[Linux-aus] linux.conf.au 2014 Financials

Joshua Hesketh josh at nitrotech.org
Sun Jun 1 17:40:11 EST 2014

Hi Jessica,

On 01/06/14 16:54, Jessica Smith wrote:
> Hi Josh,
> On Sun, Jun 1, 2014 at 11:49 AM, Joshua Hesketh <president at linux.org.au
> <mailto:president at linux.org.au>> wrote:
>     The professional events manager handled logistics and was not involved
>     in the financial side of the event management. Without the events
>     manager it is unlikely there would have been an LCA2014. This was an
>     added expense (and a fixed one) but not an unexpected one. The council
>     knew at the time of the bid that this likely meant for a lower return on
>     the conference but was happy to take that risk on the basis that running
>     an LCA that makes less money is better than not running an LCA.
>     While an event manager is an added risk that the council will always be
>     cautious of (and weigh up on a per-bid basis), the loss came about due
>     to much lower revenue than expected. In fact, the overall expenses for
>     the event were on par with most other years.
> As part of the post-mortem on LCA2014, will there be an assessment of
> whether 1) the event manager contracted discharged their duties as
> contracted (i.e. no breach of contract for which some or all money
> paid/owing could be clawed back), and 2) whether their engagement
> delivered value for money?

1) The event manager went beyond their duties and volunteered a sizable
amount of their time.
2) The engagement did deliver value for money. Without their help I
think the Perth team would have been overwhelmed.

As mentioned the event manager did not break the budget. It made things
tighter and heightened the associated risks but it was poor tracking of
revenue that caused the issue.

> From the outside-the-tent perspective of being a participant and
> miniconf organiser, quite a lot of things that I would consider
> absolutely standard in running a sizeable event either didn't happen,
> happened only after much prodding/chasing, or happened so late in the
> game that it appeared as though they were afterthoughts that hadn't been
> incorporated into the conference plan.
> And I guess that an obvious follow-up question is to ask if a team
> bidding on running an LCA feels that the only way they can run it is to
> outsource a significant amount of the work to a commercial events
> manager (with the inevitable overheads that will generate), should the
> committee award them the bid? Additional oversight and a supporting
> sub-committee may not be enough to offset that fundamental risk.

Yes, this was something the council had to consider in accepting the bid
back in 2012. At the time we thought it was better to run with this risk
rather than to reject the bid and have no conference. Certainly we need
to be careful when considering bids of this nature.

This shows that you really need a strong team to run LCA. I don't mean
this in a way to deter anybody from thinking about becoming involved. It
is no small task but I'd like to encourage more people to indeed become
involved so that we can spread the load of the conference.


> Cheers,
> Jessica
> _______________________________________________
> linux-aus mailing list
> linux-aus at lists.linux.org.au
> http://lists.linux.org.au/listinfo/linux-aus

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