[Marketing] Report from OSGeo stand at Qld SSI Conference on the Gold Coast, Australia

LISAsoft and Autodesk held up the OSGeo flag at the Queensland Spatial Science Institute conference on the Gold Coast, Australia and we received a very positive reception.

We started with an OSGeo workshop on Thursday sponsored by Autodesk which covered:
* Introduction: Andrew Bashfield, Autodesk
* Business Case for Open Geospatial: Me, Cameron Shorter, LISAsoft
* Using Mapguide OS Zac Printer & Sam Majid, Geosolutions
* Practical demonstraction of Mapguide OS, Milton Lofberg, Autodesk
* Breakout session to discuss challenges faced with Open Source (This turned out to be a great way to engage users)

Friday and Saturday were presentations, with ~ 300 attendees.

Our workshop sold out to our capacity of 25 people. It was great to see the level of interest amongst the attendees, and then at the booth afterwards. It seems there are many agencies interested in deploying Open Source.

Tom Taranto, SSI caught up with us afterwards and told us that he had heard our workshop went off very well.

Tom also featured in the setting up of our stand. With lobbying from Tom, OSGeo was given a free booth for the conference. This is something that I'd like to be seen as a precedent for other conferences.

There was a lot of interest in FOSS4G. In particular, owners of spatial datasets were excited by the idea of building SDIs and talking about them at FOSS4G, and building up an interoperability testbed at the conference where Open Source applications use the Australian datasets. I'd like to follow this idea up further, because I think it has great potential as a conference draw card.

Ideas for improving our presence:
* We need fliers for:
  - The Geospatial Open Source Stack
  - How the Stack integrates with proprietary applications - in particular, ESRI
  - Commercial Open Source Providers (One of the biggest hurdles to OS we heard was lack of commercial support)
* We need a wall poster with the OS Stack, OSGeo packages coloured differently
* We need an OSGeo CD. Autodesk handed out a Mapguide OS CD at the workshop and I heard many of the participants say they were going to try it out when they got home.
* We should hand out t-shirts to all workshop attendees. The people attending the paid workshop turned didn't need to be convinced about the value of Open Source. One attendee who had a t-shirt said he would wear it to work next casual day and explain to everyone what OSGeo was all about.

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Systems Architect
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Commercial Support for Geospatial Open Source Solutions