Here is the much awaited blog post to consider our options for the location of our 2015 Latin American DrupalCon. While we have looked at the pros and cons for two locations, we want you to weigh in and tell us what you think!
Before I launch in, let me first bring you up to speed. In response to what we have been hearing consistently from the community in various parts of the world, we will add a 3rd DrupalCon to the annual roster. This DrupalCon will be focused in a region in which Drupal is gaining traction, and having a Con could help further Drupal adoption. We posted this blog in the fall, outlining the criteria used to select future locations. In this process, we determined that this 3rd Con will take place over the next 3 years in Latin America, India and either China or Singapore. Since we were unsuccessful in São Paulo before, we decided that we wanted to have Latin America as the first stop in 2015.
Drupal Association Executive Director Holly Ross met with members of the Latin American community in January at Drupal Picchu. This was a fantastic meeting, with several countries represented, and it was there that São Paulo, Brazil and Bogota, Colombia were selected as the two top choices to hold this event. We’d like to pass along a big thank you to Nick Vidal (nickvidal) and Carlos Ospina (camoa) and their respective teams for their help in gathering information from both locations. I know it was a long list of questions, so, thanks to them both for the hard work in providing so many answers.
I have to say, I am thrilled with the level of enthusiasm and passion that has been shown in advocating for each location. As far as community support goes, I am confident that in either place we would have a groundswell of passionate volunteers who would help produce the event.
That being said, there are some important distinctions between the two locations. Here is a table of my findings:
|Business Community||Large business community||Smaller business community||
This will affect sponsorship and how much revenue we
can bring in
|Travel||Further location to travel - $1,000 average flight costs||Less expensive for most of Latin Americans to get to - $300 - $600 flight||This will affect both attendance numbers and ticket price.|
|Hotels||Between $250 - $400 night during the Con period we would need||
Between $100 -
|This will affect who can come and afford to stay|
|Event Venue + AV||
$7,000 day = for 3 days - AV costs $975 day = $2925
$4,000 day for 3 days * AV included
|Colombia is less expensive, although we don’t know the quality of AV...will need to explore|
|Internet||$10,000 US for 100 MB for 3 days||$16,000 US for 100 MB for 3 days||We can probably negotiate these numbers down further|
|Catering||$27 US per person average (Lunch and one coffee break)||$20 per person average (Lunch and one coffee break)||Colombia is less expensive|
|Visa issues||Visa - needed from US, not needed for most of Latin America||Visa - not needed from US or most of Latin America||The issues with US getting visas to Brazil have been tough in the last year or so. There is concern that this will affect attendance, and make it difficult to get some of our featured speakers to the event|
|Fiscal Sponsorship||The Brazilian Drupal Association will be the Fiscal sponsor||The company SeeD will be the Fiscal sponsor||
Our business manager
needs to talk with both companies to understand how this will work. But both are viable options.
|Other Event Considerations||
Carnival happening Feb 14 - 18, 2015
The Carnival is a festival celebrating the beginning of Lent.
|Carnival Barranquilla February 14-18, 2015 - This event includes Bull fighting in Bogota.||In both countries, we need to work around these events either pushing DrupalCon into early February or waiting until after. The suggestion from both cities is to have it earlier, so people can choose to stay if they want to attend Carnival.|
From our standpoint, given all the cost considerations along with travel considerations, including both average flight costs and visa considerations, it is our recommendation that we hold the February 2015 DrupalCon Latin American conference in Bogota, Colombia.
That is what we think, but we want your feedback! Tell us what you think about this idea! Are you excited about having Bogota as the Latin American Con destination? Are there any considerations we have failed to look at? Let us know your feelings soon! There is a lot of planning that has to happen between now and February of next year, so we will be finalizing this decision by end of next week.
Community Program Manager
Image credit to PlanetObserver on flickr.