[ubuntu-us-ut] Utah Open Source Conference thoughts

Clint Savage herlo1 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 11 18:57:05 BST 2007

On 9/11/07, Bryan Petty <bryan at ibaku.net> wrote:
> On 9/11/07, Thad Van Ry <thad at linuxnetadmin.com> wrote:
> > There were also e-mails early on (around March or April) asking for
> > presenters. You could have presented at UTOSC and then you wouldn't
> > have had to pay the $40.
> Assuming I had something to present on, the time to prepare it, and my
> paper was accepted... sure.
> > It's not $100+ for UTOSC, it was $40. (even late registration with a
> > discount code was only $55.) Anybody that paid more than $55 for the
> > conference didn't try to get a discount code.
> That's not the point, and it was $200, not $40, and that was only for
> early registration. You shouldn't be required to go hunt down
> discounts. Someone already mentioned in another thread on one of the
> other SIGs that quite a good number of people were there that weren't
> involved with any of the SIGs. There's plenty of open source C/C++
> developers out there, but they shouldn't be put out of the ring just
> because there isn't a local Utah C++ Users Group, and they don't read
> the PHP or Java UG mailing lists.

I disagree, $200 was the price if you weren't willing to the itty
bittiest amount of work.  If you are a C++ developer, you *are* part
of a group.  The question is which group.  You can easily get the
discount by letting us know.

> And even if those people had heard about the discount, there was some
> requirements posted along with those announcements that involved
> contacting the group presidents and having proven your active member
> status before receiving that discount, it wasn't open to just anyone.
> I don't think you can actually claim to know that everyone who showed
> only paid $55 or less unless this was only the case because anyone
> outside of those SIGs wouldn't even think about attending at the price
> of $200. Seems to me that this would be the case since if you're not
> involved in any SIGs, you likely have a much smaller interest in open
> source than those that are.

That won't change!  I don't see why its so hard to show that you are a
member of a group that contributes to open source.  This year, we
actually let people sign up who weren't members as long as they
contacted the leadership.  Next year, we'll be a bit more strict about
this policy.  In addition, you could help the cause by sending me an
email to clint at utos.org with information about these C++ developers
and we'll see what we can do to help.

> On that same note, we're not likely to see much feedback from those
> same people since they aren't signed up on these lists.
> And even though I (obviously) read this mailing list, and _am_ and
> active Utah PHP Users Group member (and read that list as well), I was
> still under the impression that the conference was $100+ until I was
> told otherwise a day after the event ended.

Clearly stated, the price was $199 (or it was $40 total with a UG
discount code) in many emails.  I suggest that there was a bit of
confusion.  To me though, you are just whining now and if you were
gonna come, it would have been easy to determine this by asking...

> I know one other friend who had no idea about the discount until he
> saw someone mention it in the #ubuntu-utah channel 2 days before the
> event, giving very little time to re-adjust his schedule based on this
> new information.

We're going to do better this year.  Please forgive us for being
*very* new to all of this too.  i have never run a conference before.
We're learning and growing, please be patient with us.
> No, they didn't, but why not just offer that price up front to
> everyone then? I would have even been fine paying $75 up front if I
> knew I was going to be able to attend all 3 days of the event. I think
> this should have just been presented with one price up front, it would
> have avoided all this confusion, and probably would have brought in
> much more attendees.

And we're not going to.  The point of the pricing structure is to
invite the members of Open Source groups to get in for the lower
price.  We want people to join the groups, that's where the growth of
community will flourish.  If you don't get that, I can't help you.

The $200 price tag is a very reasonable one and indeed we're looking
at raising (not lowering) the price overall.  We do expect, however,
that most people will get in for the LUG/Sponsor discounts we're
looking to provide next year.

> Everyone here keeps saying that the conference was well worth $200,
> but every last person here (as even you yourself claim) only paid
> $40-$55. Seems like we have some hypocrites here. Under your
> assumptions here, UTOSC could have brought in much more money had
> there just been one single price for everyone at more than $50, but
> less than $100. We'll leave that to Clint, Christer, and the others to
> look over for next year though, only they know the numbers from this
> year.

The pricing structure is something we definitely learned from.  I
don't think we should have to charge a large price to get into the
event, but if you are willing we'll let you.  Also, there are people
out there who will hear how *amazing* the conference was this year and
just pay the amount we ask without question.  I want those people to
come and learn about the LUGs, SIGs and other groups.

I also want them to come and see what cool new technologies there are
and enjoy themselves...

I suggest you take some time and evaluate what you think a conference
is worth, and be willing to pay that.  If $200 isn't it, so be it, do
what's necessary to come.  If you don't want to come for the price,
we'll understand and fix our structure if more people feel like you.

Bryan, thank you for the comments.  Please understand that I mean no
ill will with any of my responses, just want to give explanations and
hope you'll be patient with us as we learn better how to run a

I look forward to more comments from those who attended as well.
Please keep them coming as we'd like to make next year even better!


Clint Savage
Founder, Utah Open Source

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