At the Events FAD 2010, several improvements to the FUDCon planning process were recommended:
- Greater community ownership of the FUDCon process. FUDCon began as an event organized primarily by Red Hat, as a means of giving something back to the Fedora community. This was a nice sentiment when we did one FUDCon per year, in one location per year. But as FUDCon has expanded worldwide and multiplied, any process that doesn't utilize all of the community empowerment techniques that Fedora has employed over the years is flawed.
- Regionally planned by regional contributors. We want FUDCons to happen all over the world, and a successful FUDCon absolutely requires local contributors who know the city and language.
- Involve the local non-Fedora community. FUDCon needs to expand its reach beyond simply the Fedora contributors in a region. FUDCon needs to attract students, professors, and professionals in the city where the event is being held.
- Document the process of site selection and evaluation. For transparency, and also for improvement, we must have a clear decision-making process for giving the final green-light to a FUDCon in a particular location. Also, we should store information for both potential locations and past locations, because we can always recycle these.
This page is a resource for people who are interested in leading the organization of a FUDCon. It represents a bid process that allows the Fedora Project to gather facts about potential locations for future FUDCons or FADs.
The Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator posts to the FUDcon-planning mailing list the estimated available budget for a FUDcon, and the preferred date(s) for a region. Whenever possible, this announcement shall occur at least 12 months prior to the preferred dates announced.
Interested parties may submit a proposal for a given venue and city for consideration. At a minimum such proposal should contain:
- Brief description of the city.
- Major local airports and their distance from lodging and venue.
- Outline of local mass transit.
- Detailed description of proposed venue and estimated costs including room capacity and configuration.
- Description of proposed lodging and estimated costs along with a written agreement from lodging specifying rates
- Estimated costs of flights major airports that attendees will travel from.
- Brief description of on the ground resources and their experience with FUDcon/other large events.
- Notation of internet connectivity options for both hotel and conference venue.
- Outline of proximate restaurant locations.
- Deadlines for event reservation, etc.
- Pros and Cons of the proposed location.
Proposals shall be announced on the FUDcon-planning mailing list within 45 days of CommArch's announcement. Proposals shall be placed on the wiki.
Regional ambassador leadership shall review, and at its discretion ask followup questions of the proposer(s) on the fudcon-planning mailing list. Questions and answers shall be added to the proposal. Regional leadership shall provide an initial first review and provide a short-list of potential locations for consideration by the community. In addition, the CommArch manager shall retain veto power for any location.
While the decision on the winning bid is ultimately made by the majority budget sponsors, the FUDCon planning committee (made up of the Action and Impact Coordinator, FAmSCo, and other interested community members) works together with the majority budget sponsor to choose the best location.
- Play vendors off against each other. Don't commit to one vendor (such as a hotel) early -- let them know that you're considering other vendors, and talk about the strengths of the other vendors. Specifically ask for the best price available. If you prefer vendor A but vendor B has a better price (even if for a less-desirable product or service), let vendor A know the lower price, and ask them to improve their offer.
- Know what has incremental cost for the vendor and what does not (e.g., food costs money, space or network access that already exists and would otherwise be unused or underutilized doesn't). Ask the vendor about throwing in some things that have no or low incremental cost.
- If the vendor offers an incentive that you don't care about (a half-hour welcome reception, for example, in a situation where the guests will be arriving over a long period of time), ask about substituting something that has more value to you (food for the hack room).
- Contact your local Convention and Visitors Bureau and ask them to supply as much information for the bid to limit your time investment.
- Contact airlines that service the region to discuss possible discounts for attendees