[Bundle-sponsorship-wg] PROPOSAL: International PyCon Sponsorship Bundles

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 03:14:37 CEST 2015

On 1 Oct 2015 06:52, "Betsy Waliszewski" <betsy at python.org> wrote:
> I definitely like the idea of helping out the smaller conferences and
would put together another bundle with that in mind. IMO, it's important to
see if there's corporate interest first before spending more time creating
bundles that may not sell.

That's a key difference between doing this as a non-profit and doing it as
a for profit corporation.

The primary goal here isn't revenue raising for the PSF itself - it's
revenue raising for regional conferences to help reduce the stress &
workload for volunteer organisers, as well as providing them with a set of
well known regional or global sponsors that they can use to establish
credibility with other potential sponsor organisations.

That introduces a few major design goals:

1. Given a choice between "more work for the PSF" and "more work for
volunteer conference organisers", put the burden on the PSF. One of the
assumptions in the original cost model was that we'd likely need to hire at
least one additional staff member to sustain this long term, and the
administration fee structure was designed to reflect the estimated relative
cost in PSF staff time, with lots of tuning options to let us ensure the
program continued to pay for itself over time.

2. Don't try to hide the PSF overheads from sponsors or conference
organisers. Bundle sponsors will mainly be outsourcing to the PSF the
logistical details of dealing with volunteer organisers that are
ill-prepared to cope with corporate supplier management systems.

3. We *want* to use the bundles to direct funding towards events without a
clear ROI for sponsors, as it's those additional funds that provide the ROI
for the *PSF*. We don't really want sponsors that are going for highly
targeted investments to work through us - we're all about using the
convenience of "one sponsorship bill" to bring well known sponsors to
smaller events that they can then use to help bootstrap themselves into
being larger events.

> Potential sponsors have to make sure that their $$ are well-spent and
that the ROI is worth the cost.

As noted above, we're actually OK with sponsors operating in that targeted
investment mode bypassing the PSF and sponsoring the underlying conferences
directly, as we're not adding any value for the wider Python community in
those cases.

Instead, the bundles and administration fee structure in the original
proposal were deliberately designed to create a convenience/precision
trade-off for sponsors - they could get the simplicity of one bill, once a
year, but they had to either agree to sponsor conferences without an
obvious immediate ROI, or else accept that the more selective arrangements
require a larger time commitment on the PSF side, and hence are less
efficient administratively.

> Ideally, it would be good to get feedback ahead of time from companies we
think might be interested to see what they want. Without that, we could end
up creating what we think they want, not what they actually want. Do we
have any intel on that?

Yep, that's how the idea started - a couple of major sponsors asked us to
put a program like this together, as they wanted to be able to sponsor "all
the PyCons" (to quote one of them) without having to figure out how to pay
community event organisers with no formal financial structure around them.

However, what sponsors want is a less important consideration to me than
the community benefit we're aiming to provide (which is to make it easier
for smaller regional events to bootstrap themselves into becoming larger
events). The design of the international prospectus is then about creating
an offering that's interesting to sponsors, while still meeting that
community goal.


> Betsy
> On Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 1:37 PM, Ewa Jodlowska <ewa at python.org> wrote:
>> Hi Betsy -
>>> Start out with one bundle for 2016, initially launching it as an
invitation only pilot program. Include conferences of >1,000 attendees. We
can test the waters to see what the interest is.
>> IMO, this pilot trial is very limited and only helps conferences who
already do not need help with sponsorship meanwhile PyCon Ukraine, Python
Namibia, etc do. Even though this process may seem like the goal is to make
it easy for large corporations to sponsor PyCons, I do think that we also
have to add the goal of helping smaller conferences get sponsorships.
>> How do you foresee this continuing after the pilot phase?
>> Best regards,
>> Ewa
>> Director of Operations
>> Python Software Foundation
>> Cell: 415-319-5237
>> On Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 12:50 PM, Betsy Waliszewski <betsy at python.org>
>>> Hi all,
>>> I've shared with you a draft proposal for an International PyCon
Sponsorship Bundle. For this proposal, I chose to offer just one bundle.
This way, it should be more easily managed than the original proposal put
together by the committee. We could use it as a trial to gauge corporate
>>> It may already be too late to offer this for 2016, but I wanted to
continue the conversation anyway, since I know this is a challenging
>>> Thanks for the opportunity to work on this.
>>> Betsy
>>> --
>>> Betsy Waliszewski
>>> Python Software Foundation
>>> Event Coordinator / Administrator
>>> @betswaliszewski
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Bundle-sponsorship-wg mailing list
>>> Bundle-sponsorship-wg at python.org
>>> https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/bundle-sponsorship-wg
> --
> Betsy Waliszewski
> Python Software Foundation
> Event Coordinator / Administrator
> @betswaliszewski
> _______________________________________________
> Bundle-sponsorship-wg mailing list
> Bundle-sponsorship-wg at python.org
> https://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/bundle-sponsorship-wg
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