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

On Sun, Sep 07, 2014 at 09:29:46PM +0200, martin f krafft wrote:

>   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.

You certainly can have too much money; frankly, I'm surprised that anyone on
the team would suggest otherwise.

The simplest provable definition of "too much money" is if the conference
has become so tainted by corporate messaging in exchange for that money,
that we no longer have enough Debian folks interested enough to come to the
conference to use up our travel sponsorship budget.

I don't say that this is the case with the current plan, but I think it /is/
important to recognize that being too "successful" at fundraising does
actually represent an existential danger to DebConf.

>      If I compare our offerings to what I've seen with other conference
>      sponsoring programmes, we are *cheap*.
Are you comparing DebConf to other conferences of similar size (200-300
If we really are cheap for the size, then isn't that an argument for,
instead of adding extra perks, being more aggressive in our fundraising?  Or
perhaps increasing the prices on our sponsorship levels?

(If this doesn't sound practical, then I would dispute the claim that we are
"cheap" as it clearly means we're priced right for the market :)

> > 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…)

For clarification: does the fact that these expenses are not tax-exempt pose
problems for the non-profit status of the organization as a whole?  Or does
it "just" mean additional tax paperwork / tax to be paid?

I think it's legitimate for the team to question whether we want to accept
direct sponsorship of certain events which are not tax-exempt expenses, vs.
accepting the penalty of paying tax (and/or doing tax paperwork).

> 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.

FWIW there were several times during DC14 that I found myself wishing for
exactly this.  So +1 for fixing this in DC15.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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