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

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 9:20 PM, Tiago Bortoletto Vaz <tiago@debian.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 01:09:25AM +0100, Martín Ferrari wrote:
>> Hi,
>> My last message on the topic, I don't want to drag this discussion for ever.
>> First of all, I am a bit worried that there is not much discussion about
>> this, saving for discussions about how to run a raffle.
>> I saw just a couple of concerns about the points I am discussing here,
>> and no endorsements. I cannot predict if the silence is due to
>> endorsement or to not caring. I believe this is an important decision.
>> Please people, speak up!
>> On 10/09/14 00:35, Michael Banck wrote:
>> > Also, note that at DebConf14 basically everything we put in the brochure
>> > (before DC14 started) happened on an ad-hoc basis: the sponsor booth
>> > (some sponsors seemed to put up tables to talk to attendees), the job
>> > fair (rather inofficial, but still), the sponsoring of some events (in
>> > this case even the C&W party, plus an off-site social event), the raffle
>> > etc.  The amount of push-back was rather small I believe. I explicitly
>> > asked a couple of attendees I know well and believed they may be opposed
>> > to them, but they did not see the sky falling.
>> It is true it was ad-hoc and the sky didn't fall. But the key point is
>> that it was ad-hoc, and in the case of the C&W, that it solved a problem
>> for the organisers.
>> Personally, I didn't like much the HP event being announced almost as
>> something official, but did not want to cause a fuss about it either.
> +1
>> Note that I am not opposing to the job fair or the booths. It is the
>> sponsoring of the social events that I feel is kind of wrong, going
>> against our spirit. It feels like monetising the conference, that's why
>> I feel uneasy.
> Yep.

I thought about the HP event, which was quite different than the PuppetLabs
sponsored C&W party.

Other than people knowing who the C&W party was sponsored by, I
think we managed to keep commercialism at bay. If there is an understanding
that beyond being listed as the event sponsor, there are no sponsorship
benefits for funding the C&W party, I personally didn't find it problematic.

I really enjoyed the C&W party. (It was my first, so don't have a frame of

That said, I don't feel super strongly about this, and if folks wanted
to keep it off
the sponsored list, it shouldn't be an issue, as we probably don't
need it on the

The HP event on the other hand did sound overtly commercial. However, it was
not an official DebConf event. Many people just skipped it, myself included. (I
assumed it was basically a recruiting event.)

The fact is, any company, whether a DebConf sponsor or not, can throw a party
during DebConf and invite the attendees. (via a staff member emailing -discuss
for example.)

The question then becomes whether or not we are willing to announce it. I think
the answer is probably yes, as long as it's clear that the event is
not part of the
DebConf program, and they are a sponsor that qualifies to give swag.

I say this because I view it as akin to swag; something  beneficial to
an attendee
that has marketing value to the company giving it. Looking at it this
way, couldn't it
just be digital swag? A ticket to a sponsor's corporate event. If not,
I guess we
could tell them to print tickets and put them in the conference bag,
but that might
be picking nits.

>> I would rather cut the costs (or the existence) of all these (C&W,
>> dinner, day trip, sponsored beverages) than selling them.
> I'd go for it too. Although madduck's answer to my concerns on this made
> me believe that they won't go to extremes :)
> I have a feeling that all these new sponsoring experiments will create
> more trouble than fixings/improving things. Actually I think we're
> trying to fix a non-issue.

Largely agreed, but I think we're at a point where we've removed the most
controversial ideas, and are talking about safe tweaks, that are more in the
realm of individual preference. IE: In the interest of finishing the brochure,
I am largely supporting the most recent draft, if the team proposing the
changes are willing to do the extra coordination work involved.

> Regarding the raffle, oh... I know I'm looking like the
> annoying guy here but I'll let you know my opinion anyway: if one really
> needs a raffle to attend a talk/meeting on the morning I prefer keep one
> saving time and energy in his/her bed.

My feeling here is if folks want to run a raffle, and sponsors are
willing to give
raffleable swag, I don't think it hurts. I know in the not so recent
past companies
have donated laptops/netbooks to DebConf and those were somehow given
to attendees.

If people want to sleep-in they always can. (Realistically I am not so sure I
buy that this will work as an incentive to get people to come to early slot if
they are night owls anyway , but I think a raffle that doesn't conflict with
talks, can't hurt.)

> Regards,
> --
> tiago
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