StateoftheMap Organizing Committee/Minutes/2015/2015-10-05 Meeting
5th October 2015 @ 7pm UTC
Meeting with MEPs
Henk and Ben met with Esther de Lange (MEP), Jos van der Akker (assistant to Esther) and Fabian [euh…] (assistant to Lambert van Nistelrooy (MEP)). Lambert himself could not make it. Good meeting, positive discussion. No new news following Henk’s email to the SotM team. They need to confer with the other MEPs.
From Henks email: The short version: they like it a lot and are committed to helping us. They’re going to work/lobby to get us in the one of the European facilities. The long version: There are a couple of ways to try to get space for events in the EU buildings. They are going to lobby for support for having an OSM event in the EU-buildings with the other parties in the EU and some of the EU commissioners. To get a broad support and (with that) more possibilities for organizing things.
Some comments of them (in random order)
- In order to attract European Parliament members you need to organise it on Monday – Thursday. Friday and the weekend most parliament members are back to their constituents. - Security is pretty tight. Getting 500 people in is challenging. - A multi day event is more difficult that a single day. - Sponsoring might become challenging if it would only be the EU-buildings. The EU is not comfortable with companies openly presenting themselves in EU buildings. They do want to be seen as independent or not have “companies buy their way into the EU”. - During August, the EU buildings are empty. There is hardly any staff around. It will be almost impossible to get anything done during that time.
One idea (although not discussed with the MEPs) would be to have Thursday at European Parliament. Themed at Open Data within Europe & other governments. Then 3 days at the university. Henk views this as the most likely option. Ben in agreement. The 3 day and weekend option doesn’t seem likely based on the words used at the meeting.
We aim to receive a go/no-go by mid November. Henk could contact them to lock down the two Thursday’s that would suite the VUB availability (16, 17 and 18 September 2016 and 1 week later). So far he has not discussed the 1 day option with them. Henk ideally would like to wait for their response before he contacts them about it. Hoping this will be during the week. Next week at the latest.
It may be possible that we have to go back and speak to a larger group of politicians to make the case to them.
They confirmed that a single party was the easiest thing to do, but acknowledged that it was not ideal for us. They are lobbying the wider parties to get cross-party support. The other option is to go over the EP and to the European Council but this would be much harder. Sponsorship at the EP may not be possible. They do not like the idea of companies being able to “buy their way in” to the EP.
- Henk: (ACTION) Need to send them a document outlining the OSM project asap which they can use with their lobby-work. They will get back to us with several options which they think might work.
- Henk: We’ve got an option for 16, 17 and 18 september 2016. This is a solid option, meaning we have it. It’s still an “option” since their systems cannot process it yet. The following week is also available and VUB will contact us first before giving those dates to another group.
- Henk: Previous university (ULB) had concerns due to the distances between the 2 main rooms. The VUB is not so new - it is a 1970’s building - but all rooms are close together. Much better from a conference point of view. It is accessible for disabled access but not perfect (longer routes, etc). We should be open about this and support any members who need help/advice.
- Henk: In the standard configuration we can organize a conference for 550 attendees. We can go higher (until close to 800), but then we need make some special arrangements with the technical staff. The various auditoriums can be merged / separated, which will take about 15 minutes.
- Henk: There is not an on-site caterer which we “need” to use. So we’re free regarding the choice of catering.
- Ben: What should we do about the ULB? Should we cancel it now?
- Henk: Sounds like a good plan. We have confirmation of the VUB.
- Rob: What is the latest status with the logo.
- Tatiana: Testing some colour schemes. Link shared with group in chat. https://cloudup.com/cnlg2No_b1c
- Pieter-Jan Pauwels: I prefer the two right ones. The purple one is maybe to much, but overall very pretty :)
- Christine Karch: I love the right one :)
- Ben Abelshausen: I was going to say the first one ;)
- Alyssa Wright: i like the 1st and 3rd
- Ben Abelshausen: the 2nd is also nice
- Henk Hoff: 1 and 3 look busy. Could work on website.
- Henk: Not sure about the map in the background. Especially with the names on the map. The faded map looks ok (but needs to be washed out)
- Pieter-Jan Pauwels: I think you should keep two. Preferably a negative of both. So that you can use them on dark and bright backgrounds
- Christine Karch: after some minutes of thinking about .. i also love the first! :)
- Ben: What about the content on the website?
- Rob: Based on experience a simpler website is easier. Blogs can be tricky to maintain. Busy. SotM US and SotM LatAm good examples.
- Rob: Do we need content now?
- Tatiana: Not yet, we can use existing content from previous years during the design stage.
- Tatiana: Tristen from Mapbox over in Brussels. Will sit down with him during the week.
- Henk: Few things coming up - sponsor, website content, call for presentations.
- Henk: We have done a lot despite first glances.
- Rob: Alex from Mapbox has contacted me to ask if he can help. Given the problem we had with Skype and the fact that it is difficult to judge if everyone is engaged/supportive of comments I may explore potential to use google hangouts.
- Henk: Send a document outlining the OSM project to the MEPs.
- Tatiana: Finalise the logo and meet with Tristan to discuss website design.
- Rob: To establish a plan for future meetings.