Nitty Gritty Details From YAPC::Asia

So now that preparation for YAPC::Asia Tokyo 2011 is in full swing, I thought I'd share some nitty gritty details from YAPC::Asia.

(Oh, and we're currently accepting talk submissions! Hint Hint)

This entry is mainly about marketing and fundraising for YAPC::Asia Tokyo. Yes, $$. Stuff that artists and engineers don't really care about, but you should. This is also part of my talk from YAPC::NA 2011, "How to run Japan Perl Association"

So let's start out with the core funding: Every year Japan Perl Association (JPA) collets membership fees from its members. We have different levels of membership which vary from $500/yr to $6,000/yr. The expensive plans are actually divided up into two portions. 30% goes to fund JPA operation, and the rest is for YAPC. The sum varies from year to year, but we have worked with our members to collect around $12,000 ~ $14,000 as the core funding to run YAPC.

When time for YAPC preparations come around, we go through our list of potential sponsors, starting from portal operators, infrastructure providers, application/game developers, et al, and email them, visit them, and talk to them how they can sponsor YAPC and in turn use YAPC to promote their business and/or look for new-hires.

In the last couple of years, we've successfully gathered approx 20+ sponsors for each YAPC (e.g., here's YAPC::Asia Tokyo 2010 site. See the sponsors on the right side of the page). That generates another $15,000 or so (BTW, looking back I think I lied in my slides for YAPC::NA 2011 - I said a total of $34K comes from sponsors, but that includes sales from T-shirts and stuff). This is actually an important step, as this is how we gain more members for the following years. We spend a lot of time visiting and telling them about YAPC, but I think it's well worth it.

Ticket sales are hard to predict, but we get around 500 attendees for about $30 ~ $50 a person. So theoretically we should be gaining anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 minus about 8% transaction fee (paypal, bank transfer, you name it. damn vultures)

We also have miscellaneous income, but those are usually not so significant.

These are the YAPC::Asia income. They all add up to be around $50 ~ $60K. Expenses vary, but last year we had a great success by keeping expenses at around little less than $40K. We also had a great set of speakers and audience. You should check out our videos on youtube, maybe the lightning talks, or miyagawa's emotional keynote speech (Sorry, they are all in Japanese, but I think I chose ones that you should be able to understand by looking carefully at the slides)

I omitted anything about love towards Perl or its community on this entry. I also didn't say anything about if YAPC::Asia is all about business.

The answer is, well, you really should visit YAPC::Asia if you're in doubt ;) I spend a great deal of time on JPA and YAPC, and have brought in many to work on this stuff, so I do pride myself in having worked my ass for a cause. I also believe that YAPC::Asia hasn't lost its geeky/nerdy edge, either. I tell you, we have one of the BEST speakers in the world. msg me in twitter (lestrrat) if you want help getting here or getting around here.

What I want to stress by talking about $$, $$, $$ is that, to promote the technology and the community you love, you also have to be thinking about making money off of it -- and that /that/ involves tedious, grunt work to persuade people to trust you with their money and brand.

I kind of felt disappointed in that regard when I attended "marketing" talks in YAPC::NA, which talked about giving away stickers and encouraging people to go confronting the Ruby guy next door. Does that... really promote Perl? Stickers?

Well, maybe. I admit that there are a whole bunch of stuff going on around the world that I have no clue about, but at least I believe that engaging the geeks and the businesses is what Perl *really* needs. YAPC can be such a place, and I believe we can do that without losing the fun.

YAPC::Asia Tokyo is all that and more. Hey, Marc Lehmann of EV/AnyEvent fame is coming along with RJBS this year! Don't miss it!

(Addendum: I forgot to note that most of the above stuff is made possible because of Mr. Kushii, who handles direction for YAPC::Asia Tokyo. Without him, I don't think we've been able to come this far)

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About lestrrat

user-pic Japan Perl Association director; Livedoor, Inc; Tokyo, Japan