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YAPC Europe Foundation - YAPC::Europe Proposal Question Answers: Pisa

    1. Balance Sheet

            Q: Can you provide clearer examples of your financial
            expectations? The numbers provided don't add up. Could you be
            more explicit as to the numbers used to calculate the attendee
            income, and venue costs. 40% @ 80 + 60% @ 110 doesn't equate.
            Venue costs are listed as 16144, but balance sheet lists 11000.
            Additonal costs for speaker expenses, etc don't appear to be
            included. Please include costs/expenses with all taxes included,
            is it unknown what is and isn't a taxable item.

        A: first of all, let's clarify the sample budget calculations. The
        values shown here are the ones that were in the applicaton (where
        the sample budget excluded taxes as well), which exclude taxes. At
        the end of this answer you'll find everything with taxes included,
        as per your request.

        Let's consider the 'A' scenario: that is, the Palazzo the Congressi
        as the venue, 200 attendees and 60 people between speakers, guests,
        etc. These 60 people do not pay for the conference ticket.

        The "base" ticket price is 110€ (including VAT), or 91.6€
        (excluding VAT); 40% of the attendees will take advantage of a 25%
        "early bird" discount, that is, 82.5€ (including VAT), or 68.75€
        (excluding VAT).

        The total income from the sale of tickets is (200 * 40%) * 68.75 +
        (200 * 60%) * 91.66 = 16500€ (excluding VAT), as stated in the
        second column of the A scenario.

        The venue expenses are ~ 11000€ (excluding VAT), see below for an
        answer to your question about this amount.

        The expenses for all the attendees (coffee breaks, badges and
        conference swag, social dinner...) are about 60€ each (excluding
        VAT), that is, (200 + 60) * 60 = 15600€ (excluding VAT).

        Lastly, there are about 7000€ (excluding VAT) for guests,
        printing, and various expenses.

        To summarize: 16500€ (tickets) - 11000€ (venue) - 15600€
        (attendees expenses) - 7000€ (other expenses) = -17100€
        (excluding VAT), that is the balance of the 'A' scenario as stated
        in the application. The calculations for other scenarios are done in
        the same manner.


        As regards your question about the venue costs: in the sample budget
        we listed only 11000€ (excluding VAT), that is, the general rent,
        the cleaning costs and the projectors rent as we detailed just some
        rows below in the application (7315 + 1695 + 1734 = 10744€,
        excluding VAT).

        The expenses for printing, the reception service and the USB
        presenter wands were instead included in the "other expenses" in the
        sample budgets (i.e. 7000€, excluding VAT), that is, 4000€
        (excluding VAT) for guests speakers, 1500€ (excluding VAT) for
        printing, 750€ (excluding VAT) for the reception service, 150€
        (excluding VAT) for the USB presenter wands: 4000 + 1500 + 750 + 150
        = 6400€, rounded up to 7000€ (excluding VAT).


        At last, here are the budgets with ALL TAXES INCLUDED.

        * Tickets

            * Base Conference Ticket: 110€
            * Early Bird Ticket: 82.5 €
            * Student Ticket: 40 €
            * Corporate Ticket: 1000 €

        * Attendees expenses (per attendee)

            * Coffee Breaks: 24 €
            * Conference swag, badge, t-shirt, ...: about 16 €
            * Social Dinner: 30 €

        * Guest speaker expenses

            * About 5000 €

        * Venue Expenses (Palazzo dei Congressi)

            * General Rent: 8778 €
            * Cleaning: 2034 €
            * VGA Projectors Rent: 2080 €
            * Professional A/V recording (optional): 3600 €

        * Other expenses

            * Printing: 1800€
            * Reception service: 900€
            * USB presenter wands: 180€

        * Sample Budgets: see here
        (the first sheet contains the sample budgets, the second one has
        explanations about the calculations). All taxes are INCLUDED.

            Q: What are your anticipated sponsor targets?

        A: We expect to raise between 10,000 € and 20,000 € at a
        minimum. This is an estimate based on what we know about past YAPCs
        and and extrapolation of what we were able to raise for the smaller
        scale Italian Perl Workshop.

        The absolute minimum target will of course be informed by the
        difference we need to make up between income and outgoings -- for
        example the ~20K€ in our scenario A above.

        Of course, (international financial crisis permitting), we do intend
        to raise significantly more than this, and to funnel additional
        profits back into this conference and into Perl events/projects in
        Italy and Europe!

    2. Attendance fees

            Q: Will there be a student rate?

        A: Yes. It will be circa 40 € (including VAT) for school and
        university students.

            Q: Do you plan to offer a receipt for attendees?

        A: Receipts will be available on request. In addiction, the
        attendance certificate (on parchment paper) will be available for
        all attendees.

            Q: What rate do you plan to charge for the corporate attendees?

        A: We plan to charge 1000 € (including VAT) for "corporate

    3. Venue

            Q: What will be offered at the coffee breaks--just drinks, or
            food as well?

        A: We plan to offer Italian pastries, biscuits and other snacks such
        as mini pizzas and small sandwiches along with the drinks (coffee,
        tea, juices, mineral water).

            Q: Please describe what is intended in terms of catering. Will
            food be included, or only drinks at the coffee breaks? What
            meals do you plan to provide? Are there options suitable for
            vegetarians/vegans? Are there places near the venue where
            attendees can obtain food?

        A: Light lunch (sandwiches, likely) will be provided: we do not plan
        to include these in the conference price, though we would like to
        work on this with the help of sponsors.

        There are alternative restaurants within 10 minutes walk of the
        venue, and the town centre (Ponte di Mezzo) is circa 15 minutes.

        As mentioned in the proposal, Italian cuisine has excellent options
        for vegetarians, though many traditional dishes do include cheese,
        which may not be easily certifiable as regards rennet for stricter
        vegetarians. As a cosmopolitan city, Pisa does have some purely
        vegetarian restaurants - 3 listed in the centre
        as well as ethnic restaurants, for example Middle Eastern
        restaurants with excellent vegetarian options.

            Q: It was mentioned that a bakery might be selling sandwiches
            and other light foods. Will there be vegetarian and vegan
            options as well?

        A: For the lunch, we'll work to make a vegetarian option available:
        Italian sandwiches/lunches typically have excellent non-meat options
        available - tasty cheeses, salad, and grilled vegetables. For strict
        vegetarians (who may insist on knowing the provenance of rennet used
        in cheeses), vegans, and people with other dietary requirements
        (Coeliac etc.) we will work to provide suitable alternatives. We
        plan to gather these requirements via a survey no later than one
        month before the conference.

        (We believe this feature is due to be implemented in Act, and would
        be interested in helping to implement it within the toolkit for use
        in this and future YAPCs).

    4. Services

            Q: You mention translation services for speakers. Does this
            refer to the material in the talks? Could you please explain
            what is meant?

        A: It does not refer to the material in the talks. We meant
        translation for international speakers needs (e.g. at the airport,
        hotel, etc.). We don't plan to translate talks or other material.

    5. WiFi

            Q: You state that the WiFi is included in the venue. How will
            attendees be given access to the WiFi--will they be given a
            special account, or have to sign a waiver? Are you making a deal
            with the venue, or is there a third-party supplier?

        A: Users will have to show a valid ID (passport, or ID card valid in
        Europe) as required by Italian law, and will need to provide the MAC
        address of their notebook. The provider will be the University of
        Pisa, which owns the venue (in the case of the Palacongressi) or the
        National Research Council (if we choose CNR as venue).

            Q: What capacity do you expect to have?

        A: The network capacity is more than enough in either the primary or
        the alternative venue. They are connected to major Italian network
        backbones. Palazzo dei Congressi uses the SERRA network (which
        requires a valid European ID), provided by GARR (the Italian Rsearch
        and Academic Network).

            Q: Is the network capable of supporting at least 300 dynamic IP

        A: At Palacongressi, 400 should be supported with no problems. We're
        still working with the alternative venue to understand the capacity,
        which should be quite big anyhow.

            Q: Is the network open? Can it be used for HTTP/S, SSH, IRC as a

        A: HTTP(s) will not be a problem. We understand that the
        Palacongressi is firewalled only inbound, and should allow outgoing
        IRC etc. We are requesting confirmation from the alternative venue
        CNR, but believe that the network runs with straightforward NAT, and
        will serve our requirements.

            Q: Will there be any facilities for people without laptops or
            without wireless?

        A: Ethernet ports are available at Palacongressi, but there are no
        public computers.

    6. Electricity

            Q: You stated that there are many power outlets. Does this mean
            that there are sufficient outlets for 100-200 laptops at a time?
            If not, will there be extension leads?

        A: There are extension leads, but there are never enough of those...
        however, it'll be more or less similar to past YAPCs.

    7. Previous workshop attendance

            Q: How likely are you to increase the attendance from Italy?

        A: We have a regular attendee basis of at least 50 people from
        previous workshops (with 120 in 2008 and probably a similar figure
        in 2009). They will be contacted by email, to offer the early bird
        ticket price for YAPC. We will also publicize the event both locally
        and nationally (see also "Promotion").

        We are certain that many Italian Perl users and companies will be
        proud and excited by a YAPC in Italy, and will be drawn to this
        event. On the other hand, we are aware that casual/beginner
        programmers might be put off by the event being in English only. We
        will be considering offering a beginner's course, and workshops/BOF
        sessions in Italian to account for this, and make sure that we
        continue to attract the "new blood" from Italy as well as
        internationally for this edition.

    8. Dates

            Q: How many days do you plan for the conference?

        A: The main conference will last 3 days as is traditional. We will
        be looking at extending the conference before/after these dates with
        workshops/training courses, depending on proposals from
        trainers/grassroots groups etc.

    9. Promotion

            Q: How do you plan to publicize the event?

        A: Within Italy, we will continue to publicise the event via
         , mailing lists and newsgroups (Perl, Ruby, LUG,
        other technical groups we have built up good relationships with),
        technical journals (many of which are current sponsors) and
        posters/newsletters sponsored by the Comune/Province of Pisa and
        other government organizations dedicated to business development and
        training. We are also likely to have local TV coverage provided by
        RAI 3 and other stations.

        Internationally, we will publicise via the main Perl related
        websites, lists, and journals, as well as related groups (other
        dynamica languages, linux groups, etc.) As well as having active
        organizers in several key European Perl using countries (UK,
        Austria, Spain) we will also work with YEF and other grassroots
        groups to best target our publicity across Europe and globally.

            Q: How will you keep attendees informed throughout the year?

        A: As we have done for IPW for several years, we will send regular
        newsletters via email. For YAPC we would use the standard mailing
        list Frequency will probably be monthly,
        and biweekly in the last three months before the conference. We'll
        also have an "official" Twitter account and a Facebook group. Plus
        the usual online web news (via Act).

    10. Audio & video recording

            Q: How are you planning to gain permission to record speakers?

        A: As many workshops/conferences post slides and videos as a matter
        of course these days, we would prefer to assume that the default is
        for all talks to be recorded (and possibly streamed). However, of
        course individual speakers will have absolute rights to opt out of

        We will to contact all speakers by e-mail and ask them if they do
        NOT want to be recorded (and streamed). We will suggest a default
        license for all talks (for example CC BY-NC-ND), but again the
        speaker may choose to impose an alternative license.

        This rule (requiring opt-out from recording) will be made clear on
        the talk submission web page from the very beginning. We plan to ask
        for permission per-talk as opposed to per-speaker.

        As per dietary requirements, we may be able to contribute back to
        the Act toolkit to incorporate this feature for future conferences.

            Q: Are you planning to stream all talks, or only those speakers
            agree to?

        A: We are investigated the feasibility of live streaming, which we
        would like to do, however, we cannot commit to at this time. As far
        as availability of recorded talks on the Internet is concerned, we
        will make the talks we record (that is to say, those of the speakers
        who agreed to be recorded) available after the event.

    11. Survey

            Q: Are you not planning to use the survey system currently used
            for YAPCs? See []() for further details.
            Note that individual talk & course surveys are also being
            provided by the online system.

        A: In the past we used both "manual" and electronic solutions
        (Google Documents form/survey feature) for the Italian Perl
        Workshops. But after recently discussing the centralised solution
        with Barbie, we are indeed very happy to use the centralised survey
        solution, to help contribute as much data as possible on the
        conference back to the community. Note that, as in IPW08 and IPW09,
        we'll also invite conference sponsors to fill in a dedicated survey.

    12. Hotels

            Q: Do hotels provide wired or wifi internet access?

        A: From's search, 27 of the 41 hotels for location
        "Pisa" offer Wireless search. This includes the hotels we've had
        agreements with for IPW (two of which we tested directly), and all
        of the larger possibilities for YAPC.

            Q: Does one hotel have enough rooms to accommodate all or most

        A: While there are some very large hotels outside the city, it is
        more likely that attendees will want to stay within the town centre.
        This means we will mostly be looking at hotels with a capacity of
        circa 100. We would most likely propose 2 or 3 main hotels to
        accommodate the majority of attendees, with the remainder finding
        their own alternatives. We believe this is a satisfactory
        arrangement and broadly similar to that at previous YAPC::EUs.

    13. Safety

            Q: How safe are the venue and hotel, and the locations around
            them, bearing in mind many attendees will have laptops, cameras,
            phones, etc.

        A: The venues are dedicated conference venues with manned entrances
        as well as a YAPC-staffed reception, and as such the security should
        be as good as/superior to multi-purpose venues such as University
        buildings used for past events. The Palacongressi also has a
        cloakroom available.

        In general, Pisa is a safe city with a low crime rate, and main
        streets are safe to walk along at day and relatively safe at night.
        The main risk, as with any tourist destination, is pickpockets at
        crowded attractions and stations: the usual precautions do apply.

        Hotels are controlled by the tourist board and are as secure as
        those of any major European city.

    14. General

            Q: How difficult would it be for someone to navigate the city
            speaking only English? What languages other than Italian do the
            inhabitants of Pisa generally know?

        A: Being packed with tourists, Pisa is usually easy to get around by
        not knowing Italian language. Hotel staff, tourist information
        offices and most bar staff are usually able to speak some English.
        Most youngsters you find in the streets will be able to give you
        information in English, if needed.

            Q: What is the weather like in Pisa in August?

        A: August temperatures in Pisa vary between 25 and 35 Celsius
        degrees, and precipitation is usually low. It might be warm and nice
        as you can expect from a summer in Italy, but it can also be hot and
        damp. All the venues will be, however, air conditioned. Evenings are
        less hot and more enjoyable, but mosquitoes can be annoying so bring
        a lotion to keep them away.