As someone who has been using Drupal for over 9 years, attended 8 DrupalCons, spoken at 4 for of them, been on the DrupalCon track team twice, and was co-lead for DrupalCon London I've feel I know Drupal events pretty well.
This year for DrupalCon Vienna things have changed a little. Firstly back in February a few program changes were announced. These included things such as summits, training, sprints, and t-shirts. Some of these are now back on the agenda due to community efforts, but why stop there with community efforts.
This year I was part of the PHP track team with Campbell Vertesi, Michael Cullum, we wanted to try and get an awesome line up, with some top name speakers. As Drupal has started embracing aspects of PHPunit, Doctrine, composer, guzzle etc it'd be great to have people involved with those projects speak at DrupalCon. However the issue is funding! They're not going to get a great deal out of DrupalCon, so won't fund themselves. Their employers have no reason to send them, so they won't fund it. DrupalCon doesn't pay speakers, so that's not an option. So, Campbell had a great idea of crowdfunding. We asked two speakers, Sebastian Bergmann (of PHPunit fame) and Michelle Sanver (of PHPWomen fame). They submitted multiple sessions each, which were equally ranked and chosen along with other sessions. Now comes the time to get their funding.
This is a very controversial topic, and with the other changes brought in at DrupalCon Vienna has sparked a lot of discussion. After laying off many members of staff over the last few years, and DrupalCon Europe never to make a profit things are tough. Although this sort of experiment is good to see, it's good to see people talking about it, and it's good to see people getting behind it.
See you in Vienna!
I am really appreciate Tim put this one together. I am not understanding why agencies are reluctant to fund / sponsor for Drupalcon Europe. My company said you are all your own to Drupalcon Europe. Even though two of my sessions are got selected. Company says it's not added to the company's market value. Agencies should educated well this is also part of the Drupal contribution. Not only uploading unwanted patch to the issue queues. Strongly feel our market place credit system should be changed.
I'm pretty sure I remember London making a profit. The figures were in the closing plenary, but right now the video isn't working. The biggest single cost of most events is the venue. While we appreciate fantastic modern conference centres, they are super expensive, and they don't have the same business model in Europe that they do in the US and so the venue costs a lot more. But it's entirely possible to find innovative venues, and bring the cost down. It just takes a lot more work on the ground.
Funding goal reached!