an expense that is tax exempt in Germany (which makes
sense to me, btw…)

> About the raffle, if we are going to make it official, I like the
> idea of moving the actual raffle to something that DC controls;
> and I would probably set some rules on what can be done. For
> example, I would forbid the raffle to require being there to claim
> the prize. That's forcing people to pay attention to the raffle,
> when they might be doing something else.

There's the idea of a raffle, and there's the idea of a morning
plenary session, which we copied from LCA. Of course, we can have
just any raffle, and it'll be good.

However, there's more to the raffle, including the reason to require
someone to be present to receive a prize.

What LCA does every morning is IMHO a great addition to the
conference: the orga team meets and then the whole conference
assembles for a 20 minute session, when the orga team can relay
information from the venue, share details about such events like the
conference dinner or the day trip, or make all kinds of other
announcements. This is not only useful to the organisers and front
desk, because attendees do not always read their e-mail in time.
This also serves to bring together everyone, which has a multitude
of benefits. At DC14, for instance, having another session after
dinner was IMHO great, because it reunited everyone, while
previously, people would have split into groups before dinner and
then that's the way you'd spend your evening, because you didn't
know where the others were, let alone have a chance of randomly run
into someone you always wanted to meet but didn't know about yet.

So those morning plenary sessions help to bring people together.
Consequently, the speakers of the first sessions don't have to fear
being alone. At LCA, these sessions happen at 9:00, and because of
the raffle and the inherent sadness of (the slim probability of)
being chosen while still in bed (which means that there's another
draw), almost all attendees scrape themselves off the mattress and

We are not proposing to have these plenary sessions at 09:00. Later
would work. But if we stage a raffle as an incentive for people to
attend these sessions — which are a benefit to the organisers — then
we need to require that prize winners must be present.

> Lastly, a few bug reports:

All fixed.

> I don't think this is true, the DebConf money is Debian money and we
> cannot earmark it for the next DebConf:
> "Any surpluses will be legally bound to be used for the organisation of
> future, non-profit Debian conferences."

First, I think we can earmark it. We are Debian. ;)

But I do see your point, and we don't want to limit our
possibilities, really.

The final report puts it as:

  we raised a surplus, which will be returned to Debian to be used
  for funding future Debian Free Software activities.

so I suggest to just say that the money is "legally bound to be used
for funding future Debian Free Software activities."

> The two paragraphs under "tax-deductible donations" are unclear,
> they seem to be written separately and they repeat themselves. The
> thing about having to make an invoice does not make sense to me,
> although maybe that is because I am not an accountant :-)

… or tax advisor. I re-read, and I think they are fine. Maybe there
are small improvements, but the points are:

  1. You can have an invoice with VAT. This is what companies
     usually want/need.

  2. You can also make a tax-free donation, but you cannot get any
     services in return (those would need to be invoiced). This
     might be of interest, but it's generally not, because the
     amount of money companies can donate and get tax credit for is
     limited (e.g. 5–10% of earnings in Germany, I think).

I think this applies to most countries. It certainly does apply next

> The photo credits are not current: it mentions dc13 group photo,
> and lacks the credits for the orga photo.

The orga photo credits have been added by Hannes (patch pending).
And the s/dc13/dc14/ change was committed a few days ago (4275c3f).

 .''`.   martin f. krafft <madduck@debconf.org> @martinkrafft
: :'  :  DebConf orga team
`. `'`
  `-  DebConf15: Heidelberg, Germany: http://debconf15.debconf.org
      DebConf16 in your country? https://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/DebConf16

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