Reminder for PNWDS Session Proposals

jdwalling's picture

A call for session proposals for Pacific NW Drupal Summit Oct 20-21
Previous annoucement:

Time is running out. Be sure to submit your Summit session proposals.
(1) Prepare: a few paragraphs for your presentation(s)
(2) Register:
(3) Login:
(4) Submit:
(5) Drink: a cold brew to celebrate the Drupal spirit



slavojzizek's picture

Is the PNWDS offering anything towards the lodging and/or registration fees of presenters this year? EDIT: I am aware its $50 and you get the things you get when paying, despite that, was truly inquiring about if there's a change from last years stance.

This year, as was the case

Cellar Door's picture

This year, as was the case last year, every speaker will be paying for registration. We're actually requiring paid registration prior to submitting your session proposal. If you need assistance in lodging and registration the only thing I can think of is finding sponsorship by an outside party (employer, local DUG etc.).

I know this came up last year but the same reasoning applies this year as well. This event is put on with all volunteer hours, including the speakers. Personally I think that's what makes it so genuine and worthwhile.

Hope to see you there!

I understand, but you should

slavojzizek's picture

I understand, but you should also remember that last year there were potential presenters who did not come and want to share due to that issue, and since then many Drupal events in the country have chosen to comp the speakers fees -if someone spends time and effort to visit you as a guest, with innovative ideas that the people running the event benefit from, its a good idea to make it easy for them to come. Its a symbolic gesture of course, as $50 isn't a big deal - and that's precisely why you do it. I can see its a moot point, so I won't be attending this year because of it. Also, with all that sponsorship money you're receiving, its questionable why you're charging. Additionally, if I don't know if you'll accept my topic there's no reason I would pay you in advance, for something I should be getting comp'd for in the first place. As far as it being all volunteer, its easy to counter your point - there are many events where volunteers run it, and they actually pay the people who come. I've run events where that has been the case - its a very good feeling reciprocating with the people who actually make your event. Oh, and the events I've done also received almost no sponsorship money, and managed to feed everyone (50+) people for free - so don't say its not possible.

Please take this thread offlist

seanberto's picture

Respectfully, I would like to ask that you take this thread offlist, offering to include anyone who contacts you who is interested in following or participating in this conversation.


kanani's picture

Thank you! We don't need to be rehashing this again this year.

Respectfully I decline, but

slavojzizek's picture

Respectfully I decline, but thanks for looking out for me.

Being sarcastic isn't going

adamdicarlo's picture

Being sarcastic isn't going to help your cause.

This probably doesn't need to

jeremyr's picture

This probably doesn't need to be revisited like the last two people commented, however, I'd like to chime in anyway because I have recently had the chance to be the organizer of a local camp.

I completely understand the feeling that one should be fairly compensated for the their time; especially if they are providing the same information to a group that they would normally be able to bill hourly to a client. I understand this, I have to pay bills and eat too.

BUT, I too agree that for such an event the presenters should not be compensated because it is in fact a community effort. (With the exception of special guests and people directly solicited for their expertise.) Those who have a vested interest in the community should pull together and support their local community, even if it is pitching in a for an admission and sharing some knowledge with a few other. That's how Drupal and other open source projects thrive.

I feel like those who take issue with this type of policy have no, or little, understanding of how much money it really takes to organize an event. But, in the end if someone isn't willing to participate over something like this it's probably better for the community if that bad apple stayed home anyway. FWIW.

First of all, I agree with

slavojzizek's picture

First of all, I agree with you. If its really a community event, everyone should pull in and work together. It might have seemed like an omission in my previous post, but I completely believe people should share info - as the organizer of many Drupal Meetup groups and events in many communities, I understand exactly what you're saying.

Now, the problem is - this event doesn't appear to have transparency over its finances, its just asking us to accept it and pay. If you take a quick look at the sponsors page, and look how much $ sponsors were giving last year (seemed to be quite a bit) you would think they could comp the admission of say 30 presenters? 30 x 50 ($1,500?). Not to mention the left over money from last year could have possibly gone towards this year - who knows, maybe there was none left over, I didn't get an impression either way. Its pretty incredible to believe that they would be running so close to the line they couldn't do that. Even if we're all coming together to share and work together, there are just principles to events that should be followed - working it out, in the beginning, to make it easy for presenters. I bet if someone even asked one of the sponsors to fork over enough extra cash so 10 presenters could come for free, and have applications, they would do it. There seems to be some odd objection to this happening, and yes we're "Rehashing it" because its actually a falsity, and its being promoted like this great wonderful thing, we're all cool man, come and have a beer -whereas, some basic foundational aspects of running an event should be worked out. Now, I know we're not all perfect, but I was just slightly saddened to see that instead of offering some wiggle room for people, they actually made it mandatory to pay first and upfront, i.e. going even further in the wrong direction.

Your viewpoint has been well

gdd's picture

Your viewpoint has been well represented, both last year and this year. You have made a decision not to attend based on your concerns, and I think that is a fine choice on your part. Is there something else you are hoping to achieve here? It was made clear up front what the policy is, you disagree, your points are well made and respectful, and you made a decision not to come as a result. I think everyone here understands this, so I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish at this point. The continued posting is starting to feel more like harassment, with a hint of accusation at the intents and bookkeeping of the organizers. Perhaps a more productive tack would be to volunteer to help organize next year's event?

EDIT: For the sake of transparency: I helped organize the first Summit in Seattle, and am personal friends with the organizers in all three cities. However I haven't been involved in organizing the event in three years. I am just interested in finding a resolution here.

Sure - what I want is full

slavojzizek's picture

Sure - what I want is full disclosure of the community events finances to make sure they couldn't afford to do what I'm asking, and to see who is making money. That will settle the matter as far as I'm concerned, and I could even be in the wrong - lets see. Just a little transparency would put bad apples like me to rest, I'm sure.

The accusation that the

gdd's picture

The accusation that the organizers are personally profiting from the event is unwarranted. There has been no evidence that the organizers are profiting from this event, and I can personally vouch for every one of them, many of whom I have known since the day I joined the Drupal community.

Additionally, any camps that are using the Drupal Association as their financial account (which the Summit did last year and this year) has to provide bookkeeping to the DA to justify their expenditures and income. Any surplus has to be carried over to next year's event. No members of the planning committee can draw any salary or payment under this arrangement.

One thing I will point out that often expenses and sponsorships are not a known quantity until after the event is over, and because of this you need to be conservative in the months ahead to prevent yourself from getting into trouble later if things don't work out as planned. I know personally of an event that ended up with a large surplus because several large sponsors came in literally two weeks before the event started. Sure if they had known that in advance they could have done a lot - sponsored travel, let speakers in free. The thing is you don't and you can't assume you will. You don't even really know how many tickets you will sell.

Well then, how about refunding afterwards you ask? Most financial institutions will stop working with you if you issue too many refunds, Paypal is especially bitchy about this.

Running an event is complicated, money is often short, volunteer time is shorter, and lots of tough choices have to be made. I have helped organize over a dozen Drupal events including five DrupalCons. Planning this stuff out so it works out right is tough, and the organizers have enough problems without baseless accusations like this going around. Again, if you are concerned about how the event is being organized, it is very easy to get involved in it.


slavojzizek's picture

No argument that events are tough - its just important to cover your bases as you start using language about being for and by the community - especially as you take on corporate sponsorship -- you are held to a higher standard, which is what Drupal's community is founded on. If the PNW Summit chooses to release this information, then we'll know what is occurring. If not, then we will know clearly what's going on.

In response to the peoples demands, I'm willing to have this be my last post, except of course if the information I'm asking for is posted. If the PNW Summit People care to contact me, its possible.

Warm regards - sorry to be a burden and hassle, my intent is to look out for the Drupal community, even if it means saying something unpleasant or being a possible buzzkill.

Are you saying that the fact

gdd's picture

Are you saying that the fact that the DA is overseeing the event's accounts does not address your concerns?

Does the DA release the

slavojzizek's picture

Does the DA release the information to the public? If so, great I'll look forward to checking it out.

If the PNW Summit chooses to

gdd's picture

If the PNW Summit chooses to release this information, then we'll know what is occurring. If not, then we will know clearly what's going on.

What clearly is going on? Are you saying, despite that the event has oversight by a third party, that personal profit has been taken by four separate organizing committees?

Its really easy to put this

slavojzizek's picture

Its really easy to put this to rest, and in fact its being handled right now as I am speaking with Chris Teitzel via email. Two words: accountability/transparency, a community needs them. Lets just be frank; there's no mention of this on the entire event website, so this can and most likely will be put to rest very soon; and the overall impact of this conversation will make future event leaders think about those words as they put on events.

Its really easy to put this

slavojzizek's picture

Its really easy to put this to rest, and in fact its being handled right now as I am speaking with Chris Teitzel via email. Two words: accountability/transparency, a community needs them. Lets just be frank; there's no mention of this on the entire event website, so this can and most likely will be put to rest very soon; and the overall impact of this conversation will make future event leaders think about those words as they put on events.

Thank you for your comments.

malcolm's picture

For real! I appreciate your point of view.

One final point I will make

gdd's picture

One final point I will make is that this rule has been in effect for every Summit, despite the fact that every Summit has been organized by a completely different group of people, in a completely different city, with no overlap at all. I think there are a couple people in Seattle who were in the original Seattle group three years ago but there are also a great number of new people. So what you are essentially saying is that all four of these groups are personally profiting from this event. I find this highly implausible.

what I want is full

cweagans's picture

what I want is full disclosure of the community events finances to make sure they couldn't afford to do what I'm asking, and to see who is making money.

Just a little transparency would put bad apples like me to rest, I'm sure.

@slavojzizek, I'm going to make this abundantly clear to you, as you're the only one that I've seen stirring up a shitstorm about this topic:

  • There are proper channels to go through if you think that there is something inappropriate happening with funds under the oversight of the DA. This is not that channel.
  • It has been made abundantly clear that speakers are not getting free tickets. This has always been the case, and this will likely always be the case. If you don't like it, plan your own event.
  • Nobody is obligated to provide you with any sort of financial record, and given your comments from last year and what you've said so far this year, I'd not be surprised if people went out of their way to NOT provide those records to you.
  • Finally, if you continue these baseless attacks against the PNWDS event organizers (ESPECIALLY in public), I will not hesitate to ban you from all sites. If you have a complaint about the event or the event organizers, take it up somewhere else (email, a contact at the DA, etc.).

The people that organize PNWDS work tirelessly for months to put on an awesome event. $50 is a pittance for such incredible value, even if you volunteer to speak at the event. If you don't like it, go to a different event. Simple as that.

Cameron Eagans

Dear Cameron

slavojzizek's picture

Feel free to peruse what was said this year and last year, there's nothing to hide. The event organizers and I are discussing this via email, and we're reaching a mutually amicable agreement. I am not sure about your third point, because it was mentioned that they will attempt to provide some kind of financial record, even if its unofficial, and if anyone else is interested in receiving it I'm sure they will extend the same courtesy. I understand, you have to do what you have to do, but it seems like this issue has been resolved here and our voices have been expressed. On some level, if we're a strong community, we have to be able to handle these discussions without going off our rocker.

Can you please follow the

arne.olafson's picture

Can you please follow the respectful previous request and take this dead horse elsewhere? I am sure the Vancouver Users have suffered enough of this conversation.

We've had this discussion

jnicola's picture

We've had this discussion before, although I'm not sure it was you who was asking.

One one hand, it's understandable to want to keep the community legitimate.

On the other hand, Drupal is in such high demand right now that in the time you wasted wondering where your money was going you could have done enough freelance to pay for the event, a taxi cab to and from the event, and some booze of choice for fun. Following that, in the time you'd spend getting and reviewing their documents, you could afford your hotel for the entire trip along with a few hookers and some cocaine.

So yeah, who cares if some one profits off of this. Having organized large events before, they'd probably damn well deserve the little bit they made, which in the end is probably less than they'd have made doing freelance instead!

Jesse Nicola -- Shredical six different ways to Sunday! -- My Portfolio

Groups help

whittonj's picture

Anyone know why I only get email notifications from: "Drupal Groups Vancouver" despite not being a member of that group?

I'm trying to unsubscribe to this discussion without leaving the Seattle general discussion group and it seems impossible. I'm full-on OK with being an idiot, so if there's a help document on unsubscribing to Drupal Groups Vancouver I'd appreciate it. I'm guessing this being Drupal, there is no document, so someone throw me a bone here.

RE: unsubscribe help - maybe...

dnotes's picture

I think we get this because it was posted into Vancouver, Seattle and Portland groups, but only one of those gets in the title. I also tried to unsubscribe but I don't think there's a way to unsubscribe from a single post. So now I've tried subscribing to this message only, and set the email to come only every week, which should (I hope) cut down on the emails. I guess I'll find out soon. :)

@PNWDS folks:

This event has consistently been my favorite Drupal event of the year. Thanks so much for the fantastic organization. I'm trying to finagle some way to come this year even though I have another conference that weekend. Hope to see you there.

Me too!!!

Gaelan's picture

Me too!!! EDIT: having the problem too. Sorry for not seeing the answer already posted. My bad.

For posterity on the

sarah_p's picture

For posterity on the internets: The DA handled the passing off of the remaining funds from PNWDS 2011, and not the whole event. None of the companies that volunteered services or the volunteers profited either in cash or a free sponsorship or ticket in last year's summit. All the work was 100% pro-bono.

In regards for this thread, all I have to say is that with a session proposal last year for you to introduce your tai-chi instructor, and your hostility and demand for a free ticket when trying to resolve your questions via e-mail last year, coupled with the fact that you didn't attend last year's event at all even after your session hadn't been picked makes this truly a deader than dead horse.

Edit punctuation and clarification of year in question :)

Dear Lord!

natemcintyre's picture

Ok, I live in Boise and somehow my inbox continues to be spammed by this thread. Is there any way that you could either remove me from this thread or close it because this is ridiculous. Nearly 10+ emails just this evening regarding this...

For real?

mpgeek's picture

I would just like to point out the obvious here:

... the time you wasted wondering where your money was going you could have done enough freelance to pay for the event...

Why must we bicker about where the money is going when the 50 bucks goes to a good cause and pays the rent 100 times over every day? I don't need to see the books; this is an investment in professional development that I am confident will be used wisely. If we are concerned that someone else is making a buck while you spend it, then we are not focused on the task at hand: honing the craft and sharing the wealth of utility.

greggles's picture


First, for those of you wondering why you were getting emails about a group that you aren't in: this post was cross-posted to several groups, but the mails that go out only mention one group. That's a limitation of OG for 6.x and it's confusing, but hopefully didn't hurt too much.

Second, this thread was temporarily closed due to the high-volume of off-topic conversation. Two new discussion threads, focused on the contentious issues, have been posted into the Drupal Event Organization group:

  • Anyone interested in transparency of camp funding can discuss that at
  • Anyone interested in whether speakers should get paid can discuss that at
  • Anyone who continues those topics in this thread may have their comments deleted.
  • Anyone who submits a session to pnwds or has a comment about that that they want to post here is a great, great person.

While I personally may not make it to PNWDS this year I hope that it's a great event in the tradition of the two wonderful events I did get the pleasure to attend last year and the year before.