FUDCon Managua 2014 Numbers and Lessons

I would like to ponder some questions. To do so, there are some background to cover. You can spare with me in all the details or you can go straight to the bottom.

We spent $8,373.38 in air fares for 9 collaborators. Air travel is expensive, and it is more expensive in Latin America. There was the agreement to pay for the visa for the only persona that needed it, it was $50.  We are glad that we have 4 people traveling on their own budget. We end up we a team of 14 including the holder of the fedora scholarship. The expenses of the fedora scholarship are not taken into account, as that comes from another budget.

We spent $912 in food during the event and $ 772 in FUDPub. There was $77 in water and sodas for the team. The FUDPub was over the initial budget because there were more people that were supposed to attend than we estimated for this closure night of FUDCon.

We paid to the university $549.95 that consisted mostly in posters and booklets. The remainder were some minor charges for audio and projectors.

There were some expenses in promotion, like roller up banners and horizontal banners. This added up to $ 342. Part of this was to reciprocate our sponsors.

Lodging was $1895.40 not including those that were paid by the collaborators and also not including the room share of the fedora scholarship holder. This sum was at the discounted price offered for the convention. There was also the use of the meeting room for hacking during the nights that was $130. Transportation was $255 that were accounted for moving people to the university and back to the hotel. There were also some trips to the airport in this sum. Mostly all airport pick up was done personally, so it is not included. Driving people in my car from the hotel to the university was not included. This amount related to transportation does not include two tour trips organized before the event and after the event.

T-shirts cost $ 750. There were some minor cost for a web cam, security cords for laptops, toner for printing schedules that add up to $ 209.45

If you add up all this, you will get the amount of $14,266.18 That’s is what FUDCon Managua 2014 actually cost, at least to what is accountable.

The other part is were the money come from. For start we had the Fedora Premier event budget of $10,000. Then we had Bluehost collaboration of $1,000. Güegüe Comunicaciones paid all t-shirts, $750. Dotora Barreto’s dental clinic, paid part of the FUDPub $315. Monchito.net gave $300 and Sen Comunicaciones helped with other $300. Computer.net gave $160.

We have other sponsorship like Movistar that provided internet bandwidth at the university and Comtech that supplied one web cam and color ink printers used for badgeds, food tickets and other minors colorful printing needs. Those are non quantificable.

In the end we raised the amount of $12,825.00. So, there is a difference of $1,441.18

Mansión Teodolinda gave an extra discount of $229.73 over the lodging invoice, which already had a discount. There was also items that were not charged, like transport for $255 and meeting room use for $130. $77 related to water and sodas that were available at the university was also not charged. There were items that were paid for like banners $342. This makes a contribution of $1033.73. Again, this was an extra help, as the lodging already has a discount price.

We end short by $407.45 that I paid from my pocket. This is quantifiable, but there are non quantifiable expenses about doing errands, calling people, meeting people, and so on. This non quantifiable cost also is shared with the rest of the local team. Lot of time invested. I will not call on the fuel I expend going to the airport, as that was a personal choice as a host. I don’t think the local team will charge for transport fares going and coming for all the errands needed to organize the event.

Having the numbers in black and white, if not meant to show how much I invest in the project. It is not to claim for reimburse. I was absolutely clear during the planning and the execution of the event that my business and I will cover the difference.

My point is to raise the awareness of what doing FUDCon really means. There has been a lot of talks about this, but throw some fact and figures makes clear.

The  budget of $10K is short. We have been talking long about this issue. The reply is that extra money will be given if it is justify. There is no clear definition of how to justify extra budget. Historically, FUDCon LATAM has cost about $15K.

We expect from the local team organize an event and at the same time raise  about $5K in sponsorship? Raise sponsorship is not something expected as expertise of the local team. This is a learning experience that is not transferable as it depends on the local context. Most likely all this work will not generate further benefits for the Project.

After doing all, the local team end being so busy hosting the event that they can not attend the talks and hacks. I am so glad that we agreed to have some of the key people organizing the event lodged in the hotel. At least they get some hacking time at night. Not much, as there was things to get ready for the next day. But it was some time for learning and sharing with the LATAM collaborators.

I have a income from a job, a car and contacts, and I struggled leading the organization of the event. So why doing it? Why a collaborator should want to organize FUDCon? You may get the sense of accomplishment, but where is the fun in it? I will not recommend to any friend to engage in organizing FUDCon in the current terms. There are some concern about loosing collaborators that undergo this challenge.

People worked hard to host the events. For most of them was their first Fedora Premier Event. Yet, they didn’t fully participate of it. They were hosting. They were taking care that things were running smoothly.

What do I think we should do? I do think that we need to clear what the Fedora Project expect as outcome and to provide budget according to objectives. It also means that can be evaluated if it was a success or not. It is need to clarify which may be justified for extra funds. Both side are busy, so a clear guide will help. I do think that people that gave so much time and effort organizing one Fedora Premier Event should be rewarded. Those that had not the opportunity to attend a Fedora Premier Event should be considered to be sponsored for the next event.

2 pensamientos sobre “FUDCon Managua 2014 Numbers and Lessons”

  1. Well, Understand your frustration, when we did FudCon Panama, was about the same thing, we created the event after a cut on the budget it was larger from current cut but it was manageable, we raised over 5K on sponsorship and bring as many people as possible with Fedora Budget. So the last cut in Fedora Latam budget make almost impossible to host the event specially if we want to bring more contributors to premium events. Furthermore, since there is not a clear goal on Fudcon make it difficult to measure it.

    The goal I learned on FudCon Panama, was that we learn from experience contributors to start getting local community as contributors, that was accomplish in FudCon Panama as we got more packager, infra and translators to the project.

    The same has happen on other Fudcons with more or less contributor, after FudCon Panama, but if Fedora Project wants to get more contributors we also requires group leaders to be part of Fudcon, in FudCon Managua, Robert Mayr added more contributors to Fedora Websites from latam where before that there was none. So we have to see the goals of FudCons and we also need on our side to improve, definitive we need a better budget, but we also need more contributors, like Dennis, Toshio, Jared and Robert, the people outside Latam that have been part of Latam Fudcons and have teach us many things. They help to brake the barriers to become contributors.

    At the end you realize that all the work and the money that goes out of your packet with out noticing or doing it. Works because it help Fedora and your local community, it may not give you thanks, but you know it self rewarding.

    Good Job and thanks for hosting us in Managua.

  2. We have been discussing within LATAM, we need to push this outside LATAM. We need that FAmSCo (or the new outreach committee) and the council and Budget people in Red HAT talk about this with us. To look how we can do more with less. How to make this a rich experience for all of people involved, the event owner, the local team, the people coming from abroad and the public. So please share this article and your comments with people beyond LATAM.

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