This report is being provided to the Perl community in an effort to improve transparency.
The Perl Conference 2017 was held at the US Patent and Trademark office in Alexandria, VA from June 18th through Saturday June 23rd, 2017. Total attendance was 245.
This marks the second year in a row that attendance was below 250.
The total expenses for this event were $93,769, which is lower than recent years. This was achieved by a significant reduction in food costs.
(In the above chart, several costs for the 2011 event were paid directly by sponsors, which makes accurate information on actual expenses for that year unavailable)
Forty-five percent of the event costs were supported by participants. The remaining fifty-five percent of expenses were covered by sponsorship contributions.
This was our first year using Eventbrite for ticket sales. The $42,069 represents the total income after Eventbrite’s fees.
Within that figure is the income for all tickets, including the paid talks on Sunday, Thursday, and Friday.
Also included in this figure is $655 in miscellaneous sales of surplus goods sold at the registration table throughout the event.
Product sales that directly benefited a different fund are NOT included in the above number. One Perl 6 patch for $50 was sold. This sale will fund one hour of Perl 6 development under our Perl 6 development fund. Patches for Perl 5 and Perl 6 may be purchased at any time by emailing Treasurer@PerlFoundation.org.
Each of The Perl Foundation sponsors have made a significant contribution directly to TPF. These contributions go directly to TPF’s general fund and are used to fund The Perl Conference, our Grants programs, and other program initiatives of The Perl Foundation. Each year at the conclusion of TPC, we move exactly enough from the general fund to the event fund to cover any unpaid expenses. That is why the income and expenses from the event balance exactly.
We sincerely appreciate the support of the following sponsors:
craigslist: Diamond sponsor
cPanel: Platinum sponsor
Bluehost: Silver sponsor
Grant Street Group Bronze sponsor
Assurant: Bronze sponsor
It’s never too early to begin sponsoring The Perl Foundation. Sponsorships are valid for one year from the date they are purchased and make you a sponsor for all TPF events during that period of time. So, a sponsorship bought today, would automatically make you a sponsor of the 2018 Perl Conference. Sponsorships begin at $6,000, and may be billed monthly. Sponsorships provide advertising opportunities, free tickets to events, and free tables at sponsor expos. For more information, visit http://donate.perlfoundation.org or contact Treasurer@PerlFoundation.org.
The Perl Foundation also gratefully acknowledges the following event sponsors, who contributed directly to portions of this event:
craigslist: $2,424 (in addition to being a diamond sponsor, craigslist also funded the travel and housing costs for Larry and Gloria Wall)
Active State: $2,000
Perl Careers: $1,500
We would like to thank Infinity Interactive for sponsoring John Anderson to teach his beginner Perl course. This allowed the course to be presented with no speaker fees. Also, we would like to thank Infinity Interactive for providing this year’s event app.
Additionally, we would like to thank MongoDB and David Golden for providing the MongoDB tutorial. All tuition collected from this talk was used to cover the facilities costs for the room and the remainder was donated back to TPF by MongoDB.
A special thanks to every speaker who spent countless hours preparing their talk for this event. While they did receive a free ticket to attend, we know this barely scratches the surface of their costs and contributions to this event.
Likewise, thank you to all of the many companies out there that made it possible for their employees to attend The Perl Conference in Alexandria this year, both as speakers and attendees. We sincerely hope that you found this event to be worth your time and expense. Without you, there could not be a Perl Conference!
Includes snacks served Sunday through Friday and meals for volunteers.
Includes travel costs for our keynote speakers as well as speaker fees paid out for the paid tutorials on Sunday, Thursday, and Friday.
Cost to TPF for unused rooms in our reservation block.
Venue expenses include costs that we paid for the usage of the space and any service / support fees charged by the venue. Although the USPTO was provided without charge, we did have to pay for cleaning and security. We also paid $2,500 for the use of the museum during the Tuesday social. Additionally, due to the USPTO being unavailable on Thursday, we paid over $7,000 for the use of the hotel meeting space for the Thursday tutorials.
Rooms reserved for keynote speakers and key staff.
These expenses cover the cost of the sponsor dinner and the thank you gifts that the sponsors received. It also includes the cost of the banners which were printed and hung at the event.
Rental of video equipment necessary to record and stream all of the talks. Each year TPF also makes a few strategic purchases in order to reduce our rental needs for the years to come. This figure also includes the shipping costs of sending the equipment to and from the venue.
T-shirts distributed to event participants.
Despite several challenges and unknowns, the event was executed under budget. This is primarily attributed to significantly lowered food costs over previous years. An analysis of the survey results is advised to determine what effect the reduced menu had on attendee satisfaction with the event.
It is worth re-thinking the Sunday, Thursday, and Friday tutorials. Even without needing to rent space on Thursday, these activities are merely break-even. With the space rental, the tutorials ran at a significant loss. A qualitative analysis is recommended to determine if the cost is worth the training that they provide to the Perl community. If tutorials do continue, it will be necessary to slightly increase TPF’s take or locate dedicated sponsorship in the future.
It does appear that location has a significant impact on attendance. Except in cases where our venue is local to a major sponsor, it is unlikely to see more than 250 attendees at the event without a significant advertising effort.
The Perl Foundation appreciates the organizers of The Perl Conference in New Alexandria for their efforts in executing a well run event within budget. There are not enough thanks to cover the year-long effort that was put into executing an event that is over in a flash. Invariably, when an event is run well, few people will ever know how much work went into it.
Planning has already begun for 2018. The conferences committee is in negotiations for a potential venue currently. Once an agreement has been signed, the location will be announced. Membership on the committee is open to anyone that is willing to volunteer. Interested should contact the chairman, David Oswald (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Updated 8/11/17 to reflect the donation made by MongoDB.
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