Flock bid process

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This page is being modified in preparation for the Flock 2017 bid process. When the process opens you will seen announcement on the flock-planning mailing list.

Flock 2017 will be held in North America. Please create bid proposals for locations by 28 February 2017.

Contents

How to submit a proposal

Read this entire document.

Proposals for a location will be accepted through the deadline noted (listed above). What does it take for a Flock bid to be successful? A proposal must include the following information (at a minimum). Additional details are in the sections below.

  • Staff
    • We need the names of at least two local people who will participate on the Flock committee and actively help organize the event. Please note this will require a significant time commitment and should not be undertaken lightly. This is especially true if your country's primary language is not English, reducing the ability of the Flock staff to make arrangements without you.
  • Dates
    • When are you proposing? Be specific. Flock is typically held over 4 days, usually in August. Think about travel time for attendees when picking your days. See below for more information.
  • Brief description of the city
  • Major local airport(s)
    • Distance from airport(s) to proposed lodging
    • Transportation options and costs for getting attendees from the airport to the the lodging (e.g., shuttle, public transportation, taxi)
    • Estimated costs of flights from BOS, RDU, BOM, CDG, VIE, LIM, and PRG
  • Notes about local transportation, including mass transit and taxi availability
  • Proposed meeting venue(s), including:
    • Estimated cost of venue. You do not need to get a formal contract, but you should have talked to a someone to estimate the cost. You will be helped in the final negotiations by one of the Flock committee members.
    • Room availability for keynotes and large presentations (assume 250 attendees)
    • Room availability for sessions--number of rooms available, capacity of each, and configuration (classroom style (tables with chairs), conference style (chairs only), etc.) -- we need 6-8 of these, each with a capacity of at least 40
    • Internet availability
    • Video Projectors in every room
    • Audio equipment in the large room
    • Is food available on site? Can the venue handle providing lunches for 250 attendees? What is the cost?
  • Proposed lodging
    • Estimated cost of lodging. You do not need to get a formal contract, but you should have talked to a someone to estimate the cost. You will be helped in the final negotiations by one of the Flock committee members.
    • Number of single and double rooms available
    • Note Internet availability and cost in lodging
    • Note whether any meals (breakfast typically) are included in the rate.
    • Distance from meeting venue and transportation required between them
  • Proposed evening event locations (at least 2, preferably 3)
    • Typically one event is more "low key," such as a game night in the hotel or meeting venue. This allows teams of people to go to dinner and not miss your "big" events.
    • Feedback from Flock 2016 included that people really liked the city tour. Consider suggesting activities that show off your city, country, or region.
  • Pros and cons of proposed location

Please create your proposal at fedoraproject.org/wiki/Flock2017-[CITY]-proposal, then email the link to the flock-planning mailing list. If you are wanting to create a proposal but do not yet have wiki editing privileges (requires being sponsored in one or more groups in the Fedora Account System), please contact the flock-planning for assistance in getting your account the proper permissions to create a proposal.

Flock dates

Flock has traditionally been held in August based mostly around the traditional Fedora release cycle and the desire to not conflict with other conferences likely to be attended by contributors.

This does not mean you have to propose August dates. Other dates are possible. You should consider that some contributors may have limited ability to travel in the some months because they have children home from school, etc.

We want to avoid conflicting with (e.g., large festivals that will make hotel space difficult), as well as other conferences (e.g. GUADEC, LinuxCon, etc.) as much as possible.

What conferences should you be thinking about?

  • Linux Foundation Events
  • GUADEC
  • LISA
  • The freenode staff is planning to host their own conference from Aug. 5-6

Colocation

Flock is not required to be a standalone event. Do you work with a conference that would be willing to host Flock? Is there a conference in your area that adding "+1 days" to for Flock would make sense? Ideal colocation conferences can either help with costs/facilities or will already be drawing a lot of Fedora contributors to reduce travel costs.

Colocation bids should be as detailed as non-colocation bids but also include information about the colocation conference or event and pros and cons of this relationship.

Review and decision

After bids have been submitted, question and answer will take place on the flock-planning mailing list. The Flock planning committee will consider all bids and make a choice based on the proposals, expected budget, and community input.

Bid Tips

Idea.png
Use your existing connections and experience
The bid process expects you to have existing connections you can use in finding facilities and so forth. It will be hard to make a proper bid without these connections.
To organize an event you need to be resourceful, as well as willing to bargain and negotiate. We can help you, but you have to lay the groundwork.
  • When you're estimating needs, past Flock events have had roughly 200-250 attendees. About 150 of them require hotel rooms, most of which were shared rooms.
  • 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. During your initial conversations make it clear that no matter what you talk about, a larger committee will need to revisit the bid and may have more requests.
  • 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.

Budget Considerations

The budget for Flock 2017 has not been finalized. However, you need to understand the rough amount of money that is available. Using Flock 2016 as an example, the total allocated in the public Fedora Budget for everything was $75,000. This is everything, meeting space, food, travel, printing, swag, etc. Therefore every dollar that is spent on an evening activity or meeting space is a dollar that cannot be used to sponsor travel for attendees.

Another consideration is sponsorship. Sponsorship can help defray costs and adds to the amount of money we have to run the event. Definitely look for potential sponsors and mention them in your bid. We can consider both monetary sponsorship as well as certain kinds of in-kind sponsorship. The final decision on sponsorship is complicated, so don't make any promises, but find out who is interested.