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DjangoCon US 2014-15: Request For Proposals

DjangoCon US was first held in 2008, and has been held annually ever since. It is now the largest Django-specific event in the Django community calendar.

The Django Software Foundation (DSF) is not, and does not wish to become formally involved in the organization of DjangoCon US. The DjangoCon name is owned by the DSF, and is licensed to the group organizing a DjangoCon event. The DjangoCon organizing group then runs the event as a for-profit enterprise, assuming all financial risk, but also reaping any profit resulting from the event. Past DjangoCon US organizers have made substantial financial donations to the DSF as result of profits earned, but this has been neither expected nor required as part of the licensing arrangement.

Historically, the DSF has not undertaken a formal bidding process to choose the DjangoCon licensing organization. However, since DjangoCon US is now an established community event, the DSF is seeking to improve transparency around the DjangoCon US organization process.

Application process

At this time, the DSF is seeking expressions of interest from organizations wishing to host DjangoCon US 2014 and 2015. The bid process covers a 2 year cycle so as to improve the negotiation position of the bidding organization when dealing with conference hotels.

All details relating to the DjangoCon event - dates, duration, location, venue, and so on - are at the discretion of the applicant. However, if the proposed format or dates differ significantly from historical DjangoCon US events (i.e., 3 days, 2 tracks, in the first week of September), the application should justify the reason for the change.

Applications should contain, at a minimum, the following details:

  • A proposed city (or cities) and dates for the events.
  • Details of the venue (or venues) where the events will be held.
  • Any additional events (e.g., tutorial days, social gatherings) to be included as part of the formal event.
  • An indicative budget for the events, covering:
    • Pricing for event tickets.
    • Expected cost and capacity for the conference venue.
    • Profit projections under best-case and worst-case attendance scenarios.
    • Anticipated donation back to the DSF (if any) under best case and worst case scenarios.
    • Details of the organization providing financial underwriting for the event.
  • Indications of the anticipated costs for attendees, including:
    • Airfares to the host city from within the US.
    • Cost of transfers from the airport to the conference hotel.
    • Cost of transport from the conference venue to restaurants/bars in the area.
    • Expected accommodation costs, both at the official hotel (if applicable), and at alternative hotels near the official venue.
  • Details of any third-party organizations (e.g., specialist conference organization groups) providing support services.
  • Details of key staff that will be involved in the organization of the event
  • An indication of any additional staff or volunteers that will be required during the organization process, and the manner by which those resources will be secured.
  • An indicative timeline for key events in the organization process.
  • Any previous conference organizing experience of the applicant and key staff.

Applications may provide any additional details they believe will support their bid.

The DSF is not seeking highly detailed applications or finalized plans. Budgets may be preliminary; confirmed bookings or minor details are not expected. What we are seeking is evidence that the applicant has the resources and experience to host a successful event, and has given sufficient thought to the issues involved in organizing a conference of the size and scope of past US DjangoCons.

Applicants should not make any financial commitments regarding the DjangoCon US 2014/15 events until the DSF board has formally awarded the bid.

Judging process

Any proposals received will be reviewed and judged by the DSF membership. The DSF board will then formally confirm the recommendation made by the membership. If multiple strong bids are received, the DSF reserves the right to call for a second round of detailed proposals from selected applicants.

Any DSF member who submits an application will be required to recuse themselves from the judging discussions and voting.

The DSF aims to announce the outcome of the initial round of bids by mid-January 2013. If additional bid rounds are necessary, the timeline for those rounds will be announced at that time.

Timeline

Applications close at 11:59 PM UTC, 31 December 2012.

Applications should be emailed to foundation@djangoproject.com.

Any questions about the application process should also be sent to the same address.

Posted by Russell Keith-Magee on November 8, 2012