Today the openSUSE board invites you to submit your proposal for locations of the openSUSE Conference in 2014. Please send proposals to the openSUSE project mailing list with the subject “oSC14 location proposal”.
The openSUSE conference was hosted in Nuremberg, Germany during it’s incubation period and has experienced steady growth since it’s inception in 2009. The fourth annual event was hosted in Prague and co-located with three additional events for the first two of the four conference days. The first four conferences were mostly organized by openSUSE community members employed by SUSE. The steady growth of the openSUSE community has created the opportunity to have a conference organization lead by a team of community members not employed by SUSE. Thanks to the initiative taken by the Greek openSUSE community, affectionately known as Greekos, the conference will take place in July of 2013 in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The openSUSE Conference
The openSUSE conference is the annual gathering of many that support the openSUSE project and other FOSS contributors and enthusiasts. The event attracts between 200 and 500 visitors for a series of talks, workshops and BoF sessions. Our goal is to provide a great atmosphere for open collaboration within the project but also with others and to create lasting positive connections and memories.
The openSUSE Conference is located in Europe. The event usually starts on a Friday and ends on the following Monday, with a pre-event party taking place on Thursday evening. During the four days of the event we usually have 3 tracks with talks, workshops and BoF sessions running in parallel. The conference attracts approximately 300 attendees.
Call for Locations
The openSUSE board is looking for a team of volunteers able and willing to organize the openSUSE Conference 2014. Organizing oSC is fun, inspiring but not without challenges. The global openSUSE community has proven to be more than willing to help whenever possible. However, the organization of oSC requires many event local actions that cannot be completed from remote locations. Therefore, the local organization team is the major contributor to the success of the event prior to and during the conference. The openSUSE community is very open and welcoming. Thus, local LUG’s are generally willing to help with the organization of the conference. We also welcome organizational help and conference contributions from other distributions and FOSS projects.
One of the major tasks of the local team is to find a location for the event. The city needs to be relatively easy to reach from destinations around the world. The venue must accommodate all attendees in a comfortable manner and have sufficient rooms available to allow us to run three tracks in parallel. Lodging and restaurants should be in close proximity to the event. The openSUSE conference is intended to be a “free” (as in beer) event for attendees and we depend on sponsors to cover the cost of the event. Therefore, the price of the venue must be reasonable and community spaces or education institutions have proven to be good locations for the conference.
The venue requirements page provides a general outline of the requirements the venue should provide, including space for hacking and lounging. Space for presentation tables or sponsor booth setup is a plus. We try to be as flexible as possible once the minimum venue requirements are met.
We would like the event to take place in mid to late Spring of 2014 to reduce the potential for conflict with other conferences, avoid the premium travel costs of Summer, and avoid prime vacation time for many members of the openSUSE community. While a Friday - Monday conference has become somewhat of a tradition and has worked very well for us in the past, we are very much open to other arrangements.
The local team is a major contributor to the success of the event. Beyond the local activities the local team may choose to guide/participate in other areas of the conference organization, such as theme and session selection. The local team significantly influences the size and scope of the conference through decisions about co-location with other communities or other local related events. However, having a large conference such as the event in Prague poses significant challenges and the organization team should not loose sight of the main purpose of the openSUSE conference, bring the Geekos from around the world together to talk about and hack on openSUSE. Focusing solely on openSUSE creates a more manageable and intimate event for the community.
Activities such as parties, cook outs etc. are much appreciated by the conference participants and give the local community a unique opportunity to present their unique local culture. The openSUSE Board aims to support the local team with advice, helps with financial management of the event, and facilitates the formation of a global team of volunteers to help with the organization.
If you have the ambition to organize an international Free Software event in your town and think you can pull it off, get together with some like-minded friends and create a proposal. The proposal should contain information about the size of your local team, the proposed venue (cost estimate if possible), and your ideas about the organization of the conference. It is the goal of the openSUSE board to reach a decision about the oSC14 location by mid June, 2013 and announce the location publicly at oSC13.
We’re looking forward to your proposal!