----- Original Message -----
I should add that I think some of the problem this year is Prague,
surprised me in how difficult it is to get to from much of the world, which
resulted in some odd itineraries. So at least one visa issue (I think two; I
could go look it all up again) was because of an itinerary that involved
entering the Schengen area in another country and then traveling to Prague.
Hmm, Schengen visa should cover it unless someone asked for limited Czech
only visa (but as I understand it, it's not offered by default). Could you
send me more details? For Flock, it already happened but I'd like to avoid
such issues for other events we organize in Prague/Brno. Thanks.
I believe in another case, it was duration; the trip was longer than
We did prioritize those who needed visas to have their flights purchased
first. Those of you who were subsidized also know that this year we tried
two different methods. Paul and I booked some of your flights ourselves,
which is time consuming not only for us doing the booking, but also slow
because we can only go until we max out our credit cards (which isn't very
many), pay them off, and start over. Then we switched to having them booked
through Red Hat's travel agent, which in some cases resulted in cheaper
flights and definitely was much faster, but I believe overall in the end
cost us more money. As a result, I'm undecided on which is really the better
I think there are a few things to consider next year:
- We'll be back in the US, and I think historically we've had less trouble
getting people to the US, so that should help.
EU <-> US travelling is easy. It gets much more complicated, if you travel
to/from non EU/US countries.
- We'll move up the CFP, which will give us an agenda sooner,
which will let
us book flights sooner.
- I suspect the ideal solution is to use blocked flights for people who need
them for visas. Unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of luck booking these as
a third party, so it means people need to do them themselves. I've found
people are reluctant to (or simply don't have credit cards and cannot) book
their own flights. And in at least one case in the past, it resulted in the
person booking a very expensive flight including upgrades (which we did not
reimburse). So there are pluses and minuses there too.
Blocking flights is also not very convenient - usually it's blocked only for
a few days, has to be renewed and visa application could take longer time.
But usually what matters is the day of blocking (I'm not sure they really
check it). Or as Marina suggested, buy tickets that can be changed, it's
just more expensive - but for people we know issues can occur, it could be
- I know several people think we should choose who receives subsidies
entirely different ways. The past two years, we've fully subsidized any
speaker who requested it. This year, that turned out to be a mistake, as
with all these flight changes and the cost of getting more than a dozen
people from APAC to Prague has killed our budget. Suggestions I've heard
- Making the subsidy not necessarily for speakers, but for some other
criteria. I think this is the most challenging, as the appropriate criteria
will be different to everyone. To me, subsidizing speakers is the most fair
Well, it worked pretty well in the past for FUDCons. Being speaker was one
part of criteria. The question was always what are you going to achieve
at FUDCon? The same would be for Flock - there could be folks not very
happy being speakers just to get money - but with other itinerary like team
- Reconsidering which countries we subsidize first. Flock is a
conference, and APAC and LATAM have their own FUDCons. For the two years of
Flock, the biggest parts of our budget have gone to getting LATAM and APAC
It's Fedora contributors conference. I understand APAC/LATAM expenses are
huge but we shouldn't close this event to them. Yes, there has to be limit
but as I said above - team meetings etc., it's the main value of Flock.
Maybe less talks (and so less sponsored folks) could lower the pressure on
- Subsidizing either hotel stays or flights but not both. I will be
we've had a few people this year act like they thought this was how they
were getting a free trip to Prague. Yes, you get the benefit of coming to a
beautiful city. And I'm even willing to work with you on when you come and
go if you'd like to stay a while to visit Europe. But we're not in the
business of free vacations here.
For FUDCons, there's question - is partial support ok for you... Maybe we
can try it for Flock too. For some people it's a blocker not to be paid
for everything, for some people it's nice to have paid at least something.
flock-planning mailing list