[Bundle-sponsorship-wg] International PyCon Prospectus

M.-A. Lemburg mal at python.org
Sat Mar 12 08:24:16 EST 2016

On 12.03.2016 08:55, Nick Coghlan wrote:
> Thanks for the update Betsy, this looks excellent! I added a few
> suggested tweaks to the introductory section of the doc.
> On 12 March 2016 at 05:12, M.-A. Lemburg <mal at python.org> wrote:
>> Well, ask them whether they are up to finding, reaching out to,
>> signing up, and (most importantly) adding 10+ different conference
>> organizers to their procurement systems :-) (oh, and if they still
>> don't buy it, mention that they'll have to deal with orgs and
>> VAT in 10+ different countries)
> We already do - one of the benefits of Red Hat being so distributed is
> that local conference sponsorship wrangling can frequently be
> delegated to the in-country Red Hat offices (and in most cases the
> folks requesting the sponsorships are Red Hatters either on the
> organising committees or friends with members of the organising
> committees, and hence relatively happy to jump through the hoops of
> our supplier management system). As a result, compared to actually
> *running* offices in 35+ countries, also sponsoring community
> conferences in each of those countries isn't that bothersome.

Yes, I know. RedHat is special in this respect. Other companies
are not set up for this, though. (I know from EuroPython, but don't
want to put out names here).

> That was my original motivation to advocate for the discounts in the
> original prospectus draft - I was pretty sure we'd be prepared to
> accept a 3% overhead for the "All the PyCons" option, but not a 15%
> one. The potential for anchoring prospective sponsors on 15% for the a
> la carte admin fees, and then using the 50% and 80% fee discounts to
> help upsell them on the bundles was then an added bonus.

It may very well be that the sponsorship bundles are not
right for RedHat, but other companies do have the issues
I mentioned. Many of the larger ones have dedicated procurement
companies to work around these issues, but those cost them
a lot as well.

>> Instead they just have to deal with a single billing partner:
>> the PSF, registered in the US, and we'll take of the rest.
>> The 15% admin fee is well worth the reduced overhead they
>> will have on their side. In fact, it will probably not fully
>> cover our costs; and we don't have to set up procurement
>> systems for those conferences.
> I think Red Hat's a pretty unique case - most multinational
> organisations Red Hat's size or larger won't have our experience
> working with open source community conferences (so "we deal with the
> community organisers so you don't have to" works better as a pitch),
> while most other organisations that have a similar amount of
> experience working with open source communities don't have our
> international footprint (so "we help you reach communities you
> otherwise couldn't" works better as a pitch).
> As far as covering costs goes, I think an important aspect of that
> will be to be clear that bundling carries an expectation of reduced
> customisation of benefits, at least at the PSF level - hence the fee
> discounts.

I'm not sure which fee discounts you are referring to here.

If you mean that conferences will give the PSF discounts on
sponsor packages the PSF resells, I can tell you (as one of
the organizers) that at least EuroPython is not set up for this.

We'd literally have to increase sponsorship prices to allow for
such discounts and our regular sponsors wouldn't buy into those
raised prices, so such discount bundles would of no added value
to us.

Unlike PyCon US, EuroPython and several (probably most) other
Python conferences are run more or less at cost, so there isn't
a lot of flexibility in terms of pricing available.

For EuroPython we're aiming at changing this a little, since
we want to create a less risky organizational setup, but it
will take time.

> Our main roles here should be to:
> * provide an easy way for potential sponsor organisations to survey a
> list of available Python conference sponsorships
> * handle redistribution of the funding from sponsor organisations to
> community conference organisers
> * making connections between conference organisers and sponsor
> representatives to discuss customisation options
> We don't want to end up in situations where a PSF staff member is
> relaying information back and forth between conference organisers and
> sponsor representatives - beyond the financial side of things, we want
> to be encouraging folks to work together directly.

Sure, we're only here to help with the procurement process
and I think we're reasonably well set up for this. All the
details would have to be communicated directly between the
parties - we'd only enable that communication.

Marc-Andre Lemburg
Python Software Foundation

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