In early 2012, The Apache Software Foundation requested proposals to prepare, manage and execute the ApacheCon conference in North America. ApacheCon is primarily a conference to support and grow the Apache Community. The RFP opened on Monday 23rd January 2012, and was open for 45 days. All submissions had to have been received by 5pm GMT on Thursday 8th March 2012 for them to have been considered. Submissions were sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Following the RFP, OpenBastion were selected to produce ApacheCon North America 2013, which will take place 24th February - 2nd March 2013, in Portland, Oregon.
Details of this past RFP are retained below.
APACHECON 2012 RFP (NOW CLOSED)
In the interest of creating a safe and productive atmosphere, ASF recently adopted an ApacheCon Code of Conduct to which all Apache branded events must adhere.
Successful bidders to this RFP will suggest a venue, timing and pricing in addition to a narrative plan for the event.
The initial appointment will be for a single North American event only. Subsequent years and/or regions will only be considered following a successful initial event, and will not be entered into at this time.
Care has been taken in this document to use the words "must (not)", "shall (not)" and "can/may (not)" as follows:
- CAN / MAY (NOT) - is optional
- SHALL (NOT) - is advisory
- MUST (NOT) - compels
One purpose of this RFP is to solicit new ideas about how ApacheCon could proceed. In the interest of informing bidders, here is some information about the history of ApacheCon. ApacheCon has been running since 2000, and in the early days saw large audiences (up to 1200), however, in recent years ApacheCon attendance in North America has decreased to around 500. (ApacheCons have also been successfully hosted in Europe and Asia, but this RFP relates initially to North America).
Conference sessions have been selected from submissions to a "Call for Papers" (CFP) which were circulated throughout the Apache community. Selected sessions have been scheduled into a multi-day "traditional conference" schedule grid over a three-day timeline that also included structured breaks and meals. Afterhours "Meetups" and "Birds of a Feather" session slots made use of otherwise empty conference rooms to host as-hoc special interest meetings for conference attendees. Community building plenary sessions have included "Lightning Talk" sessions and a sponsored pre-dinner. Preceeding or following the confenernce, there has tradiationally been a "Hackathon" and/or "BarCamp", typically hosted in a subset of the venue space. These events are essentially a two-day working session for Apache Committers.
During the same two-day period we’ve typically offered separately priced half-day and full-day trainings / tutorials which are an opportunity to deep-dive into a specific project or technology. Several of our Apache Community Members are expert trainers who have delivered this tutorial content in exchange for pay.
As the common theme of most ASF Projects is activity on the Internet, gratis attendee access to high-speed internet throughout the conference has come to be expected.
At the first ApacheCon there were fewer than 5 "Apache Projects", but as of 2011 there are around 100. This fact means it is very difficult to create a single conference that is both representative of the breadth, and of sufficient technical depth to be a compelling value for "all interested parties".
Past ApacheCons have mitigated this issue by emphasizing more popular projects, although in recent years some projects have switched to hosting their own separate topic-specific conferences (such as HadoopWorld). The ASF has granted such separate events the right to use Apache trademarks in exchange for some considerations, such as ensuring a suitable proportion of Apache-related content, and event date coordination (to avoid date collisions).
ApacheCon has been successfully held at a variety of venues ranging from five-star hotel conference facilities to public municipal halls. One of the evolving issues has been rising cost per attendee, offset by an expanding desire to affiliate the ASF with an increasingly professional face.
One very important element of the ApacheCon event has always been social aspects for our community (both the existing committers, and the conference attendees). This has traditionally occured in the evenings, often (but not always) featuring sponsored drinks. Past conference "socials" have ranged from the world premier screening of a movie about Apache, through short but informative mini talks, to a home-grown "show & tell" performed by musically or comically talented Members... This has usually occured with beer in hand (plus wine and soft drinks, though beer is by far the most popular), and venues have always been screened to ensure they allow this. These events feature "socialable" drinking, with emphasis on the social rather than the drinking, and there has been increasing drive to ensure they are welcoming to all.
The Sponsorship landscape has changed over the history of ApacheCon. Initially the ASF only engaged in fundraising activities through ApacheCon, but today ASF runs direct appeals for monetary sponsorship of the Foundation. We need to avoid making multiple appeals to the Foundation sponsors (present and upcoming) to avoid sponsorship fatigue. Consequently sponsorship appeals for ApacheCon must be mediated by the ASF Fundraising Committee.
The vast majority of talks must be about ASF technologies, and while some commercial content can be included, this must be clearly labelled as such, and offered on a neutral basis to all sponsors. (If commerical content is included, it must not be dominated by just one vendor)
All applicable ASF event branding and ASF trademark policies must be adhered to. The Producer will be ultimately responsible for the session content, speaker selection, track organization, session scheduling and length.
The ASF must pick one keynote topic and must reserve the right to reject or request modification of other keynotes.
TRAININGS / TUTORIALS
The Producer can be responsible for the training content, trainer selection, training organization, scheduling and length.
ASF RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO PRODUCER
The ASF may have volunteer resources available to assist in talk selection and other conference functions.
The ASF may recommend volunteers or for pay consultants for talk selection, talk presentation, trainings, and other conference functions.
The ASF shall supply the Producer with communication channels to its member and committer base for purposes needed by the Producer. The ASF will moderate such messages prior to release to the community. Producer must be aware that such messages will be publicly visible and archived, and furthermore the ASF may broaden the audience of such messages by re-posting them as they see fit.
The event shall be affordable by our community.
The ASF believes that by having our community participate, this benefits both our community and creates a draw for the general public. To support our goals of community building, enough of our community must be able to afford to attend at least part of the event. This could be via low pricing, could be though discounts to ASF members and committers, could be via large numbers of speakers receiving support, could be via co-located community events, but most likely will be a suitable combination of these.
The Producer can co-locate low or no cost community events or create community building events of their own (within the scope of the branding guidelines). If low or no cost community events are not part of the Producer's proposal, the ASF may encourage or directly support a nearby event. Low cost community building is more important than profit sharing with the ASF.
The ApacheCon conference must be branded as such, and for branding purposes must not be overshadowed by co-located events.
A draft copy of the conference schedule shall be prepared and submitted to the ASF no less than 90 days prior to the event.
Marketing and Publicity Material Review
The Producer must submit all publicly released marketing and/or PR materials to the ASF at least three (3) days in advance, for review by the ASF. The ASF may veto and/or propose corrections to the material during that timeframe. Should the ASF not respond during this period, the Producer must not be held responsible for the integrity of such material. Regardless, if a "late correction" is found, the Producer shall work with the ASF to correct the situation as possible under the circumstances.
The cost of Marketing and Publicity is the responsibility of the Producer.
The Producer must supply a website for the conference. The Producer must be responsible for content and hosting of any Producer delivered website until the end of the event. The conference website must be under the apachecon.com domain. The Producer must provide a list of any non-ASF technologies used in hosting any Producer provided website. The website content must be transferable to the ASF following the conference for archiving purposes.
The registration system must easily handle registrations for international and domestic attendees. The Administrative requirements for international attendees (including, but not limited to, invite letters for visas) must be the Producer's responsibility.
The proposal must include options and costs of recording sessions: Audio, Video, and Slides. These recordings would be transferred to the ASF 30 days after the end of the event, under a suitable license to allow the ASF to redistribute them.
The ASF shall host recordings and session material after the event.
The Producer must provide a venue, with all associated costs managed exclusively by the Producer.
Venue must include unrestricted Internet connectivity capable of handling heavy Internet usage for wireless users and must have the capability of delivering wired connections where needed by presenters and sponsors.
Venue must include power in tutorial sessions over 2 hours in length and can include electric power sockets available in lounge areas and sessions.
Venue can include on-site snacks, meals, and a range of beverages both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Venue shall allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages, regardless of whether or not they provide them on-site.
The bid proposal must describe their understanding of Apache technologies, the ASF and the "Apache Community". It should include documentation that details relevant experience within the technology industry and highlights past events produced in the Open Source sector.
The bid proposal shall thoroughly describe the services provided for similar events (detailing work in planning, coordination, implementation, etc., across each work area - content/programming, pre-event logistics, contract negotiation, venue selection, marketing/outreach, PR, website development, registration process management, sponsorship sales cultivation, production, on-site supervision, speaker liaison, etc.)
The bid proposal shall specify one or more suggested venues and dates.
The bid proposal shall specify a suggested theme and layout for the conference. It is understood that the proposed information may be changed by the Producer based on the collection of conference material and the ASF must be notified of this change.
The bid proposal shall provide samples of collateral, including website copy, press releases, media alerts and advisories, advertisements, marketing outreach communications and emails, and speaker communications previously prepared by the Producer. The Producer shall demonstrate strong writing skills for media campaigns, delegate/sponsor email marketing communications, social media, and other outlets.
The bid proposal shall demonstrate Producer's experience in meeting deadlines, achieving concrete deliverables, and describe day-to-day interaction, processes, and reporting during the project life cycle.
The bid proposal shall describe and demonstrate the Producer's ability to respond to and handle crisis situations/communications.
The bid proposal shall include a list of all proposed key staff members who will be performing services under the contract. For the key positions, this list shall include team bios, detailing relevant experience in relation to the role performed, and a thorough description of their knowledge or other credentials that demonstrates subject matter/industry expertise.
The bid proposal must provided at least one, and shall provide at least three client corporate references who have received similar services. At least one of those references shall be from a similar industry organization/event such as Apache/ApacheCon. List of references shall include: name and date(s) of event, specific services performed, timeframe of services performed, reference contact name, title, phone number and email.
The bid proposal must include estimated price points for full-price and discounted attendance.
The bid proposal must include a sample contract. The bid proposal may include a draft contract for execution of this specific event.
The bid should be submitted to email@example.com no later than 5pm GMT on Thursday 8th March 2012 to be considered.
During the bid process, potential bidders may ask for clarification on things relating to the requirements, or information on past events (where that information is not readily available from archives and coverage). Where possible, we will aim to reply to questions within 3 working days. In the interests of fairness, the answer and the question will be distributed to other interested bidders. If you would like to be notified of these, please inform us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The ASF must not assume risk or liability, and this must be included in the contract
- The ASF must not receive invoices for services not explicitly presented in the contract
- After the event, the ASF must receive a list of all attendees, including contact details and basic demographics (as captured by the Producer)
- The ASF must provide a list of organisations who may not be directly contacted by the Producer about sponsorship of an event, except with written approval by the ASF fundraising committee
- The contract will be for a single event