I have to add my thoughts on this.
While meeting up with Mozillians is always a great opportunity to catch up, I must say that this European Gathering seems heavily rushed in my view. I have a few points I want to address and I hope we can facilitate a discussion around this, as I don’t want to point fingers, rather than pause for a moment and reflect on the decision making process involved here.
Firstly, 1 month buffer from the announcement to the actual event date is really tight. While this puts more pressure on the organizers and facilitators of the event, I do think that it actually leaves a footprint on the impact as well, as things can’t be planned and metrics cannot be created the same way when you have several months time to prepare an event. Afterall, a lot of people who would be important to participate here, would not be able to come (I for myself have planned out things for next month already and I suppose many others as well).
Having said that, it seems hard to have hit the 80% criteria from UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain. I don’t know the numbers here but it would be hard that things go according to plan here.
There is also a small problem here: with statements like that, Mozillians from outside these countries get discouraged to apply, yet at the end of the day, it seems that there was a need for them (due to lack of applications I believe). Well, being in the 20% I don’t think that that’s a surprise (on top of the short turnaround). Please correct me if I’m wrong here.
Another thing which worries me personally as an event organizer. At Reps and Participation we require careful planning, metrics and impact discussion on events we organize. Budget, swag and other logistics need to be be well explained as well. These usually take more than a month time (several actually).
So seeing an event which bends all these best practices, coming from official Mozilla structures confuses me personally. Shouldn’t be events like this role models for events Reps and Participation Leader organize? We are asked to deliver good events, carefully documented and well explained in terms of impact, yet I fail to see this here. Same goes with the transparency regarding the European Gathering. The argument “we need to move fast” is not a reason for this anymore as well I believe. I’d like to mention this here as I’m not the only one feeling this way.
I’d appreciate if we could give this a thought and really refrain from doing things in such a manner. Sure, I get it’s an exception, but shouldn’t then there be exceptions for events other Reps do?
I hope I didn’t step on anybody’s toe as this reply was written with good intentions. While it’s easy to say that “everything is awesome” I do think that there are many not so “awesome” aspects which need to be addressed, but then again, that’s my view on it and not necessarily a view you’d agree with me. I’d appreciate your thoughts on this in any case.